by Aradhana Kiran, Maya Haridas and Siddhie Pillai
Today we are looking at a ballet for our younger dancers – The Secret Garden by London Children’s Ballet (LCB). A fun, joyous and beautiful adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic book of the same name. This ballet will be screened in the coming months for all students from Pre-Primary and above.
The Secret Garden is a tale set in colonial India and then in Yorkshire, England. It is about how nature, love and friendship can and will bring out the best in everyone.
Mary Lennox, a spoiled young English girl is orphaned in India and sent to Yorkshire to live with her uncle in his house, Misselthwaite Manor. It is full of mystery, with forbidden corridors, strange noises and a secret, locked garden. When Mary finds a way in, finds two friends, and finds a new love for life, the garden, and Mary, begin to bloom.
Told in two 40-minute acts, the ballet is the perfect length for young viewers. Captions between scenes make the story clear to children of all ages. The story of The Secret Garden has captivated children since it was first published over 100 years ago. In the ballet, the story is brought to life by 56 brilliantly talented young LCB dancers aged 9-15.
The London Children’s Ballet
The London Children’s Ballet was founded by Lucille Briance in 1994 for her 10 year old daughter who showed a passion for dance. The unique thing about the LCB was the founder’s decision to not charge a fee to children interested in participating; dancers from all socioeconomic backgrounds were welcome to join the LCB community. The main focus for this ballet school was to finding the “perfect” dancers for the future. Instead, they prioritised a holistic approach to children’s education, meaning that the children stay in their academic schools while gaining a broad experience in dance through the LCB. They encourage diversity in the world of ballet and pay close attention to the quality of dance, more than aspects such as technicality or competitiveness. Many years after its foundation, the LCB has grown to become a leader in dance education and developed a reputation for excellence at all levels.
You can have a look at their website to see some of the work they do and other ballets that they have staged: https://www.londonchildrensballet.com/
Watching this ballet together as a community will be a wonderful experience, and our youngest dancers will get to see children like themselves performing on stage with confidence. They will also be able to see the possibilities that lie ahead as students of dance.
More information on this screening is coming soon and we can’t wait to watch The Secret Garden as a community!