Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lyagushki: Singing & Dancing Frogs

Monday was Natalia's school play, The Frog Princess (Царина Лягушка). Her school takes its theatrical productions seriously. They prepare for months in advance, putting on shows you'd expect from teenagers. The director is also the school's dance instructor -- oh, she also happens to dance on televion and in film, doing the choreography for a show like "Sesame Street" on the side...!

When they started to prepare for the play, we didn't know if we'd be here for it; they never know until mid-December if the theater they use will be available before or after the New Year. Since we might have been in the USA for the show, Natalia didn't have any lines -- and she wasn't too happy about it..  

She sure did love their frog dance, though! So much so that when given the choice between keeping her dancing role or instead having a small speaking part (once we knew the play would be in January), she chose to stick with dancing.

The frogs were all soooo cute! (Considering what we were charged for her custom-made costume designed by the director, good!) Their bodysuits and puffy tunics were made from fancy, stretchy fabrics and decorated with sparkly gems to catch the light. 

Here's just the musical number; Natalia's in the center of the back row:

I'm including more pictures from the production to show how pretty it all was... Some of you readers will recognize old friends from when you lived here! 

This year teachers and two parents were also part of the show. Here's Natalia's beloved preschool teacher with some of the youngest children, the bear cubs...

This little boy is our neighbor and he's so cute. I love how happy he was to be in his first big play!

Here's Baba Yaga with her three-headed monster. That costume was COOL.

The little girl who played the princess was superb; she flawelessly delivered her many lines throughout the hour-long play. We could hear all of the songs very clearly this year, too; the children recorded them in a recording studio beforehand and then sang along during the show. What a neat experience for them!

The prince and princess were rather touching for six- and seven-year-olds!

After the play was over, they showed a short movie about how they prepared for it. The children had a blast dancing on the stage and watching themselves on the large screen!


And flowers. 

It's too bad that Chris and Katya were too sick to attend; Natalia was very pleased with the bouquet they sent for her, however. There was even a little glass frog hidden among the flowers!


Tina in CT said...

I'm glad that I had my preview of her number when you were here. Just adorable and the costumes for everyone were wonderful. Yes, they were quite costly. Too bad that C & K were too sick to attend. Wish I could have gone.

Carey and Norman said...

Love that your girls are able to do so much while in Moscow. I think the Dancing Frogs looked so cute and I too prefer dancing over speaking/singing any day. Too sweet!

Rachael said...

Their costumes are incredible! (and so darling too.)

What a great show, I imagine it was.

Bravo, Natalia!!!

P.S. We got a nice package in the mail from you today. Katya especially was thrilled and she's recorded a little thank-you video for you that I will post later tonight.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful show, and it looks so professional! The kids must of rehearsed it over and over again.
I wish I could see it!
Congratulation to the new theater star!

Jojo, Julz, Jules said...

So cute...
I too thought the costumes were quite fancy!!

The Expatresse said...

Goodness. High production quality, indeed. Kudos all around.

Do you get to keep the frog costume at least? It's great.

Annie said...

AMAZING....will look at the video clip later but right now am blown away by the photos. The expectations and RESULTS that they get in children's theatre and performance in Russia are right up my alley! Here in the USA they so often allow children to perform something that should not be performed. And I DON'T LIKE IT! I am often heard to huff and puff about the "very idea" of "performing" something that has not been rehearsed sufficiently! Disrespect to your audience! But it is the wrong-headed part of the self-esteem craze, I think. Children led to beleive that just "being there" is adorable enough - why work?

I have a little DVD of children at #2 orphanage in Ivanovo performing at Yolka - and it far surpasses anything I've seen in public schools here. We underestimate children.

Annie said...

PS I DO know how to spell "believe".

Francie said...

I was so impressed! I just watched the video and those kids are really good dancers! And they had such cute adorable little voices!!! Your daughter looks so sweet!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the video. It was great timing. Лягушка was a new word that my daughter learned in Russian school last week.