Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review: Prima Princessa Presents the Nutracker

You might remember how Suzi and I enjoyed Prima Princessa Presents Swan Lake. We were so happy to be asked to review their new DVD, Prima Princessa Presents the Nutcracker! They sent us a DVD and it arrived just in time to comfort Suzi on her sad first day of dance class.

If you are not familiar with Prima Princessa, their programs feature shortened versions of ballets performed by famous ballet companies. Between segments of the ballet, dance steps are demonstrated by ballet students and then viewers are encouraged to try the steps and dance along with the children on the DVD. The programs are arranged specifically to hold the attention of young children. They can enjoy watching a ballet and learning about dance whether or not they can attend a live performance or participate in a dance class.

First of all, I love Christmas and I love The Nutcracker. Unfortunately, where we live opportunities do not abound for seeing this ballet live, and with my two little ones, it's hard to get to any cultural event. I am happy to share this with Suzi (and Ivey) at home until we finally do get to take them to see more things. This version of the Nutracker, shortened and with breaks for dancing here and there, is fun for them and holds their attention. Suzi tries out the suggested dance steps, and a little while ago as they watched together, I noticed 13-month-old Ivey twirling in circles as well! They are cute to watch.

Not only is this a fun outlet for a kid's energy and a good alternative to turning on a movie which will keep them seated on the couch, it also reinforces some of the same dance steps Suzi is learning in her dance class. Glissade, in particular, is something not all the girls immediately grasp in class, and now Suzi has extra motivation to practice it at home. I was pleased at how the dance steps featured on this DVD are different from the ones in Prima Princessa Presents Swan Lake. It's a totally new program.

Whether or not you have the first DVD, I'd definitely recommend adding this one to your collection. It can be purchased here on Amazon, and the price cannot be beat. It's lovely to watch for both children and adults, and we'll probably be hitting the play button year-round.