Georgina Butler photographed outside in a tranquil garden, during a classical ballet photo shoot. She is sideways on to the viewer, in a kneeling swan pose, with an arched back and her gaze directed up to the sky.

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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NEWS: Be amazed by The 7 Fingers – Milton Keynes Theatre, September 2021

 

Trailblazing arts collective The 7 Fingers will showcase its signature blend of circus and dance at Milton Keynes Theatre this week.

Dance Consortium, which presents the best international contemporary dance to audiences across the UK and Ireland, is proudly welcoming its first touring company since the pandemic began.

The 7 Fingers is based in Canada, the home of the modern circus, and was established by seven founding members in 2002. After performing with some of the world’s most celebrated circus companies, including Cirque du Soleil, they joined forces to redefine the art form.

These multitalented mavericks looked beyond the spectacle of circus to focus on its thrilling essence. They fused the astonishing acrobatics and physical skills with dance, drama, multimedia and music. Unsurprisingly, their inventive approach has won worldwide acclaim.

 

The 7 Fingers performs Passagers. A male circus artist demonstrates his strength and flexibility as he strikes a pose horizontally, mid-backflip, with both hands holding onto a vertical pole.

 

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NEWS: World Ballet Day 2020, 29 October 2020

 

Happy World Ballet Day 2020!

 

World Ballet Day 2020 is here to remind us to make the most of any opportunity to celebrate.

This is such a strange year, but “ballet” remains my default setting.

Indulging in the ritual of barre. Sharing knowledge and enjoyment by teaching. Being immersed in the storytelling and emotion of an online performance. No doubt about it: for me, ballet is providing the normality, connection and escapism that 2020 is sorely lacking.

World Ballet Day 2020. Illustration of ballet teacher Georgina Butler.

 

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NEWS: Social Disdancing – The COVID-19 Pandemic, Spring 2020

 

Social Disdancing’ is just one of the many unusual expressions that have been added to our everyday vocabulary in recent weeks. Since efforts were intensified to curb the global spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), we have become familiar with countries being on lockdown, adhering to social distancing, and complying with requests to self-isolate or quarantine. The reality of a pandemic and the critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE) is receiving unparalleled attention during the unprecedented outbreak.

This is new terminology for an unnerving new world.

Life under lockdown is predominantly characterised by the suspension of our normal routines, enforced by government guidance to “stay at home and away from others” (also known as social or physical distancing). It is a time of immense uncertainty for everybody and the repercussions on physical health, mental health, incomes, education, careers – indeed, the socio-economic status of entire countries – are undeniable.

Under normal circumstances, dance is part of who I am. I teach ballet students. I write about dance performances. I take class, thriving in a studio with like-minded individuals and time to dedicate to myself.

Whenever any aspect of my life feels uncertain, dance becomes increasingly important to me.

Under the current abnormal circumstances, schools, studios, gyms, theatres and countless other venues and businesses are closed indefinitely. But dance is still part of who I am. And times are categorically uncertain. So, I’m dancing through this crisis. At home. And I’m not alone because the wonderful world of dance has earnestly embraced social disdancing.

 

Social Disdancing. Illustration of Georgina Butler doing ballet at home by illustrator Gaia Leandri.

 

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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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