The 3 Best Classical Ballets for Kids

The Birmingham Royal Ballet Performs 'The Sleeping Beauty'
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Children can benefit tremendously by being introduced to the fine arts. Most children, especially girls, love to watch ballerinas perform on stage. Taking your child to a ballet performance is a fun way to introduce her (or him) to the world of ballet. It's especially fun to make the evening exciting by dressing up for a nice dinner before the show.

It's a good idea to choose a classic ballet for young children, as most of the classics contain fairy tale plots. Here are a few good choices:

Sleeping Beauty

Many children are familiar with one of Walt Disney's beloved princesses, Sleeping Beauty. As the ballet begins, baby Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) is being christened. The evil Carbosse storms in and curses the baby, as her invitation to the event had been overlooked. The curse states that on her 18th birthday, the princess will prick her finger and die. However, the Lilac Fairy weakens the curse. She proclaims that instead of dying, Princess Aurora will fall into a deep sleep for 100 years, before being awakened by the kiss of a handsome prince.

During Aurora's 16th birthday party, a mysterious guest (the evil Carbosse) offers her a gift...a lovely spindle. Aurora pricks her finger and the whole court falls into a deep sleep. Several years later, the Lilac Fairy produces a vision of Aurora which Prince Desire notices while hunting. The Prince is led to the castle, where he battles the evil Carbosse. After the battle, he kisses the sleeping princess, upon which everyone wakes up. A beautiful and joyous wedding ceremony follows.

Swan Lake

In Swan Lake, Prince Siegfried, a hunter, sees an amazing swan. As he takes aim to shoot, the swan turns into a beautiful woman named Odette. She tells the prince that she is a princess who has come under the spell of an evil sorcerer. During the day she must be a swan and swim in a lake of tears. At night she is allowed to be a human again. The spell can only be broken if a virgin prince swears eternal fidelity to her. She tells Prince Siegfried, who happens to be a virgin prince, that if he refuses her she must remain a swan forever.

Prince Siegfried falls madly in love with Odette. However, through a spell by the evil sorcerer, he accidentally proposes to another woman at a party, believing that the woman is really Odette. Princess Odette feels doomed. She threatens to kill herself and throws herself into the lake. The Prince feels terribly sorry and throws himself into the lake with her. In an incredibly touching moment, the two are transformed into lovers in the afterlife.

The Nutcracker

The most popular holiday ballet, The Nutcracker, is a wonderful choice for kids. Most cities offer several chances to see The Nutcracker during the holiday season, and most kids will want to see it again and again.

The ballet centers around a young girl named Clara who receives a toy nutcracker from her uncle. She falls asleep and is transported to a magical wonderland where she meets her handsome prince.