georginabutler

My work as a writer and dance/theatre reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘The Royal Ballet

FEATURE: Graduating from the Royal Academy of Dance with First Class Honours in Dance Education – London, July 2017

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“Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?”

– Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

 

On Wednesday 12th July 2017, I became a First Class Honours graduate of the Royal Academy of Dance.

The Royal Academy of Dance is one of the world’s most influential institutions for dance education and dance teacher training. Founded by an international group of dancers and dance teachers in 1920 to set standards for dance teaching in the United Kingdom, the organisation now operates in 85 countries. Its classical ballet syllabus is taught globally, with over 240,000 candidates taking Royal Academy of Dance ballet examinations each year. Beyond this, an ever-increasing programme of outreach work takes dance into diverse communities, while the Faculty of Education’s research develops knowledge which informs and inspires dance enthusiasts all over the world.

I have graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance’s BA (Hons) Dance Education programme. This varied programme not only equips graduates with the anatomical, musical and pedagogical knowledge and understanding to teach dance but also engages with philosophical, professional and practical issues in the fields of dance and dance education.

 

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INTERVIEW with Dame Gillian Lynne, October 2016

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Acclaimed choreographer and theatre/television director Dame Gillian Lynne is a legendary figure in the arts. With a career spanning more than 70 years, her achievements include being a ballerina with Sadler’s Wells Ballet (now The Royal Ballet), performing centre stage as the London Palladium’s lead dancer and choreographing some of the world’s most iconic musicals. Georgina Butler made the most of an opportunity to converse with the multi-award-winning dance superstar…

Gillian Lynne is a household name – a VIP in the world of dance and theatre. Her CV is packed with soloist roles as a ballerina; guest appearances as a dancer on the stage and on television; and countless productions on which she has worked her magic as an internationally sought-after director and choreographer.

Joining the Ballet Guild in 1942, aged 16, marked the beginning of Gillian’s career as a professional dancer. By chance, Ninette de Valois, the founder of Sadler’s Wells Ballet (which later became The Royal Ballet), saw Gillian dancing as Odette in Ballet Guild’s production of Swan Lake and immediately decided she wanted the talented young artist in her company. When Gillian accepted this invitation, she was the first dancer to join Sadler’s Wells Ballet who had not studied at its prestigious feeder school (now The Royal Ballet School). Possessing a gift for dancing; a desire to follow her dreams; and a tenacious work ethic, Gillian flourished as a ballerina and was later an instant success at the London Palladium and in subsequent roles in the West End.

Perhaps most famous for her ground-breaking choreography in Cats and The Phantom of the Opera (both with Andrew Lloyd Webber), Gillian has choreographed or directed over 60 productions in the West End and on Broadway. These productions have won numerous accolades and Gillian has been presented with multiple awards, including two Olivier Awards – one an Award for Outstanding Achievement for her choreography of Cats in 1981, the other a Lifetime Achievement ‘Special’ Olivier presented to her in 2013.

 

 

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NEWS: World Ballet Day Live – Tuesday 4th October 2016

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One day. Five ballet companies. Live and Online.

World Ballet Day LIVE, the marathon live-stream featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the top ballet companies on the planet, returns on Tuesday 4th October 2016.

In my world, every day is ballet day! I fill as many of my waking hours as possible with dance writing, reviewing, studying and teaching – all while endeavouring to ensure I never miss any opportunity to participate in a ballet class myself. This means that I eat, breathe and sleep dance most days. Unsurprisingly, I have nothing but enthusiasm for World Ballet Day LIVE. The now-annual event brings balletomanes across the globe together, for one special day, to share in the sheer joy of watching professional ballet dancers do their thing.

The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet are the five leading companies opening up their studios to audiences during the 20 hours of non-stop broadcasting. Viewers will have the chance to observe each company’s morning ballet class; acquire insight into choreographic and rehearsal processes; hear from influential and inspiring industry insiders and discover more about ballet from incredibly talented individuals who have dedicated their lives to the art form.

 

 

 

 

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INTERVIEW with Wayne Sleep, November 2015

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This Christmas, renowned British dancer, director, choreographer, actor and panellist Wayne Sleep will perform in pantomime at Milton Keynes Theatre. Before the busy rehearsal period began, Wayne had a bit of a chinwag with Georgina Butler

Famous for being the shortest male dancer to ever attend The Royal Ballet School (he is 5’2″), Wayne Sleep is best known for his career as a celebrated Senior Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet. Numerous roles were created for him by some of the world’s greatest choreographers and he frequently featured as a guest artist with other companies.

Appointed OBE in 1998, Wayne has also received honorary degrees from the Universities of Exeter and Teesside; is a Patron of the British Ballet Organization; is a Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Dance and has two entries in The Guinness Book of Records. In addition to dancing, Wayne also acts and makes appearances as a dance judge and celebrity. His credits include West End, regional and touring theatre productions; television shows and films – not to mention a plethora of pantomimes!

 

Wayne_portrait_ROHBridge

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Written by Georgina Butler

November 29, 2015 at 7:53 am

NEWS: World Ballet Day Live – Thursday 1st October 2015

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One Day. Five Ballet Companies. Live and Online.

As a dance writer, avid advanced ballet student and developing ballet teacher, I tend to subscribe to Friedrich Nietzsche’s notion that “we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once”. If the opportunity to dance myself does not arise, I can normally be found penning a dance preview, review or feature; quizzing someone else about their work in dance; or watching professional dancers perform.

Today is World Ballet Day LIVE 2015. This online event is a wonderful way of bringing balletomanes like me as close to a host of professional dancers around the world as it is possible to get during 23 hours of live, behind-the-scenes footage.

For one day only, The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet are uniting to celebrate dance on a global scale. They are throwing open the doors to their studios, rehearsal rooms and auditoriums in order to give audiences a chance to see just what it takes to be part of one of the world’s top companies.

 

 

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FEATURE: Rare ballet shoes are a “pointe” of interest as auction house prepares for bids – June 2015

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Forget the glass slippers, ballet princesses wear pointe shoes… 

Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world. This is a particularly appropriate statement to attribute to the footwear of ballerinas. These dancers know that finding their perfect pair of pointe shoes is so much more important than shopping for killer heels!

Ballet technique is all about creating an impression of weightlessness and ease so, although the seemingly effortless grace audiences witness really does glide on blistered feet, a well-fitting pair of pointe shoes can make all the difference to a dancer’s performance. They are also a source of endless fascination for both dance devotees and the general public.

The battered pointe shoes of three of Britain’s most famous ballerinas are to be auctioned off this monthMoira Shearer, Dame Margot Fonteyn and Mary Honer were idols who inspired generations of dancers to train and perform. Their legacy is still alive among ballet students today, which makes the discovery of this collection all the more exciting.

Margot Fonteyn's pointe shoes (on the left) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Georgina Butler

June 9, 2015 at 11:20 am

NEWS: World Ballet Day, Wednesday 1st October 2014

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A global first sees top ballet companies lift the curtain to offer fans a glimpse into the rehearsal rooms and the worldwide appeal of dance continues to inspire me…

 

The hard work, creativity and passion that underpins ballet will be centre stage for all to see today during the first ever World Ballet Day.

This global online event is offering unprecedented access to a regular day at five leading international ballet companies. Fans will go behind-the-scenes at The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet thanks to a live video stream. The collaboration is the first of its kind. Unsurprisingly, balletomanes everywhere cannot wait to journey from country to country and see a snippet of the backstage lives of their favourite dancers.

Each of the five ballet companies will take it in turns to stream a four-hour period live from their headquarters. Streaming will start at the beginning of the dancers’ day, with class.  The live link will begin in Melbourne with The Australian Ballet, before passing across time zones to visit Moscow; followed by stops in London, Toronto and, finally, San Francisco.

As part of this celebration of dance, we will see how vital the daily ballet class is to everyone – from the principal dancers to the corps de ballet members. We will also gain a deeper insight into how the companies’ differing ways of approaching choreography and performance make them unique on the world stage.

Wherever you happen to be in the world, a ballet class follows the same progression of exercises (from the focused sequences at the barre to the more elaborate and explosive routines danced in the centre) and demands the same dedication from participants. Simply put, you get out of a class what you put into it.

 

Ballet Papier Senior Company Class

Dedicated dancers are always ready to give their all in class (Illustration by Ballet Papier artist Berenice)

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