FEATURE: ‘Dance is the Word’ – English National Ballet, 10 May 2014

 

Dance is the word.

Words are wonderful. Put them together in a certain way and the end result can have the power to express all manner of emotions. The careful ordering of words is much like the combinations of steps in dance. A witty wordsmith can elicit a response through the mastery of language, just as a clever choreographer merges movements in a unique and meaningful way.

Dancing and writing are what I do. Writing about dance allows me to share my insights and enjoyment and, as I have become more established as a writer, I have started to forge links with companies and make contacts within the industry.*

English National Ballet perform extensively, both on tour and in London. I’ve had the opportunity to review productions (including The Sleeping Beauty, the world premiere of Le Corsaire and Christmas favourite, Nutcracker) and interview English National Ballet dancers (such as Tamara Rojo and Daria Klimentová).

A press invite to English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer (an annual competition held to recognise and nurture young talent within the Company, scheduled to take place at Lyceum Theatre, London, on Monday 19th May) arrived in my inbox the other day. This was swiftly followed by an offer to attend English National Ballet’s series of Dance is the Word events for dance writers. A couple of confirmation emails later and Saturday (10th May) saw me pirouetting into the capital for the first writers’ session. Selected dance writers, journalists and bloggers were invited to Westminster Reference Library by English National Ballet to discuss our experiences of writing about dance, consider best practice and share ideas.

World-renowned dance journalist Donald Hutera led the discussion.

*

Dance journalist Donald Hutera at English National Ballet's Dance is the Word with writer Georgina Butler.

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FEATURE: Happy International Dance Day, 29 April 2014

 

Happy International Dance Day 2014. Dance is an overwhelmingly positive force in my life and today the art form will be celebrated all over the world (and shared with anyone and everyone!).

 

Happy International Dance Day 2014.

 

 

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FEATURE: ‘Dirty Dancing’ Press Launch – Milton Keynes, February 2014

 

Heart-pounding music, passionate romance and intimate choreography make Dirty Dancing a timeless movie.

The classic story is returning to the stage later this year and Milton Keynes Theatre will welcome the cast when the touring production gives fans the “time of their” life in October.

I was treated to a sneak preview of what is to come at the Dirty Dancing press launch.

 

Dirty Dancing press launch, February 2014. Georgina Butler recreates the Dirty Dancing "sandwich" pose with James Bennett and Lisa Welham.

 

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FEATURE: Cloud Dance Festival: ‘Showtime’ – Bernie Grant Arts Centre, London – Milton Keynes angle

 

Georgina Butler was selected as an emerging dance writer for Cloud Dance Festival: Showtime in London.

Here, she reviews choreographer Jo Meredith’s newest work, Chimera.

 

Having carved out a niche role reviewing the dance productions at Milton Keynes Theatre, a writing opportunity at choreographic showcase, Cloud Dance Festival: Showtime, was too good to miss.

I have been a dancer and a writer for as long as I can remember. Ballet classes are a necessity in my week (not forgetting jazz, contemporary – any excuse to have a bop) and writing has always been my ‘thing’ – from excelling at essays to reporting for Milton Keynes’ favourite newspaper.

Hopefully, regular readers enjoy my reviews but I am always keen to improve and broaden my understanding of both dance and writing. Imagine this journalist’s excitement, then, to be selected as an emerging dance writer for Cloud Dance Festival: Showtime, held in London over three days (Friday 15 to Sunday 17 November). This thrice-yearly gathering allows ground-breaking choreographers to share their work. As part of this latest festival, Cloud Dance held professional development workshops in dance writing, dance photography and dance filming, led by industry experts.

So, on Friday, I joined four fellow wordsmiths with a keen interest and background in dance at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in North London for a four-hour writing workshop.

 

Two dancers in the studio with choreographer Jo Meredith, rehearsing her new work, Chimera. Part of Cloud Dance Festival: Showtime.

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FEATURE: Writing about Contemporary Dance at Cloud Dance Festival: ‘Showtime’ – Bernie Grant Arts Centre, London, November 2013

 

Cloud Dance Festival #writingdancingwriting #dancingwritingdancing

 

As an enthusiastic writer, journalist and dance reviewer, I am always seeking out opportunities to write about dance, theatre and the arts, participate in dance classes and learn more about my favourite things (unsurprisingly, dancing and writing!). So, upon discovering Cloud Dance Festival and seeing that organisers were offering selected dance writers the chance to attend a professional development workshop, I applied.

Cloud Dance Festival is a thrice-yearly platform showcasing the best in new and emerging contemporary dance. It was founded in 2007 by Chantal Guevara, a freelance dance producer, manager and photographer. She is passionate about helping artists to raise their profile and build the connections they need to further their careers.

For the first time, this month’s event – Cloud Dance Festival: Showtime (15–17 November 2013) – included the opportunity for promising dance writers, photographers and videographers to attend masterclasses led by industry experts. I was thrilled to be invited to participate in a half-day workshop on dance criticism before watching the mixed-bill evening performance.

 

"Dance with the pen": #writingdancingwriting #dancingwritingdancing

“Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education. Dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?” Nietzsche.

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