3 New Year's Ballets for Children

3 New Year's Ballets for Children

The Nutcracker is not the only ballet that can give you a magical atmosphere and a festive mood before the New Year holidays. Children will surely like these ballets too.

The Snow Maiden to music by Tchaikovsky

This production is based on the play of the same name by Alexander Ostrovsky. In 1961, the ballet to the music by Tchaikovsky was given in London; two years later, the choreographer Vladimir Burmeister transferred The Snow Maiden to the stage of the Stanislavsky and  Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater.

You can go see this performance with a preschooler as its recommended age rating is 6+. The scenery recreates on stage the enchanting world of the tale the children know well: a fairy forest covered in snow, a mound of earth along the walls of the peasant's house and frost patterns. The story of the Snow Maiden has a sad ending, but young viewers will certainly understand the metaphor of the changing seasons and appreciate the choice that the main character made for the sake of her feeling. The ballet features several works by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and this also makes the production important for the cultural and aesthetic education of the future connoisseurs of art. 

Cinderella to music by Sergei Prokofiev

The modern version of the classic 1945 production can be seen at the Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg in December 2021 and January 2022. The ballet was reconstructed by Mikhail Messerer and choreographed by Rostislav Zakharov. The three-act performance is designed for viewers over 6 years old. 

Charles Perrault's fairy tale is set not on New Year's Eve, it is not associated with any season at all. However, this magical plot is able to immerse you in the atmosphere of expectation of a miracle, and the recreated scenes of the magnificent ball can remind you of the holiday that both adults and children love so much. 

Besides, modern young viewers will surely appreciate the digital scenery of the show. They are made in the form of projections creating colorful multidimensional images. And the huge projection of the clock striking midnight will have a special meaning in the context of the New Year holidays. 

The Winter's Tale to music by Joby Talbot

The audience first saw this production at London's Covent Garden in 2014; a premiere in Toronto followed. Five years later, the ballet was transferred to the Bolshoi Theater stage. 

The performance is based on a late play by Shakespeare; the music was written by the British composer Joby Talbot. The choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon, is from Britain too, they had already worked with Talbot on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Both productions share a solid literary foundation and a distinctive English style. 

The ballet is aimed at audiences over 12 years old. The plot is built around a story of two kings who were friends in childhood, but later, by the will of fate, their paths parted. According to the laws of Shakespeare's poetics, passions are raging on stage: the oppressive king is jealous of his spouse for his childhood friend, many trials and sufferings are in store for the characters. The story unfolds in the fantastic scenery of the magical land of Bohemia. The tree of wishes became one of the symbols of the play - choreographer Christopher Wheeldon once called it “an amazing symbol of life”. 

This production doesn’t have any traditional New Year's attributes, but the very atmosphere of a magical land in December and January is perceived in a special way, because the New Year is a time of miracles.