NEWS: So, that was Christmas – December 2013


Lots of dance on television makes for a cracker of a Christmas


Christmas makes its presence felt as soon as the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing waltzes its way into the television schedule. When the sequin-covered participants take their first tentative steps onto the dance floor, I just know that the final quarter of the year will whizz by. Before we know it, the winning couple will be lifting the coveted glitterball trophy, and the nation will be frantically decking the halls.

Pantomime season means flocks of families visit the theatre for some festive cheer, while traditional productions of The Nutcracker (on the stage and on the big screen) delight balletomanes and newcomers alike.

But, once cosseted in our homes for the celebratory period (whether just for the big day itself, or for an extended break), it is more often than not the television that we rely on for entertainment. Dance fans were spoilt for choice with plenty of telly treats this Christmas. If this time of year is all about indulging in what you enjoy, I certainly fulfilled the brief when it came to setting time aside to view some gorgeous productions.


Alina Somova in the quintessential Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker (photo by Valentin Baranovsky, sourced from

Alina Somova in The Mariinsky Ballet’s 2011 production of The Nutcracker (photo by Valentin Baranovsky, sourced from

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REVIEW: The Perfect Gift – charming products from Ballet Papier will delight dance devotees of all ages, whatever the occasion


Ballet Papier: From one dancer to another…

Georgina Butler introduces ballet fans to exquisite e-boutique Ballet Papier


Ballet Papier is the brand ballet lovers have been waiting for.

Unique and beautiful ballet-themed products can be difficult to find — particularly if the intended recipient is not a child. Insufficient attention to detail can render an otherwise attractive image or ornament undesirable to ballet fans with a keen eye for technique and an unwavering demand for positions to be illustrated in the correct way.

To be a great dancer takes knowledge, dedication, passion and immeasurable talent. Great artists require the same traits. Fortunately, the Ballet Papier range by Berenice Bercelli incorporates artistic flair and careful consideration of dance context to ensure charming, distinctive pieces.


Ballet Papier. Swan Lake outlet package. Ballet-themed products from Barcelona.

Ballet Papier goodies: My Swan Lake Outlet Package (T-Shirt of my choosing with a surprise notebook and surprise greeting card)


Berenice Bercelli is a Barcelona-based decorative arts brand created by artist María La Placa (an Italian artist now living in Spain).

The trade name encompasses several collections, including Ballet Papier’s beautiful ballerinas, magical fairies (Friendly Fairy), divine angels (Angel Dorado) and much more.

Having discovered the Ballet Papier range, I was drawn to the intricately detailed characters, which take inspiration from the best-loved narrative ballets (including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and The Sleeping Beauty). Pieces also feature designs showing characters in dance class (complete with uplifting messages of encouragement) and The Dance Kingdom drawings capture iconic routines from the current series of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

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