NEWS: World Ballet Day 2020, 29th 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, 29th 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 29th 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 29th 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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NEWS: World Ballet Day 2019, 23rd October 2019

 

Happy World Ballet Day 2019

 

Clear your diary, today is World Ballet Day 2019!

Ballet companies around the world open their digital doors on World Ballet Day, inviting us to witness hard work happening in the studio and creativity at play in rehearsals.

The first ever Ballet Day took place in October 2012 when The Royal Ballet streamed a nine-hour day of behind-the-scenes footage. This live broadcast attracted 200,000 viewers and, since then, over 3.6 million viewers have watched via the company’s YouTube archive.

Following the success of this initial celebration, The Royal Ballet united with other major ballet companies all over the world in 2014 to create an annual occasion unlike any other in the dance calendar. Boasting 24 hours of non-stop ballet from all corners of the earth, World Ballet Day offers viewers the chance to discover how different companies strut their stuff. The programme includes company class, rehearsals and interviews with dancers, directors and choreographers.

Unsurprisingly, World Ballet Day is one of my favourite days of the year!

 

World Ballet Day 2019. Georgina Butler – wearing a black leotard, tutu and pointe shoes – sitting on the floor looking at her phone, ready to watch the annual online celebration of ballet.

 

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FEATURE: Happy International Dance Day, 29th 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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