Thursday, November 13, 2008

Prima Princessa

Have you heard about this wonderful DVD?  My daughter is only 1, so I am not yet running in the "princess craze" circles yet, but when I saw this 40 minuet movie, I immediately could appreciate the educational value, as well as the quality and thoughtfulness of the production.  

They combine a good use of repetition and variety to keep kids entertained, yet reinforce some choice ballet movements (jete', pirouette, etc.) for energetic ballet beginners.  

A good part of the movie is excerpts from the Paris Opera Ballet's performance of Swan Lake, with the fairy narrating the story of what is going on.  It's nice way to introduce professional ballet because the dancing is beautiful and mesmerizing, and they are learning the classical story that goes along with Swan Lake.

During the breaks between the 4 acts of Swan Lake, they interject some "ballet play time" where the little ballerinas watching the Swan Lake performance get up and dance to the music.  Mixed in with this, they use young-ish students of the School of American Ballet to model the ballet concepts, and mix in some animals and toys to reinforce the vocabulary and action.   

My 3 year old son watched it with me, and afterwards I asked him if he liked it and what his favorite part was.  He said that he did like it, but instead of identifying the prince as his favorite, as I expected, instead he said that he like watching the little girls (who have fun pirouetting and and so forth between the acts).  I thought that was interesting, since he didn't get up and dance with them, (he's not much of a dancer type) but I could certainly see that for most little girls, watching this movie would be a perfect "tutu time" to put on their tutus and dance along with the little girls and the music.

Another really cool thing about this movie is that it was created by two stay at home moms, Mary Kate Mellow and Stephanie Troeller, out of their passion to provide an educational and cultural experience for their own budding ballerinas.  What awesome motivation, and what a great achievement!  I love it when moms are amazing!

What's even more amazing is that they are doing a giveaway on their blog TutuZone that includes an incredible prize!  You get the Swan Lake DVD, a white swan princess dress up set, a cute stuffed swan (dancing partner?).  This giveaway ends December 5th, and all you need to do to win is go to their blog post at TutuZone and leave a comment that includes a way for them to contact you if you win. (It's so annoying when someone wins your giveaway, and you have no way to tell them!) It's also polite to say "thanks for the giveaway" and "you guys are awesome" type stuff in your comment too. *wink* But mainly don't forget to leave your e-mail address!  Okay, go comment! (Well, you can comment here too.  A nice, "thanks for the great tip, Thrifty" is always appreciated!)

There are a lot of people registered to win, so if you know a little girl that just HAS to have this video, you can click above to buy it from amazon.  Yeah, I would give you mine, but my niece has dibs until my daughter is big enough for it!