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Cards and Gifts for Dancers

Two Bad Mice’s long connection with Dance

Two Bad Mice have strong links with the dance world. Mami, my Japanese wife and partner in the business, is a classical ballet dancer who still does her barre work every day and keeps her body trim. Even though she is in her mid sixties she is still performing solo works on stage. I also have links with the dance world as I learnt to draw from moving figures. In fact we met in a dance studio where I would visit to draw in ballet classes.

Mami has a private website showing her videos, photographs and my drawings.

Mami Usami Williams, director of Two Bad Mice is still performing on stage

I still draw Mami whilst she is practising at home doing her exercises and choreographing new pieces. We have not made these drawings into cards but they can be seen on Mami’s website.

Two of my etchings of Ballet Dancers are amongst the first images we used we started Two Bad Mice in 1986. At that time I was making my living by selling his black and white etchings in Covent Garden Market. We have used one of these black and white images for a bone china mug.

Dancers hamper
Hamper for the Classical Ballet Dance

Recently I use more colour, as in the images of a Lezginka dancer I made when I visited Dagistan in 2016

Dagestani Lezginka Dancer

The History of Dance Series

It was our interest in dance that inspired us to produce a small selection of dance cards of prints called the romantic era of ballet. On the back of these cards there is a text with information about the lives of the dancers.

This image, Pas De Quatre , records a famous occasion in July 1845, when Marie Taglioni danced with Lucile Grahn, Carlotta Grisi, and Fanny Cerrito in Jules Perrot‘s Pas de Quatre. The ballet was presented to Queen Victoria.

D52 Pas De Quatre 1845 Marie Taglioni, Carlotta grisi, Fanny Cerrito, Lucile Crahn performed in front of Queen Victoria

The dancer in the centre of the pas de quatre above is the legendary and celebrated Marie Taglioni who is credited with being the first ballerina to truly dance en pointe. In spite of her success the poor lady lived a tragic life after her fortune was squandered by a father with a gambling habit, and the last part of her life was spent in povety.

Marie Taglioni in La Sylphide

Another fascinating image in the collection is the Cat’s Quadrille by George Cruikshank, is from the same period of dance history. We found this image in a junk shop and it seems quite rare. The quadrille is a dance in which the dancers frequently change partners , and this picture is a satirical dig at loose moral behaviour of the aristocracy and the court of George IV. .

Cats Quadrille
D56 Cats Quadrille by George Cruikshank

Another quirky product is the recording we sponsored of a pianist called John Sweeney who played at classes we attended. We are great admirers of Johns improvised ballet compositions.