London Children's Ballet's anniversary revival

Published: 26 May 2019
Reporter: Vera Liber

This summer, all-children ballet company London Children’s Ballet is reviving its 2001 production of Ballet Shoes, based on the novel by Noel Streatfeild, at London’s Peacock Theatre 4–7 July, as part of its 25th anniversary season with a cast of 56 young dancers aged 9–16.

Ballet Shoes tells the story of the Fossil sisters, Pauline, Petrova and Posy, adopted in the 1930s by an eccentric explorer who delivers them into the care of his niece and a no-nonsense housekeeper then promptly disappears. When hard times come, the girls decide to seek their fortune by joining a stage school, but Petrova dreams only of tinkering with motor cars and flying in an aeroplane.

This year’s revival of Ballet Shoes will be choreographed by ex-LCB cast member Ruth Brill, now a First Artist of Birmingham Royal Ballet, who returns to LCB 18 years after she starred as Pauline in the 2001 production of Ballet Shoes choreographed by Cathy Marston.

She said, “I owe a lot to LCB. I developed so much as a dancer through my years dancing with them and it’s amazing to be able to come back as a choreographer 18 years later. It is thanks to them that I have become the artist I am today and it will be an honour to stage and rework Cathy Marston’s production, as it is so close to my heart.”

Dame Darcey Bussell, Patron of London Children’s Ballet, said, "to dance on a stage is the dream for so many young dance students. Unfortunately, few get this opportunity, which is one reason why London Children’s Ballet is so important. It gives children the chance to be part of a youth company, to be chosen for their talent regardless of shape, size or financial background."

Every year, more than 700 children audition to join London Children’s Ballet and 60 go on to receive 100 hours of free ballet training culminating in the chance to perform on a West End stage. Twice a year, 50 additional LCB touring company dancers perform in residential homes, hospices, day centres and special educational needs schools.