Team Ballet Papier in London
We dancers know that timing is everything. Fittingly, this month’s most exciting news is that, after over a year of communicating via email and on social media, talented Ballet Papier artist Berenice (María La Placa), her sparkling co-star daughter Ambar Gavilano and I managed to be in the same place at the same time for a gossipy get-together!
Our well-choreographed rendezvous came about as Ballet Papier moves forward in its quest to reach dancers on the world stage. Keen to connect with UK retailers and distributors — in addition to tapping into what is à la mode with balletomanes here in Britain — Berenice and Ambar made visiting London a priority for early 2015. Of course, they let me know of their plans to swap sunny Barcelona for a week in London to ensure that we would be able to make exploring the city an enjoyable pas de trois.
Eagerly anticipating our long-awaited meeting, I pirouetted into the capital for a Saturday packed full of dance discussions, inspiration and enthusiasm.
Beginning in Covent Garden, we lusted after leotards and dance apparel in the ballet shops on Drury Lane before jumping on the tube to Oxford Street. Here we did the obligatory tourist tour of Topshop’s accessories department.
Over lunch, we shared stories from ballet classes, learned more about each others’ creative pursuits and started plotting future Ballet Papier plans!
Throughout the day it was captivating to see Berenice finding inspiration in all the sights and sounds of the city. She is so complimentary about Ambar, me and the other dancers she draws but her own infatuation with dance and music, combined with her artistic vision, makes her a fascinating person to spend time with.
Unsurprisingly, Berenice has great observational skills and pointed out various dancers’ traits that Ambar and I displayed – including the way we were both standing while deliberating over our choice of sandwich! Later, during a sunny stroll around the beautiful walled gardens at Fenton House in Hampstead, she noticed the tiniest details in the leaves and newly-emerging buds.
Ambar and I admire similar dancers — including Tamara Rojo — and are ambitious, hard-working young women who are driven to do what we love and do it well. This month’s International Women’s Day was all about #makeithappen and we agreed that we are trying our very best to do so!
I am so pleased to have finally met Ambar and Berenice in person and cannot wait to see what is next for Ballet Papier and our wonderful community of ballerinas and dance fans. Do keep an eye on the Ballet Papier Blog to keep up to date with the brand’s news and to read informative posts all about dance.
“Let us read and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world” – Voltaire
On the subject of reading, World Book Day was also celebrated this month. Like most writers, I am an avid reader. And, being a bit of a ballet boffin, I do have quite a few dance books in my collection…
Georgina Butler is a journalist, a dance writer and a dance teacher who specialises in teaching classical ballet. She previews and reviews productions, writes features and interviews people from the world of dance.