FEATURE: London Children’s Ballet, June 2022

 

London Children’s Ballet is on a mission to inspire the pursuit of excellence and change lives through dance. As both a performance company and a registered charity, it produces and stages a new ballet in London’s West End each year and runs outreach work in primary schools and the wider community. Essentially, London Children’s Ballet (LCB) encourages everyone – participants, creatives and audience members – to be their best selves by enabling them to experience the life-enhancing benefits of dance.

When I was invited to watch LCB’s 2022 ballet, Anne of Green Gables, I was keen not only because it was a wonderful opportunity to support gifted children who love to dance, but also because it was a new reason to visit the Peacock Theatre. Sadler’s Wells’ West End home is a 1,000-seat theatre that is part of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) campus. So, as well as presenting must-see shows and dance performances, it hosts lectures, conferences and ceremonies for the university.

Gliding across that stage during my graduation from LSE was about celebrating what had been achieved and what was still to come. As a child, I was happiest reading, writing and dancing. As an adult, I am fortunate to spend my professional life reading, writing and dancing. Having graduated from LSE and the Royal Academy of Dance, and qualified as a journalist, editor and ballet teacher, I know a thing or two about striving to fulfil your potential and follow your passions! How uplifting to return to this venue to be entertained by the LCB company – motivated children who are exploring their talent, dancing around their school commitments and learning the reward of persistence and hard work.

 

“Oh it’s delightful to have ambitions. I’m so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be an end to them – that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.”

Anne Shirley, from Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery

 

London Children's Ballet dancers on stage in Anne of Green Gables. A girl, aged about eleven, is standing centre stage, in front of a school chalkboard, on a stool, holding a rolled up piece of paper above her head in triumph. She has red hair in braids and is wearing a full gingham dress and white apron. She is surrounded by girls, who are also wearing dresses, and boys, who are wearing breeches and braces. These children are all cheering and clapping for her.

 

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FEATURE: Seven facts about The 7 Fingers, September 2021

 

Creative circus company The 7 Fingers will thrill audiences in Milton Keynes with performances of Passagers on 24 and 25 September.

The Canadian collective, which merges acrobatics and physical skills with dance, multimedia, music and storytelling, is the first company to be presented by Dance Consortium since before the pandemic.

Here are seven things you might not know about The 7 Fingers.

 

The 7 Fingers performs Passagers. A standing circus artist leans into a deep backbend as a second circus artist soars above to tumble over her.

 

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FEATURE: Happy International Dance Day, 29 April 2020

 

Today is International Dance Day 2020, an occasion for people all over the world to express their appreciation for dance. Dancing at home is proving to be an essential way for many of us to keep our spirits up during the current coronavirus lockdown so if ever there was a time to advocate being swept up in dance fever, this is it.

The global dance community unites on 29 April each year to spread the message that dance matters. The aim is to urge governments, institutions and individuals who have not yet recognised the value of dance to do so.

Celebrations take place on 29 April because this date commemorates the birthday of French dancer and ballet master Jean-Georges Noverre (1727–1810). He is famous for liberating ballet from the formality of the dancing in royal courts and developing it into the elegant, expressive and emotive spectacle we know and love today. This made him a dance innovator. In fact, his achievements marked the beginning of efforts to advocate for dance to be acknowledged as a significant art form.

International Dance Day honours all styles of dancing and should be promoted to inspire everyone to get involved in dance. Involvement might mean participating in activities, watching performances, discovering new things about dance, or simply taking a few minutes out of a busy day to enjoy moving your body to music.

For dance devotees, today is an opportunity to engage with others, reflect on our personal experiences of dancing and share our enthusiasm with the world!

 

International Dance Day 2020. Georgina Butler writing while sitting in the splits.

 

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FEATURE: Happy International Dance Day, 29 April 2019

 

The theme for International Dance Day 2019 is “Dance and Spirituality”.

When I am dancing, I am meditating. I am living in the moment: body, mind and soul uniting to make me “me”.

I have always used dance classes as an opportunity to escape day-to-day concerns and realign myself. My fondness for being productive means that I am inclined to treat myself like a machine, diligently getting things done – but no one can be industrious all the time. Dancing is the equivalent of pressing pause, switching myself off and rebooting in safe mode!

 

Georgina Butler. International Dance Day 2019. Dance and Spirituality. Georgina Butler wearing a pink leotard and turquoise skirt, dancing en pointe in front a Peace Pagoda.

 

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FEATURE: Happy International Dance Day, 29 April 2018

 

Today is International Dance Day 2018, a day to celebrate the power and pleasure of dancing.

For as long as I can remember, dancing has been my escape, my entertainment and my education. I was fortunate to be taken to ballet classes as a toddler and was always the child that didn’t want to go home after the final curtsy. Ballet, tap, modern, jazz, contemporary. I lived for the next dancing opportunity while I was growing up and probably felt most alive when I was in class or on stage.

I still feel more at home in a dance studio than anywhere else. Whether I am taking class, practising by myself, or teaching, everything else is forgotten once I am at the barre or flying around the space. In fact, teaching helps me delight in dancing even more as it is all about sharing ideas, experiences and enjoyment with others in the hope that they will love to dance too!

 

 

“… we must always remember to dance a little every day.”

Ohad Naharin, Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company discussing International Dance Day 2018

 

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