As we bask in the lingering magic of Christmas and look to the year ahead, may all your days be sparkly and bright!
‘Tis the season once again! Christmas has been and gone and New Year’s Eve celebrations are taking centre stage at the moment as we all prepare to welcome in 2016.
Last year, Ballet Papier artist Berenice produced a fabulously festive gift for fans of her work – an enchanting short movie of The Nutcracker, starring a twinkle-toed troupe of paper ballerinas inspired by real balletomanes (including yours truly!) from all around the world. For Christmas 2015, she created a limited edition range of ceramic mugs and miniature notebooks featuring scenes from the film. I am honoured to be included in the selected artwork, depicted as the elegant Dewdrop Fairy. Happily, I am now the proud owner of one of “my” mugs, and the matching notebook.
As much as Christmas provides an excuse to indulge in special presents, perhaps the greatest gift it gives us is the reminder to reflect upon the past twelve months. Now is the time to be grateful for all of the good things we have experienced, achieved and received; while also looking forward to dancing into the future.
In The Nutcracker Clara’s dream takes her on an amazing journey during which she discovers her own capacity for bravery, compassion and adventure. She ultimately realises that magic is everywhere you look. We could regard Clara’s Yuletide voyage (from her mysteriously transformed living room; through a whirlwind of a snowstorm; into the delectably decadent Land of Sweets and back home again) as being akin to the journey that we are all on. After all, everyone will have battles to conquer, encounter periods of uncertainty and delight in moments of joyful excitement at various points within their lifetime. As a visitor exploring an intriguing realm where anything seems possible, Clara stays true to herself and embraces every element of her fairytale fantasy. She acquires insight into her own character while making memories of experiences that are beyond imaginable.
With this in mind, I am taking to heart the optimistic notion that if you believe in yourself, and appreciate the little things that make life beautiful, you will be open to the possibility of discovering magic every day.
Working hard is part of who I am. I have a strong work ethic and I respect this determined streak in others – particularly dancers, artists and other dedicated souls who ensure that their passions guide them in their endeavours. Still, it is too easy to become overwhelmed by what we “ought” to do and to forget that finding happiness is only possible if we allow ourselves to have – and follow – our own dreams. We must praise ourselves for each step we take towards realising our full potential.
In short: dream big and work hard to make your own magic, but give yourself permission to shine brightly too!
So, as 2015 ends and we enter a brand new year, I’m resolving not to let anyone or anything dull my sparkle – and you should too. Berenice has drawn me soaring through the air in a magnificent grand jeté leap as the Dewdrop Fairy. While I may not always have the unfaltering confidence in myself that I would like to have, I am certainly going to be waltzing into January with the intention to spread my wings and fly. Throughout 2015, I have extended my reach as a dance writer and furthered my academic qualifications in dance.
Hopefully, 2016 will be full of more glittering writing opportunities than ever before and prove to be my time to take more chances and dance more dances.
I’ll keep writing. I hope you’ll keep reading!
Here is the Ballet Papier Company performing The Nutcracker. Enjoy!
Georgina Butler is an editor, a dance writer and a ballet teacher.