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Special visitor keeping libraries on their toes

Apr 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

IMAGE: Patrick Baldwin

 

LIBRARIES around Wellington City are gearing up to cater to budding ballerinas these school holidays.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet is currently touring the country with a child friendly show, the Meridian Season of Angelina Ballerina’s Big Audition.

The show is based on the children’s books written by Katharine Holabird, starring Angelina Mousling as the main character.

Angelina is an eight year old ballerina mouse whose life revolves around her passion for dance, friends and family, as well as following her dreams.

After successful tours of the show in the UK and Australia, it is New Zealand’s turn to sit back and watch Angelina Ballerina’s Big Audition.

As part of the programme, the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s dance educator, Hannah Kaye, will be visiting Wellington libraries to educate and inspire young children in story time sessions.

Though the company holds similar education workshops throughout the year, the Angelina Ballerina story times are aimed at a younger, audience.

“We haven’t previously done a great deal for the 2-5 age groups before,” says Hannah.

The ballet is hoping to extend its outreach and demystify the world of ballet for a younger audience.

During the story time visits the librarians will read one of the Angelina Ballerina story books to the children, and Hannah will do a show and tell of ballet items, including pointe shows and a tutu.

The visits normally last for about 45 minutes and as well as reading to the youngsters, Hannah will be teaching them a few simple ballet steps.

“It’s a highlight teaching them ballet steps and seeing them have so much fun moving around!”

Even though Angelina doesn’t attend the visits herself as she is “too busy practicing her moves” the library visits have averaged about 100 visitors per library so far.

Hannah says the company is hoping to inspire the young children to learn more about ballet and possibly inspire some future dancers by engaging in these visits.

“It’s a really rewarding experience for the company to actively reach out to our audiences and fans.”

Throughout the tours Hannah says the children are always keen to get active and involved in learning moves, as well as curious to quiz her on the world of ballet.

However, the most common questions she finds herself being asked are more about what Angelina is doing and why she hasn’t come to the visit.

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