Festival Ballet Providence begins the new season with a program specifically for children: chatterBOXtheater. Inspired by favorite childhood stories, FBP brings some of literature’s most beloved characters to life. Designed to introduce children to the world of dance and theater at a young age, performances in this series take place at Festival Ballet’s Black Box Theater on Hope Street in Providence–a lovely intimate space that provides up close seating for children. The one hour event includes educating the audience about the story before it begins, the dance performance lasts about half an hour followed by an opportunity to chat with the dancers and audience over milk and cookies.
The chatterBOXtheater will have two events this season. The first, Peter and the Wolf made its debut this past weekend, with three more performances scheduled this weekend, appeals to boys and girls of all ages. A perfect choice to launch the series. This classic tale is a musical composition by Sergei Prokofiev, where each character is represented by a different single instrument in the story about Peter and what happens when he encounters a menacing wolf. Festival Ballet has adapted the story to dance where each character is also represented by a different style of dance.
The performance was delightful. After an introduction by Mihailo Djuric, Festival’s artistic director one of the dancers introduced the story and its characters along with demonstrations of their dance style and music accompaniment. The stage is simply set with just enough to hint at trees and a meadow allowing room for the dancers to move, while the narrator and music guided the young audience through the story. Afterwards everyone was invited up for milk and cookies and “chat” time. Parents will appreciate how well-suited this format is for kids.
In a time when so many businesses are effected by the economy some may disregard the arts as a luxury item. Exposing our kids from a young age to dance, music and theater I believe plays an important role in their creative development, impacting what they value as they grow up. I applaud Festival Ballet for thinking outside the box and partnering with the community to create a magical space in the neighborhood where children can experience and learn more about dance and the arts.
The chatterBOXtheater series is generously sponsored by Seven Stars Bakery, an excellent bakery and coffee shop located across the street from the dance studio. In addition to their sponsorship, Seven Stars is providing the cookies, so you know they are yummy. Milk and cider is provided by Monroe Dairy.
Colleen Cavanugh’s Pippi inspired by Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking is the second chatterBOXtheater production this season. Other children’s productions in Festival Ballet’s season include: The Widow’s Broom, The Nutcracker and Cinderalla.
Where: FBP Black Box Theater, 825 Hope Street, Providence
Phone: (401) 353-1129
Age range: 3-12 years old
Tickets: $15 for children 12 and under. $25 for adults. Includes milk and cookies
Peter and the Wolf
Saturday, October 10 at 5:00PM
Sunday, October 11 at 1:00PM and 4:00PM
Special Deal: Parents who purchase 2 tickets (including 1 adult ticket) for Peter and the Wolf are eligible to receive 1 children’s ticket at no additional charge
Sunday, February 7 at 1:00PM and 4:00PM
Sunday, February 14 at 4:00PM