My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty is an enchanting version of the fairy tale ballet created especially for children aged three upwards.

As a baby, Princess Aurora is cursed by the evil Carabosse: on her 16th birthday, she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. Her godmother the Lilac Fairy alters the spell so Aurora will not die but will sleep for 100 years, only to be awoken by true love’s kiss.  From Aurora’s christening in the grand hall of the palace, to her jubilant wedding celebrations, the popular fairy tale comes alive on stage.

Since its creation in 2012, over 150,000 people have enjoyed our My First Ballet series, a collaboration between English National Ballet and English National Ballet School that offers an introduction to the beauty of ballet, and a fantastic family day out.  With a narrator to help the young audience follow the story, and a shortened version of Tchaikovsky’s gorgeous music, My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty is created by English National Ballet’s Associate Artist George Williamson and performed by second year students from English National Ballet School.

**** ‘A pocked-sized delight’
Times on My First Ballet: Swan Lake

Performances:  Saturday 30th April 11.00am, 2.00pm and 5.00pm, Sunday 1st May 11.00am and 3.00pm

Venue: The New Theatre, George Street, Oxford OX1 2AG

Tickets:  £12.90 – £28.90 plus £4 transaction fee

Book tickets here

Running time:  1 hour 30 mins

Read Susie Crow’s review of My First Cinderella here

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Thrilling, innovative and original, the programme Lest We Forget marks another exciting advance for English National Ballet under Tamara Rojo’s leadership. Following last autumn’s production of Le Corsaire, she has now showcased the company further with an evening that included three new works, each by a different choreographer.  Marking the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War, Liam Scarlett, Russell Maliphant and Akram Khan’s contrasting approaches range from the almost literal and ballet-based (Scarlett) through the largely abstract and contemporary (Maliphant) to the intensely personal and culturally eclectic (Khan). (more…)

On Sunday 5th May I joined a long queue outside Oxford’s New Theatre; lots of little girls, many in pastel princess dresses and net petticoats, with their mothers.  Inside the auditorium much excitement finding seats, fidgeting to get comfy, sweets and fruit drinks, plastic tiara and fluffy glow wand merchandise.  For this was one of a weekend clutch of performances of My First Cinderella, English National Ballet’s latest initiative to catch a new young and family audience.

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Presented by English National Ballet and English National Ballet School, My First Cinderella tells everyone’s favourite rags-to-riches story in a beautifully adapted version for young audiences. Cinderella is tormented by her spiteful stepsisters and longs to attend the Prince’s glamorous ball. Abandoned to an evening of drudgery, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother appears and transforms her into a glittering Princess who shall go to the ball.

The My First… series brings young audiences their first taste of ballet through the magic of fairytales, captivating music and beautiful dance. Prokofiev’s ravishing score is accompanied by narration to ensure everyone enjoys this classic fairy tale, and ENB2 features graduating dancers of outstanding potential from English National Ballet School in performances produced by English National Ballet. (more…)