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The History of Ballerinas Gifted with Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jan 06, 2017

We live in a city where the Performing Arts are celebrated by millions of Bostonians.  Home to several stunning theaters, we have the opportunity to explore talented artists on stage and consume the beauty of the dramatics, especially within the realm of dance.  The Boston Ballet encompasses a long history of ballerinas who have pirouetted their way to stardom by undertaking renditions of “The Nutcracker”, “Swan Lake” and “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”.  How many of us have witnessed the magnificence of some of the world’s greatest dancers and may have perhaps hoped to follow in their footsteps one day?  The hum of music, the intricate costumes and the precise movements of bodies gracefully flowing across the stage are all part of the fantasy that so many are drawn to.   


photo credit via The New York Times

One of the reasons why the ballet remains popular is the perceived “glamour” that has always blanketed over performers.  Interestingly enough, things weren’t always so wonderful for the dancers as you might have expected.  A ballerina’s wages were paid very low and were often impossible to make a living from.  Dating back to the 1930’s, silks, furs and even diamonds had once been acceptable gifts but they were not given without retribution.  Depending on the bauble’s value, if a dancer accepted, she was expected to return the gesture in exchange for intimacy.  If she chose to seek less provocative ways to meet her means, ballerinas might receive food and simple clothing from audience members.  If she received flowers, she would turn around and sell them for cash.  


Over time, bouquets became the customary gift to congratulate the artists and were given as either a wrapped bundle or by single stem. Years ago, etiquette preached that no dancer was given her bouquet until the principal performer had received hers first.  In the case where the lead was forgotten, companies would have a cash reserve saved in case the occasion arose.  


Today, flowers are still given as a sign of praise of a job well done and continue to cover stages after curtain call.  Florists located in close proximity to theaters are constantly expected to supply sometimes five to six bouquets per week when the ballet arrives in town.  If you’re curious as to what are the most requested varieties, here’s a list of popular blossoms associated with ballerina bouquets.


Five Flowers Associated with Ballerina Bouquets


  1. Roses
  2. Lilies
  3. Peonies
  4. Cymbidium Orchids
  5. Peonies
  6. Iris
  7. Gerbera Daisies
  8. Carnations
  9. Cornflower
  10. Freesia

Tags: The Arts, Presentation Bouquets, Bouquets, Ballet

The Flowers for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi

Posted by Rick Canale on Sat, Feb 22, 2014

photo credit: The Guardian
For more than 3000 years, the Olympic Games have awarded the victors with flowers and garlands to celebrate the athletes' accomplishments. In true Olympics tradition, the winners' bouquets cannot have any thorns or barbs as the flowers are often tossed into the crowd.
For the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, an awards team from nine to thirty three people is present at each event ceremony to celebrate the victors. This team's responsibility is to not only choreograph the medal ceremony, but also to make sure each winner is presented with a Sochi Olympics bouquet.
sochi flowers resized 600 
photo credit:
The Sochi Olympics flower bouquet symbolizes the colors of the host city Sochi. The bright yellow from the solidago symbolizes the healing properties of the wealth of the Krasnodar reegion. Green and white miniature chrysanthemums reflect the meadows and mountains that stretch along the Black Sea. Laurel has always symbolized victory and its presence in the Sochi flowers also harkens to the hospitality and kindness of the people of the Caucasus. The remaining ingredient is eucalyptus. This fragrant ornamental was planted in Sochi to help drain the wetlands. 
Olympic flowers are always chosen for their hardiness as well, as they to withstand dehydration and fluctuating temperatures.
The Olympic Games remind us how important flowers are for us as a symbol of energy and victory.

Tags: Olympics, Olympic Games, Presentation Bouquets, Sochi

The Flowers for the 2012 Olympic Games in London

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Jul 27, 2012

flowers for the olympics resized 600 The Olympic games has a famous tradition of presenting medal winners with flower bouquets. This tradition dates back more than 3,000 years to the orginial Olympic games in Greece when wreaths or garlands preceded medals as the presentation award. The bouquets are often tossed to fans in the arenas, this florists must make certain the flowers have no thorns or sharp protrusions. 

For the 2012 Olympic games in London, Jane Packer floral design studio was chosen to create more than 4,000 floral 'Victory Bouquets' for the events. The bouquet was created by Susan Lapworth. Colors and flowers were chosen to reflect the vibrancy of the London Games. All flowers and herbs in the bouquet had to be able to grown in Britain. Pink, yellow, orange, and green roses are grouped by color and seperated by British food ingredients English lavender, rosemary, apple mint and wheat.

olympic games flwers resized 600

 Patricular flowers and herbs were also chosen to be able to withstand fluctuating temperatures as well. 

The Olympic Games remind us how important flowers are for us as a symbol of energy and victory. Flowers always tell a story.

Tags: Olympics, Olympic Games, Presentation Bouquets, London

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