April 18 2011
Gripping and beautiful as it is, the blockbuster film Black Swan probably hasn’t helped convince cinema-goers that the ballet world is an altogether healthy environment for young people. Thank goodness, then, for the uplifting approach of the London Children’s Ballet, which gives young dancers (of nine to 15 years) from any background the opportunity to take part in a fun but thoroughly professional production – free of charge. After selecting talented children through its audition process – this year about 450 tried out for 57 spots – the LCB funds their places. As a result, the company attracts youngsters from all over the UK, who travel to London every week to attend the rehearsals. And standards are high: many of the dancers go on to train professionally.
The enchanting results of this year’s hard work can be seen at the Peacock Theatre in the West End from April 28 to May 1, when LCB presents its latest show, Rumpelstiltskin. Based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale (and with the protagonist changed from a miller into a milliner, thereby providing some fabulous costume opportunities), the ballet has an original score, with choreography by LCB alumna Morgann Runacre-Temple.
If you buy a ticket to the show, you’ll not only contribute directly to LCB funds, but you are also guaranteed a seat at the weekend’s other royal wedding; for the beautiful Milliner’s Daughter – played by 13-year-old Saskia Gregson Williams (pictured, with Finn Cooke, 14, as Rumpelstiltskin), who herself bears a resemblance to Black Swan Natalie Portman – finally marries her King.
To win a pair of tickets to see Rumpelstiltskin, see below.