Dancing Through Fairy Tales

Dancing Through Fairy Tales

Hi, kids! Today we will be telling parts of fairy Tales through dancing and music from the stories.

Fairy tales have been told for thousands of years and usually feature magic, enchantments, and mythical creatures. What are some of your favorite fairy tales? The Little Mermaid? Beauty and the Beast? Goldilocks and the Three Bears? There are so many to choose from! Just like you, some famous composers had a favorite fairy tale too!  Let’s listen to some of their favorites and create a dance to each one!

The Sleeping Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty is not only a Disney movie but also a ballet written by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Can you think of another ballet written by Tchaikovsky you may watch around Christmas time? The Nutcracker is also a very famous ballet written by Tchaikovsky!

The ballet version of The Sleeping Beauty follows the same plot as the Disney movie, where the evil witch Maleficent places a curse on Prince Aurora, and thanks to her three Fairy Godmothers, Aurora only falls into a deep sleep, which is broken by Prince Phillip. Let’s listen to the waltz from The Sleeping Beauty.

Take a moment to think about what kind of movements Princess Aurora would do if she were dancing this this song. Would they be slow or fast, flowing or bouncy? Listen to the song again if you need to, then create a dance using the types of movements you think Princess Aurora would do.

Swan Lake

Our next fairy tale is Swan Lake. This is also a ballet written by our friend Tchaikovsky and tells the story of Prince Siegfried, who falls in love with Princess Odette. Odette and her companions transform into swans under the spell cast by the evil sorcerer Baron von Rothbart. The only way to break the spell is with true love's kiss.

This song is in the third act of the ballet and is danced to by the Black Swan, the character pretending to be Odette. After listening, think about the energy of this song. Is it high energy or low energy? Would there be lots of jumps? Try to mimic your movements to what you think the Black Swan would do.

Hansel and Gretel

The last fairy tale for this activity is Hansel and Gretel. This fairy was turned into an opera by German composer Engelbert Humperdinck. Hansel and Gretel tells the story of two siblings, Hansel and his sister Gretel, who are sent into the woods by their father. After getting lost, they find a house made of gingerbread and are unable to resist the temptation of eating it. The witch, who lives in the house, captures them. Gretel manages to trick the witch in order to escape and releases all the other gingerbread children locked in the house.

This song is sung by Hansel and Gretel before they fall asleep in the woods. Does this song remind you of a lullaby? If Hansel and Gretel were to dance to this song, consider what type of movements they would do? This is a slow song, so would be movements be slow as well?


Now that we’ve explored three fairy tales together, see if you can find some fairy tales on your own to create dances to. Share your dances on social media and don’t forget to tag us @HouSymphony

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