NEWS: World Ballet Day 2023, 1 November 2023

 

Happy World Ballet Day 2023!

 

Today is World Ballet Day 2023 so it is time to enjoy watching a full day of dance, live-streamed for free from six continents.

The world’s most exciting online ballet event is back for its tenth year! Let’s devote twenty-four hours to being grateful for the art form we love and the fact that leading ballet companies have been providing us with behind-the-scenes access to companies around the globe for a whole decade.

Organised by The Australian Ballet, The Royal Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, World Ballet Day 2023 promises to be the biggest celebration yet. The 10-year anniversary programme will give audiences the opportunity to see classes, rehearsals and exclusive footage from more than 60 companies.

 

World Ballet Day 2023. Royal Ballet artist Sumina Sasaki at the barre in ballet class. She is standing on her right leg, with her left leg extended behind in arabesque.

 

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FEATURE: Discovering dance by learning beyond the studio, August 2023

 

Discovering dance ought to be an enlightening experience for people of all ages because the learning process never really ends. There are always new ways to think about the basics of movement, more advanced skills and qualities to develop, and emerging choreographic approaches to appreciate.

A comprehensive dance education requires more than a narrow focus on perfecting technique. Indeed, Martha Graham declared that: “great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” To have passion suggests possessing a depth of understanding, interpretation and reification that can only be realised by being curious, asking questions and reflecting on what you learn.

Dancers spend countless hours practising in the studio, but it is important to remember that dance as an art form does not exist in a vacuum. Everyone in the dance community — students, teachers and audiences — ought to challenge themselves to really experience the multifaceted nature of dance by seizing opportunities to engage with it in different ways.

 

This might involve:

  • delving into terpsichorean* history
  • examining terminology
  • getting acquainted with anatomy
  • investigating dancers, choreographers, musicians and works of note
  • pursuing personal research interests.

 

Quite simply, using your time outside of the studio to further your subject knowledge may be the best thing you can do to nurture your love of dance.

I have created a range of dance resources, which I hope will prove to be useful for learning and teaching purposes. The rest of this feature will look more closely at the benefits of lifelong learning for dance enthusiasts.

 

'Dance Teacher' illustration for Georgina Butler by Ballet Papier artist Berenice. An illustration of Georgina dressed in a black leotard and purple ballet skirt, with a graduate's mortarboard hat on her head. She is holding a notebook in her left hand. In her right hand she is holding an old-fashioned bamboo cane (historically used by ballet teachers to demonstrate verticality and correct placement to students).

 

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REVIEW: London Children’s Ballet’s ‘Snow White’ – Peacock Theatre, April 2023

 

London Children’s Ballet’s Snow White gives talented young dancers an opportunity to shine and provides enchanting entertainment that the whole family can enjoy.

What better way to round off the Easter holidays than to join a 50-strong cast of girls and boys (aged 9 to 16) at London’s Peacock Theatre for a fresh interpretation of a much-loved fairy tale? Performers and audience members alike are delighting in this treat of a production, which incorporates joyous dancing, original music played live by an orchestra, stunning sets and colourful costumes.

Yes, the show is performed by children, with families in mind. But it really is a West End worthy offering. These dancers are sweetly professional to the core. Furthermore, some of the most accomplished and ambitious creatives in the land have teamed up to showcase the youngsters’ skills and enthuse the next generation of dance lovers.

 

Scarlett Monahan as Snow White, Taylor Ticehurst as the King and Harriet Mears as the Queen in London Children's Ballet's Snow White.

 

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NEWS: World Ballet Day 2022, 2 November 2022

 

Happy World Ballet Day 2022!

 

Today is World Ballet Day 2022 so it is time to enjoy watching a full day of dance, live-streamed for free from six continents.

The world’s most exciting online ballet event is back for its ninth year! This is going to be the biggest celebration yet as over 60 ballet companies from all over the world will provide rare access to their classes and rehearsals. There will also be engaging discussions, interviews and behind-the-scenes exclusives.

Organised by The Australian Ballet and The Royal Ballet, World Ballet Day 2022 follows on from the success of last year, which saw over 50 companies take part. The line-up of participating companies includes 14 that are joining in for the very first time this year. As always, the day promises to showcase the very best of ballet by honouring its long history and looking forward to its vibrant future.

Expect to be wowed by ballet’s biggest stars, inspired by the dedication of up-and-coming performers and motivated to get dancing yourself.

 

World Ballet Day 2022. Dancer Anna Rose O'Sullivan captured mid-leap, with her legs stretching in a split. A camera on a tripod is recording the action from the foreground of the photo.

 

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FEATURE: ‘On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100’ – London, Summer 2022

 

On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100 is a celebratory exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum that explores the history of the academy, which is synonymous with that of British ballet. With syllabus resources, pointe shoes, costumes, choreography and more on display, there is something for everyone to connect with and be inspired by.

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is a world leader in dance education and training. Established in 1920 to raise the standard of dance teaching in the UK and reinvigorate ballet training, it has now been teaching the world to dance for more than 100 years. The organisation supports and unites a global community of around 400,000 dancers of all ages and abilities, in more than 80 countries, through an international network of dance teachers.

The RAD has been part of my life for as long as I can remember.

My childhood ballet teacher, Kathleen Woollard (1929–2020), was an esteemed RAD registered teacher who was awarded life membership. She was a recipient of the prestigious President’s Award, which recognises an individual who has, over many years, dedicated themselves above and beyond the call of duty to the RAD in particular and to the art of dance in general. She gave me the name ‘Georgie’ (‘Miss Georgie’ to junior dance students). She taught me the essentials of technique, tenacity and virtuosity. And she earnestly supported my endeavours – in the studio, on the stage and beyond.

As a young dancer, I excelled in RAD ballet examinations and was selected to assist trainee teachers and demonstrate for prospective examiners. Now, as a qualified ballet teacher myself, I am proud to be a first class honours graduate and registered teacher of the RAD.

 

“This display is a celebration of everybody involved in 100 years of the Royal Academy of Dance.”

Dame Darcey Bussell DBE,
President of the Royal Academy of Dance

 

On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100, Victoria and Albert Museum. Display entrance with a video welcome.

 

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