Northern Ballet – Elves & the Shoemaker

Tailor-made ballet for younger audiences

Northern Ballet – Elves & the Shoemaker

credit: Brian Slater

From Nutcracker to Coppélia, the ballet world is filled with stories that children can latch on to. As the hours roll by, however, attention starts to wane.

Which is why Northern Ballet is creating short, tailor-made ballets for younger audiences. Following tours of Ugly Duckling and Three Little Pigs, the company is back with Elves & the Shoemaker.

‘The idea has touched a need,’ says choreographer Daniel de Andrade. ‘There are elements in some ballets which are obviously for children, but although sitting through two hours of ballet technique is wonderful for adults, you can see children fidgeting, wanting the toilet or a sweet.

‘So these are 40-minute ballets which they can understand from beginning to end. They’re engrossed and everything is geared towards how they think.’

For Elves & the Shoemaker, de Andrade has used the story’s central theme to introduce children to a range of styles danced in bare feet, hard, soft and pointe shoes.

‘A shoemaker and dance is a giveaway,’ says de Andrade. ‘As soon as I started writing the scenario and transported it to dance, I saw the opportunity for various styles, building up to where we bring in the princess en pointe.

‘Being a ballet company, we want to bring the best of ballet to that age group too.’

macrobert, Stirling, Thu 9 Apr.

Northern Ballet: Elves And The Shoemaker

Northern Ballet retell the classic tale from the Brothers Grimm.


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