Putting on a show

P6 and P7 pupils from Aitkenhead Primary worked all week with Scottish Ballet's Amy Noble and Derek Barron to put on a production of The Nutcracker.
P6 and P7 pupils from Aitkenhead Primary worked all week with Scottish Ballet's Amy Noble and Derek Barron to put on a production of The Nutcracker.
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SCOTTISH Ballet visited Aitkenhead Primary in Tannochside for a week long residency.

Education officer Amy Noble and musician Derek Barron worked with pupils in P6 and P7 to enable them to put on a performance of Ashley Page’s The Nutcracker.

The occasion was sponsored by Shell and came after Scottish Ballet approached North Lanarkshire Council to identify a local primary school. It suggested Aitkenhead who had previously worked with North Lanarkshire dance development officer Natasha Guinnessy,

The pupils’ day was split between morning and afternoon sessions with the separate classes.

The school had done some preparation for the visit including familiarising both classes with ETA Hoffman’s story of The Nutcracker and the King of the Mice.

Amy started the week with a beginner’s ballet lesson, introducing some concepts of technique and ballet terminology. Throughout the week more complex combinations were added.

Derek worked with the movement they created to develop some ideas about how to use percussion to enhance their performance.

The final day involved the pupils sharing their new found skills in a performance in front of the rest of the school, parents and friends.

The youngsters incorporated masks, set, music and dance they had created, and performed their own adaptation of sections from The Nutcracker.

Headteacher Elaine Coyle said: “It was the first time we had done something like this and it was absolutely fantastic.”

Aitkenhead staff and pupils have been invited to attend a performance of Scottish Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow this December.