Dancer, dance teacher and artist Olivia Holland fills Georgina Butler in on how relocating to New Zealand has helped her to rediscover 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]
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 — and 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 Sean Bates chats to Georgina Butler about ballet training, life in a dance company and performing in Northern Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Sean Bates joined Northern Ballet in 2012 as a fresh-faced graduate of the Royal Ballet School. Currently a member of the corps de ballet but already being given the opportunity to take on bigger roles, Sean grew up in Giffard Park, Milton Keynes.
As a youngster, Sean attended dance lessons at The Gaynor Cameron School of Dance in Milton Keynes. He later trained at both the Royal Ballet School (White Lodge) and the Royal Ballet Upper School.
While training, Sean won the Royal Academy of Dance’s Phyllis Bedells Bursary award in 2008. This bursary is a tribute to English ballerina and teacher Phyllis Bedells and was created in 1979 to help develop young talent. A maximum bursary of £1,000 is awarded to dancers under 17 years of age who have passed the RAD Intermediate and Advanced 1 examinations (Advanced 1 with distinction) but have not yet entered for the Advanced 2 exam. Sean went on to win the Royal Academy of Dance’s prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition in 2010.
He has just turned 22 and will return to his home town this month with David Nixon’s witty interpretation of Shakespeare’s fairy-filled romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Northern Ballet dancer Sean Bates (Photo by Simon Lawson)