Kinder Tanzen für Kinder: A Trip to the Ballet

9 December 2013

Yesterday we took the boy to see his first Christmas show. This used to be one of my favourite parts of Christmas, and I’ve been looking forward to him being old enough. The Deutsche Oper Berlin was showing a special one hour production of The Nutcracker with the slogan “Kinder Tanzen für Kinder” (Children Dancing for Children). The idea being, that a condensed version of the ballet would be easier for younger children to sit through.

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The show was actually aimed at children aged 5 and up, but we took this as a guideline as I was confident that the boy would be able to last an hour. And he did pretty well. He went two thirds of the way sitting completely still – I took him on to my lap so I could whisper in his ear what was going on – and kept pretty quiet too, save for the occasional “a mouse! and another mouse!” or “she’s dancing pretty!”, which I think was perfectly acceptable. Only in the last 10 of 15 minutes or so did he start wriggling about a bit and talking more, like asking when the mice where coming back. But in his defence, the 8 and 12 year olds sitting next to us had also started fidgeting and chatting by this time, so I don’t think it was because he was too young.

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Overall, he seemed to really enjoy it, even though the Nutcracker did receive a slightly new re-telling. The boy though the nutcracker looked more like a pirate than a prince, when he became real – well, he did have a pirate sword after all – and that he was evil for hurting the poor mice. Hmmm… And he also really enjoyed the clapping. I’d handed him a snack just before the show started, and after a few minutes he handed it back so he would have his hands free to clap, which he did at every opportunity with much gusto. And he always checked left and right to see if the daddy and the people next to us were clapping properly too. Bless. I think we may make a theatre goer of him yet.

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