On October 12, I am taking my daughter Liv to her first ballet. Why? Well partly because I think she will be mesmerised by the dancers, secondly because I would love for her to become a ballet fan when she’s older (with the odd spare ticket of course), and finally because no adult in their right mind would accompany me to a dark theatre full of overly-excited, nattering, squealing children in the middle of the October school holiday. So we are all booked in and counting down the days until our little adventure.
The show, The Fantasy Traveller, is targeted towards children of four years and above and promises to be bonkers and fanciful enough to hold Liv’s attention for its hour-long duration; well here’s hoping! It is written by Shane Brox, the Canadian-Danish author and designer who is best known for his award-winning TV series Shane’s World. You might know the one – it’s the programme with the guy telling stories in his workshop and crafting the characters out of odds and ends salvaged from the recycling bin. But as well as appearing on DR’s children’s hour, Brox is a bona fide designer. He trained at Kolding Design School and has a stint at Levis and a commission from Royal Copenhagen under his belt. I’m excited to see how his creativity unfolds on stage.
This never-before-seen ballet tells the story of a boy called Ferdinand who, while exploring his own fantasy world, encounters strange creatures including the Snow Dragon, Dance Sausage and Monster Diva. Through these characters he discovers the conflicting forces of good and evil that lie within our subconscious. Heavy – not really, but like all great children’s tales it promises to combine an entertaining tale with more moralistic undertones. Brox himself is directing the ballet and is also responsible for the set and costume design, which we can expect to be bold and wacky with bright colours and whimsical costumes filling the Old Stage. The choreography is by Esther Lee Wilkinson, who last season staged the box office hit Stolen Spring, while the lighting design is by Thomas Bek Jensen.
Performing the ballet will be students from the Royal Danish Theatre Ballet School. The school, which has been training dancers since 1771, has between 60 and 70 pupils aged between six and 16 years – performances such as these provide them with a rare opportunity to take centre stage. For us in the audience, it is a chance to spot the stars of the future – who knows, some of the children present might still be cheering these dancers on in 15 years time. Both the stage and audience should be brimming with youthful enthusiasm. I’m excited, Liv’s excited and I’ve already planned the emergency snack pack just in case things go awry.
The Fantasy Traveller
Gamle Scene, Kongens Nytorv, Cph K; starts Sat, ends Wed, daily performances 12:00 & 14:00; tickets 75-295kr; www.kglteater.dk; duration: 60 mins