My First Sleeping Beauty

     27 Jan 12

English National Ballet present:

My First Sleeping Beauty

Choreographed and designed by Matthew Hart

UK National Tour: 3rd April to 3rd June 2012

A new ballet for children, by English National Ballet and English National Ballet School


Spring 2012 sees the unveiling of My First… a series of ballets bringing children their first taste of the magical world of ballet.  This series follows the phenomenal success of the Angelina Ballerina ballets, which reached audiences of over 300,000 across the UK and the world between 2007 and 2009. ENB2 is a new touring company featuring graduating dancers of outstanding potential from English National Ballet School in performances produced by English National Ballet, continuing the initiative to bring ballet to young audiences.

The first ballet to be adapted in this way will be My First Sleeping Beauty. The show will be performed by the third year students from English National Ballet School in their first professional tour, so it will be a “first” for both audiences and performers.

My First Sleeping Beauty will give English National Ballet School students the opportunity to gain real work experience and dance principal roles, raising their profile and visibility as they prepare to enter the profession. The performances will enable a wider range of people and young children to engage with the school and ballet.

Anu Giri Director of English National Ballet School said “This is a huge opportunity for our students. You can teach them so much in the studio but when you put them in front of an audience that is when they really start their journey to becoming a performer.”

Created with young attention spans in mind, My First Sleeping Beauty will be choreographed and designed by dancer and choreographer Matthew Hart.  Matthew said “I am so thrilled to be choreographing this new production for English National Ballet and English National Ballet School, I want to create a really accessible way for children to enjoy this classic fairy tale, retaining the drama of the original ballet, but adding a real sense of fun and magic, giving youngsters their first taste of the world of ballet.”

The dancers will wear the sumptuous Georgiadis costumes from the Company’s full production of The Sleeping Beauty, with elements of the original sets also used, giving audiences the feel of a full scale classic ballet. However the story and choreography will be adapted, making it more approachable, fun and suitable for young audiences.

English National Ballet launched a worldwide competition for young artists to create the poster for My First… via creative community, with the brief to create a piece of artwork that will appear on all the Marketing collateral, including the poster. Over 300 people from all over the world entered the competition with five artists short listed. The winner, chosen by English National Ballet, with the help of celebrated caricaturist and illustrator Gerald Scarfe, received £2,000 in prize money.

“I was impressed at the standard of the entries to the My First Sleeping Beauty poster competition”, said Gerald Scarfe. “Some of the submissions showed real quality in draughtsmanship and individual style. It was a real challenge picking a favourite as I felt many of the entries had strong elements, and the judges were acutely aware that the winner would need to work as an advertising poster and appeal to children from the age of 3.”

Mark Ruffle is the winner of the My First… competition; his artwork can be viewed at and on the tour leaflets and posters

Matthew Hart added, “We chose Mark Ruffle’s design as it conveyed the sense of mischief and fun that I’m planning for the ballet. I absolutely love the colour and the humour of the design.” Mark Ruffle said, “I’m absolutely delighted to be the winner of this competition. My 10-year-old daughter inspired me to enter as she is an aspiring ballerina and she will be thrilled! We can’t wait to see the posters – and the show!”

Congratulations also to our three runners up, Katarina Prenda from Macedonia, Park Jiae from South Korea and Javier Joaquin from Argentina.