Project Saute chatted with Little Red Riding Hood’s Choreographer Mariana Rodrigues about the new Northern Ballet production specially for kids.

  • How does the “Little Red Riding Hood” came to your mind to make you think it’ll be great to turn the story into a children’s ballet ?

Northern Ballet had done some research on potential titles for future ballet’s for children and Little Red Riding Hood was amongst them. Little Red sparked my imagination the most! I decided to take inspiration from the original story but somehow find a way of making it more relevant for the children of today.

  • Why do you think it’s important to create ballet for children?

I think it’s important to create ballet for children so that from a young age they develop interest and passion towards the art form. We make it accessible and engaging for them so that they can really understand and immerse themselves in what is going on. Hopefully by experiencing a show like this they will grow up to appreciate and enjoy theatre and ballet.

  • What made you interested in choreography particularly what made you want to create a children’s ballet?

From a very young age I remember really enjoying making up steps and envisioning little performances. My very first dance teacher was an amazing woman and she saw creative potential in me. She was from a contemporary background. As a young child I performed and collaborated with her in some of the pieces she choreographed for adults – it was amazing. She asked me lots of important questions and made me think for myself. When I was older I also had two amazing choreography teachers at the royal ballet school, who encouraged me and inspired me to create.

  • You are still dancing yourself, what was it like to be on the other side of the room watching/giving corrections etc?

I tried to create more of a collaborative atmosphere rather than me telling them what to do and how to do it. I still gave them steps and corrections but I tried to do it in a way that felt like we were working together. I am very passionate about process and how it affects your creativity. I think the moments you experience in the studio and the relationships that you build are super important. If you create a safe space that allows people to express the best version of themselves without being self conscious, that’s when creativity flourishes.

  • Have you dance any children’s ballet before?

Yes! I have done all of them apart from one I think!

  • Explain the process of creating a children’s ballet, do you write a senario then find music or vice versa?

You write the scenario first and then once that is clear, you start gathering a team of creatives. Having music composed specifically for the ballet is a real treat as well as a set that is designed to serve the story! It is a truly wonderful process piecing it all together. And of course the costumes, and lighting and all the props and technical work that goes into making the show. So it’s not just about creating steps, there is a lot more to it!

  • Do you know which dancers you’ll be using from the beginning?

I got a list of people I could use and then it was up to me to chose which character suited them best.

  • Tell me more about your “All Female Team” for LRRH?

They are all amazing individuals and we had a blast collaborating in this project.

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Chinese Version :


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