INTERVIEW with Olivia Holland, Dance Teacher and Artist, October 2016


Dancer, dance teacher and artist Olivia Holland fills Georgina Butler in on how relocating to New Zealand has reinvigorated her passion for dance.


Olivia Holland is a graduate of the Royal Ballet School White Lodge and Elmhurst School for Dance whose professional dancing career has included contracts with Royal Ballet of Flanders (November 2011–June 2012) and Northern Ballet (July 2012–July 2015).

Ever since she started touring with Birmingham Royal Ballet while she was a student at Elmhurst, Olivia has been painting pictures inspired by her life as a dancer. These exquisite artworks are influenced by the performers she has worked with, the ballets she has danced in and the countries and theatres she has visited. A keen photographer, she has also recorded her experiences backstage in captivating snapshots.

Since Olivia last graced this site for an interview in June 2014 her entrepreneurial spirit and sense of adventure has taken her to the island nation of New Zealand, also known as the ‘Paradise of the Pacific’. Surrounded by stunning natural beauty, motivated to continue painting and newly devoted to the art of teaching, Olivia is falling in love with dancing – and the life it has given her – all over again.


Olivia Holland 2016 painting of eight young ballet students at the barre. They are facing the barre, with their backs to the viewer, and they are standing in height order from the shortest to the tallest dancer.


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REVIEW: Northern Ballet’s ‘Elves and the Shoemaker’ – May 2015


A couple of cheeky elves conjure up magical shoes that are made for dancing in Northern Ballet’s latest captivating production for children, Elves and the Shoemaker.

Inspired by the 1806 Brothers Grimm fairytale, Elves and the Shoemaker tells the story of a poor, hard-working and benevolent shoemaker called Bertie and his caring wife, Bettina. Despite their own struggles to make ends meet, they are extremely generous souls who go out of their way to help others. They become the recipients of an act of kindness themselves when two elves, named Tap and Stitch, pay them a visit one night.

These sprightly creatures transform the shoemaker’s very last piece of leather into a pair of magnificent shoes. They are a perfect fit for the next customer who enters the store and the sale means the delighted shoemaker has enough money to restock his workbench. To his amazement, the industrious elves return on multiple occasions and produce footwear to entice an assortment of shoppers. How will the shoemaker and his wife ever repay these helpful visitors?


Northern Ballet's Elves and the Shoemaker.


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INTERVIEW with Olivia Holland, Northern Ballet, June 2014


Dancer, artist and entrepreneur Olivia Holland has a natter with Georgina Butler …


Northern Ballet dancer Olivia Holland is excited by the experiences she has had so far in her career and constantly inspired by the ballet bubble in which she is blessed to work.

Dancers must have a keen eye for detail, an appreciation of beauty, an understanding of body lines and an ability to convey emotion. These qualities are also proving to be invaluable for Olivia’s second vocation as an artist.

Eager to share her love of ballet and admiration for her colleagues, the 21-year-old offers a unique insight into life as a touring dancer through her greeting cards and prints. Hours spent in classes, rehearsing and performing offer Olivia plenty of opportunities to indulge in the joy of movement herself and observe her fellow dancers. These precious memories and fleeting moments in time are then captured in her delicate drawings and watercolour paintings.

Always intrigued by the creative pursuits of others, I caught up with Olivia to learn more about her dance training, the professional highlights she has enjoyed to date and her arty ambitions.


Dancer, artist and entrepreneur Olivia Holland.


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REVIEW: Northern Ballet’s ‘Three Little Pigs’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, May 2014


A trio of plucky piglets blow youngsters away in Northern Ballet’s Three Little Pigs, a lively new production for children.

Northern Ballet’s Three Little Pigs is a short ballet designed to introduce little ones to the magic of live dance, theatre and music. Dancers on the Graduate Professional Programme at Northern Ballet bring the well-loved fable to life, accompanied by the musicians of Northern Ballet Sinfonia.


Dancers Mariana Rodrigues and Mlindi Kulashe in Northern Ballet's 'Three Little Pigs' (Photo by Brian Slater).


Last year’s adaptation of Ugly Duckling was delightful so I was eager to see Northern Ballet’s creative take on Three Little Pigs. View Post