Robyn Hendricks and Juliet Burnett in Coppelia. Photo Branco Gaica
Choosing a performance
The love of ballet comes from those first wonderful experiences in the world of theatre, make-believe, beauty and mystery, and we love it when young people come to The Australian Ballet's performances. Please remember, however, that some younger ballet fans can have difficulty concentrating for long periods.
We would generally advise that children be at least six years old to attend most of our productions. Productions that are more family oriented tend to be the major full-length works based on fairytales. The Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia and the traditional The Nutcracker could be attended by pre-school children as young as three or four years old. There are some aspects to these fairytale ballets, however, that may be considered 'scary' for children. Some of our productions are shorter in length but have mature themes and concepts that can be challenging or considered inappropriate for younger children.
Each child's perception is individual and we can only give broad recommendations about the suitability of a particular ballet. However, we request that you consider the comfort of other audience members when deciding whether a child is able to sit quietly and happily through a performance. Ballet synopses are available on our website in advance of the performance. The duration time of each performance is also posted on the website, which may assist parents in deciding whether the ballet is appropriate for their child. For more information about individual productions check out What's on.
For mainstage performances, all patrons, irrespective of age, are admitted to the performance provided that they hold an individual ticket – this includes babes-in-arms. We ask that you be considerate of the needs of the surrounding audience if you intend to bring a baby to the theatre.
For Introduction to the ballet, Once upon a time and People’s day, children aged under 2 years are admitted free of charge and must sit on the lap of the accompanying adult.
Preparing for the ballet
Children will enjoy the ballet experience a great deal if the ballet has been carefully selected by parents and if they're prepared in advance for their first visit to the exciting world of the theatre. This preparation includes being familiar with the 'story' of the ballet, hearing the music before they attend the performance, learning about the role of the conductor and the orchestra, knowing about intervals, and understanding theatre protocol in general.
At the performance
If a child is too talkative, becomes restless or fidgety and is disrupting the enjoyment of the performance for others, we ask that you take your child into the foyer area to settle and re-enter the theatre at interval. There are generally one or two interval breaks of approximately 20 minutes. Patrons are advised that some ballets have special effects such as dry ice and smoke machines, strobe lighting, and loud music and sounds.
For the safety and security of all patrons, prams and baby capsules of any description cannot be taken into the auditorium. The aisles, stairways and stairwells must be kept clear at all times.
Feel free to call our Customer Services team on 03 9669 2794 or 1300 369 741 when considering a particular ballet's suitability for children.