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Go Ask Mom

Carolina Ballet's Ugly Duckling perfect for kids

Posted February 15, 2011
Updated February 16, 2011

Carolina Ballet's family series wraps up for the season with its performance of The Ugly Duckling starting Thursday. Performances run through March 6.

The 35-minute ballet based on the Hans Christian Andersen story includes a high-energy narrator, making it especially easy for kids to follow along. Three children also participate in the performance acting as transitions between the scenes. And kids will enjoy the costumes too. I'm told the performance is best for kids ages 4 and up.

The Ugly Duckling is part of a two-hour program, including an intermission. And while many kids will enjoy the more traditional ballet performances as well, Elizabeth Parker of the ballet tells me they also understand if some parents leave after The Ugly Duckling.

The music for The Ugly Ducking, specially commissioned in 2003 for the ballet’s premiere, was composed by Michael Moricz. It will be performed live by two pianists and a percussionist. Moricz was music director for “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” on PBS, and he dedicated the score for The Ugly Duckling to the memory of Fred Rogers.

The role of the “Ugly Duckling” was choreographed on Lara O’Brien, who was in her second year with the company in 2003 as a member of the corps de ballet. Currently Lara is a first soloist dancing many principal roles with Carolina Ballet. She will recreate her leading role for this production.

The ballet has scheduled a special family performance at 11 a.m. Feb. 26 which will only include The Ugly Duckling. The narrator, Curtis Cregan of the children's show Hi-5, will meet with children and sign autographs after the show.

Tickets to this family show are $20 to $30. Tickets for the full program range from $25 to $65. Student tickets, with ID, are $10. Performances are at the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

Click here for details and to buy tickets.

Parker tells me the ballet is gearing up for next season when the family series will include Cinderella at Thanksgiving and the Little Mermaid, which I suspect will both be very popular.

But if you have older kids who enjoy the ballet, Parker says you also shouldn't miss A Midsummer Night's Dream in May. Best for kids ages 8 and up.

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