We met up with the J’s in Minneapolis and kicked off the winter break with Zenon Dance Company’s, “A Mother goose Nutcracker.” Positioned right in the front row, the boys got to see all the action and muscle flexing up close. They set all of Tchaikovsky’s music to “modern” choreography, with the introduction of each song being told to a fairy tail. A very creative and a very talented, professional company made this an experience that we look forward to attending again next year! I love when company’s engage children and give them the opportunity to appreciate the arts from an early age.
I recall the first theatre performance Nishad saw– he was only 18 months old. Nervous mother was I, “Will he sit through the show?”…”What if he cries?”…”What if he begins to speak during the performance?” He did none of that- he watched with eyes as big as half dollars. I prepared him prior to the show though, so he knew what to expect. The Flint Hill Children’s Festival held in Saint Paul, Minnesota (which will be held June 1-6 this year) offers a great opportunity to expose your child to various arts and theatre performances. Made possible through sponsorship through Target, international theatre performances are offered to the general public at $5 a ticket. The tickets do sell out fast (I purchased out tickets for Eric Carle’s, “The Very Quiet Cricket” last year almost 2 months in advance).
It’s important for kids to attend different types of performances as well– not “just” children’s theatre. Given children’s theatre IS a great start– especially, if you want to test the waters with your little one. In addition, you want to be respectful of other patrons, and be selective with your topics– this may not be the time to introduce your 3 year old to “Cabaret.”
Both boys attend the Minnesota Orchestra (Tiger and Nishad recently attended the 2 1/2 hour long “Hansel and Gretel” performance, which was beautiful.) When Tiger wants to switch from seat to seat, or my lap to Ashish’s and there is an occasional look, I just keep in mind that “we paid as much as anyone else for our seats.” And, in this case, it is a children’s show. A nice bonus of attending a children’s performance is that prior to the show, the lobby is filled with instruments for the kids to try out and learn about.
I do recall when a friend and I took both of the boys to a performance at the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre to see “Bert and Ernie Say Goodnight.” Her son said something and a man in the back of us “shushed” her son. I turned my head and gave him a look– seriously, this isn’t Les Mis and YOU sir at AT a children’s theatre. No “sush” rule applies here in this theatre. Be sure to sign up for updates via e-mail. They have lots of “buy one get one” deals or half off tickets. You’ll also learn about special events and classes offered.
note: Photo by City Pages