The other day, Grandpa J wasn't feeling up to going to the ballet at the National Arts Centre (NAC). So Grandma asked "who wants to go see the ballet tonight?" She was talking to me and Brendan, but Elizabeth was within earshot. "Yes please!" Elizabeth said eagerly and was rather crushed to find out that she wasn't invited...
She's been asking Mommy when she could go see the "bah-way" ever since, so we decided we'd try taking her to the winter themed NAC Kinder concert with the Ottawa School of Dance performing.
She was a little cranky in the morning and I nearly called the whole idea off but by the time Daddy dropped us off at the theater she was ready to be "a weelly quiet BIG dirl". She had to sit at the edge of her seat - carefully selected after due consideration - in order to prevent it from flipping closed, but she wanted her "own seat". She "read" her own program too.
The concert started shortly after we arrived and she was captivated. At the end of the first piece the previously empty seat in front of Elizabeth filled up with a large adult guy who seemed intent on blocking her view. So she reluctantly abandoned her "own" seat for a boost on Mom's lap. Of course the guy's daughter decided she needed to switch seats a couple of pieces later, which put him in front of me, so we played musical chairs too.
There was a large screen over the orchestra which they used to show close-ups of the dancers and various orchestra members. In between each piece the conductor engaged the audience, for instance asking if anyone had heard a horse whinny or clipclop during the piece. They had the audience clap on cue along with the percussion guy. The best part of the concert for me was realizing that the percussion guys are really funny!
I was just starting to think that taking small children (at least mine) was turning out to be a great idea when I heard a small voice saying: "Momma, I have to pee". I checked the program. Four pieces to go. We were seated right in the middle of the theatre (I didn't pick my seats!). "Do you need to go right right now?" asked the Mommy hopefully. "Or can you wait until the end of this piece?". Elizabeth decided to wait and wait and wait - interesting things kept happening on stage. But Mommy was rather distracted after that!
Then came the bear. In a retelling of an old Native American story (by animated video and violin), a small bear has a dream that there was a scary bear that was terrorizing a village. Cue pictures of scared Mommies and babies running from bear ripping top of teepees. So the brave warriors chased the bear away with their arrows. The bear ran away. The warriors followed. The warriors shot the bear. The bear grimaces and dies. Blood drops trickle out of the bear, fall out of the sky and turn the leaves red. This is why the leaves turn red in the fall. Beautiful music and the video was well done but I could have done without it in the kid concert, if you know what I mean. Overall Elizabeth appeared to enjoy herself, though she was rather preoccupied by the "scary bear" piece.
At the end of the concert I picked Elizabeth up and ran, pushing people out of the way with the magic words "Excuse me, small child has to pee!".