Jõulusoovide puu

The Christmas wish tree is made up of the dreams and wishes of children in shelters and substitute homes, sent to Santa Clause. To make sure that these do not just remain dreams, pick a gift from the Christmas tree and make a donation to the best of your ability.


Age Oks encouraged small girls and boys to take up dancing

On Sunday, 400 children from shelters and substitute homes across Estonia came to Tallinn to enjoy the Estonia Theatre’s family ballet Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The children also had the opportunity to take ballet lessons, and the performance was followed by a backstage tour of the theatre. Children came from all across Estonia: from Tartu, Tallinn, Pärnu, Viljandi County, Ida-Viru County, Põlva County, Harju County, etc.

The teachers were amazed that the children, including the boys, who had never before been to a ballet, were really ecstatic – the captivating and fantastic story, the varied sets, the pyrotechnical tricks and, most importantly, the triumph of good over evil. Besides Snow White, the children naturally also liked the dwarfs, despite the fact that the Doc character was considered to be somewhat mean. They very much liked how the queen turned into the witch and how Sneezy sneezed so loud that the house of the dwarfs as well as the entire theatre building echoed. Of note was also the ability of one of the dwarfs to dance a modern street dance. The children also found similarities between themselves and the play in Grumpy’s grumpiness, but it was Happy’s positive attitude and cheerfulness that they took home with them. After the performance, a 15 year old girl who is usually very silent said that it was as if the music enlivened her, “The play made me feel alive!”

Conductor Risto Joost was so committed to his work that four year old Klara thought him to be surly. So the girl slyly asked during the performance whether conducting an orchestra is really such a serious job. But each time the dwarfs came on stage to the sound of their well-known theme, the children in the hall started tirelessly clapping along. Even the conductor instantly became cheery. This made Klara content, “This is how you should do your job, with joy, right!”

Before and after the performance, the children took an eventful backstage tour of the theatre building. Estonia teemed with the joy of the children, as they peeked onto the stage and orchestra room, into the make-up room, the dressing rooms of the actors, and the painting and decorations hall. They discussed with amazement how it is possible to make such beautiful costumes in such cramped rooms.

The children were also able take part in a ballet lesson in the rehearsal hall, where they were able to try on ballet shoes and stretch their legs like ballet dancers. The dancers also told the children stories of the most colourful events from the history of ballet. Among others, Age Oks encouraged the children during the ballet lesson: “I started dancing ballet because I just loved dancing, and the love for this dance is what keeps me at it even after all these years.”

As a result of the performance, many of the girls have been practicing ballet at home for several evenings now, even using, among other things, miscellaneous children’s songs as background music. Sometimes the girls are so captivated by the dance steps learned at the lesson that they even come to supper gracefully on tiptoes, albeit without orchestral support.

The teachers who accompanied the children from Järva County said that it was like they came straight from a book to see the ballet, because they were accompanied by seven boys in dress shirts and ties, with one of the teachers representing Snow White and the other the evil stepmother. Though the latter was said more in jest.

SEB Heategevusfond believes it is important that the children in institutional care have the chance to experience the magic of different professions and professional artists. This way they can find motivation for their own hobbies and get encouragement to develop their talents in order to find their own way when they grow up. Visiting the Estonia Theatre, meeting the ballet dancers and other theatre personnel surely gave the children the self-confidence that they needed to commit to their hobbies. Whether it is dancing, singing or taking part in sports.

Triin Lumi

Participate Thank you, if you have already supported our charity programme or if you are going to do it in the future! Sign a standing payment order contract in SEB Internet Bank for 3 euros a month or support with a single donation.