April Ballet of the Month: Peter and the Wolf

Peter and the Wolf is such a beloved story it’s inspired at least two major composers to render the story into song. In my class, we begin with the symphony Sergei Prokofiev composed to introduce children to the orchestra. I love the Little Long Playing Record Disney produced, I know I had one as a child. In the class, I use a recording Disney produced for the titular cartoon featuring narration by Boris Karloff. Here is the link to buy and the link to hear in entirety on YouTube. This was also a cartoon you might have seen in your childhood. It doesn’t appear in it’s entirety on youtube–so far as i can find–but there are so many foreign language cartoons of the story there, it’s remarkable! If you haven’t seen the Disney version, maybe you’ve seen this Mel-O-Toon from the 60s.

Traditionally, I refer people to the London’s Royal Ballet School’s wonderful production of the ballet, which you can see here. But it seems we have an embarrassment of riches on youtube for this ballet! This 2004 production by/for children is credited to Carlos Carvajal and features the Karloff narration. This homespun but snazzy production puts the orchestra on the stage! And this cartoony children’s production features wirework! Finally, if you’re looking for a counterpoint to London Royal Ballet School, this production doesn’t boast an origin I could see but I adore the spare and professional lighting.
In my classes, we finish with a puppet story set to the other famous Peter and the Wolf, Norway’s Peer Gynt, by Edvard Grieg. If your child notices the absence of that particular, you can find it here:  “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” And there’s a Mel-o-toon for that, too:-)

Thank you so much for letting me dance with your wonderful children!


Miss Sara

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