georginabutler

My work as a writer and dance/theatre reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘Dancer

BOOK REVIEW: ‘With Ballet in My Soul: Adventures of a Globetrotting Impresario’, a memoir by Eva Maze – June 2017

leave a comment »

Dance is what inspires me in everything I do. Blissful serendipity meant I was given the opportunity to start ballet classes as a tiny tot and I will forever be grateful to the universe for that. Ultimately, I have become the person I am today because of my desire to always have dance in my life. Participating in dance classes, watching dance, writing about dance and teaching dance – dancing gives me purpose and makes me feel alive!

In fact, you might say that there is “ballet in my soul”. This nifty sentiment comes from an amazing woman named Eva Maze, who has titled her memoir With Ballet in My Soul: Adventures of a Globetrotting Impresario. An engrossing and educational read, I devoured the book in one afternoon and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in dance, theatre, history, travel or the pioneering achievements of extraordinary individuals.

Eva Maze (nee Feldstein) was born in Bucharest, Romania, on a summer day in 1922. Both her parents spoke Russian (her father was from Kiev and her mother was from Bessarabia) so Eva was bilingual in Russian and Romanian at an early age. Jewish by birth, she attended a Catholic school where the nuns taught the students in German and French and she was also tutored privately in English. She believes this early immersion in languages made her interested in the world outside Romania and later learned two additional languages – Spanish and Portuguese – which aided her in her career as an impresario (a theatrical tour manager or promoter). Without a doubt, Eva’s vibrant and fulfilling life will be envied by anyone with even a sprinkling of wanderlust as her personal and professional passions and endeavours have taken her all over the globe.

 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Georgina Butler

June 21, 2017 at 4:46 pm

FEATURE: Embrace Your Inner Ètoile – Ballet Papier, May 2017

leave a comment »

We are all stars but we must learn how to shine.

Each of us is an individual, blessed with different talents, qualities, experiences and perspectives. Significantly, this uniqueness means that each of us sparkles in our own way. Happily, I am increasingly able to recognise that, in life, we ought to trust in the idea that dancing to your own tune is the best way to make sure you do not lose yourself while trying to be who you think you should be.

Being me involves a love of both dancing and writing. These are closely followed by a fondness for reading and a desire to discover and disseminate knowledge. When we consider these attributes, my roles as a dance writer, dance student and dance teacher suddenly make a lot of sense!

Ballet Papier is a decorative arts brand created by a mother-daughter team in Barcelona. Together, artist Berenice and her dancing daughter Ambar dedicate their time and energy to creating beautiful products and sharing their love of ballet globally. In my work with the brand, I am honoured to combine my devotion to all things ballet with my writing. Excitingly, my words are now being featured in the brand’s notebooks – a development which started with the Ballet Étoiles collection.

 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Georgina Butler

May 24, 2017 at 3:59 pm

NEWS: Magic is all around, you just have to believe – December 2015

leave a comment »

May all your days be sparkly and bright 

‘Tis the season once again! Christmas has been and gone and New Year’s Eve celebrations are taking centre stage at the moment as we all prepare to welcome in 2016.

Last year, Ballet Papier artist Berenice produced a fabulously festive gift for fans of her work – an enchanting short movie of The Nutcracker, starring a twinkle-toed troupe of paper ballerinas inspired by real balletomanes (including yours truly!) from all around the world. For Christmas 2015 she created a limited edition range of ceramic mugs and miniature notebooks featuring scenes from the film. I am honoured to be included in the selected artwork, depicted as the elegant Dewdrop Fairy. Happily, I am now the proud owner of one of “my” mugs – and the matching notebook.

 

 

As much as Christmas provides an excuse to indulge in special presents, perhaps the greatest gift it gives us is the reminder to reflect upon the past twelve months. Now is the time to be grateful for all of the good things we have experienced, achieved and received – all while looking forward to dancing into the future…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Georgina Butler

December 31, 2015 at 1:19 pm

NEWS: Happy International Dance Day, 29th April 2015

leave a comment »

I dance. Therefore, I am.

Dancers all over the world are celebrating International Dance Day today.

Dance has always been an essential part of my life and I am a dedicated advocate. Dancing offers so many physical, psychological, emotional and social benefits – everyone should seize the chance to dance!

Dancing promotes a healthy and active lifestyle, helps to build confidence, teaches the value of hard work and perseverance, encourages creativity and expression, relieves stress, brings people together and fosters artistic appreciation. And, above all else, dancing is really good fun!

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Georgina Butler

April 29, 2015 at 10:00 am

NEWS: Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair… There is a spring in my step this Easter weekend, April 2015

leave a comment »

Spring is finally here and it is time for us all to blossom!

Inspired by the beautiful flowers beginning to bloom in traditional English country gardens, Ballet Papier artist Berenice has drawn this fabulous flora-filled picture for me.

 

Georgina Butler "Spring Inspiration" by Berenice

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Georgina Butler

April 4, 2015 at 6:01 pm

NEWS: The passion that unites us! Ballet Papier Meeting – March 2015

leave a comment »

Team Ballet Papier in London

We dancers know that timing is everything. Fittingly, this month’s most exciting news is that, after over a year of communicating via email and on social media, talented Ballet Papier artist Berenice (María La Placa), her sparkling co-star daughter Ambar Gavilano and I managed to be in the same place at the same time for a gossipy get-together!

Our well-choreographed rendezvous came about as Ballet Papier moves forward in its quest to reach dancers on the world stage. Keen to connect with UK retailers and distributors – in addition to tapping into what is à la mode with balletomanes here in Britain – Berenice and Ambar made visiting London a priority for early 2015. Of course, they let me know of their plans to swap sunny Barcelona for a week in London to ensure that we would be able to make exploring the city an enjoyable pas de trois.

Eagerly anticipating our long-awaited meeting, I pirouetted into the capital for a Saturday packed full of dance discussions, inspiration and enthusiasm.

 

Ballet Papier Meeting, March 2015

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Georgina Butler

March 30, 2015 at 5:15 pm

BOOK REVIEW: ‘You, Fascinating You’ – a biographical novel by Germaine Shames, August 2014

with one comment

You, Fascinating You by Germaine ShamesA moving and inspiring novel

The rarefied world of classical ballet demands sacrifice and determination. Fittingly, Germaine Shames’ compelling novel You, Fascinating You shines a spotlight on the life of a dancer whose strength of character, passion for her art and heroic human spirit evoke nothing but admiration.

You, Fascinating You is a heart-rending work of fiction based on the true story of a gifted Jewish ballerina and her romance with a Catholic Neapolitan composer.

In the final weeks of 1938, in the shadow of Kristallnacht and imminent war, a heartsick Italian maestro named Pasquale Frustaci, wrote a love song called Tu, Solamente Tu.

The lyrics lamented his forced separation from his wife, the Hungarian ballerina Margit Wolf, in the wake of Mussolini’s edict banishing foreign Jews from Italy.

This anthem of longing proved to be a universal hit and earned its composer the moniker ‘the Italian Cole Porter’. Various versions made the melody popular all over Europe. Zarah Leander, the leading film star of the German Reich, sang the German variant  (Du Immer Wieder Du), while the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band performed the English rendition: You, Fascinating You.

Twenty-two years passed before the maestro and his ballerina were reunited face-to-face.

You, Fascinating You is their story – an absorbing read for balletomanes, history buffs and fans of real-life epics.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Georgina Butler

August 24, 2014 at 8:15 pm