Niagara Gazette

Features

February 25, 2013

Best selling author's new book inspired by Bev Feder's School of Ballet

Niagara Gazette — Four nights a week, Cathy Buchanan would walk down a stairwell, past the bomb shelter sign — a remnant of the building’s previous incarnation — into the basement room with thin hardwood floors and pale pink walls.

There, the girl from Niagara Falls, Ont. would dance with the Feder School of Classical Ballet.

On the walls of the studio, still directed by Beverley Feder, but now located at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, were prints created from the brush strokes of 19th Century French artist Edgar Degas. Buchanan felt a certain fondness for the pretty ballerinas of his paintings.

“They weren’t always on the stage. A lot of times they were doing exactly some of what I was doing,” she says.

Buchanan is 49 now, living in Toronto with her husband and three boys. And lately, she’s been talking a lot about that studio and those prints.

In a way, they planted a creative seed that, over many years and a lifetime of experience, grew into her latest bestselling book, “The Painted Girls.” 

The historical novel tells a fictional tale of a young ballerina girl named Marie, who was the model for Degas’ sculpture, Little Dancer Aged 14.

It comes about three years after her first novel, “The Day the Falls Stood Still,”  a New York Times bestseller.

Buchanan took a rather circuitous route to that first book. Indeed, high school was all about math and science. English was her worst subject. She took it, “because I had to.

“If someone in high school had told me I’d be a writer one day, I’d have laughed in their face.”

Feder remembers Buchanan as a serious dance student and was delighted to learn that the young girl, who took classes as often as five times a week throughout high school, was so influenced by her time at the Falls dance studio. “It’s very rewarding for me as a teacher,” Feder said. “We never know how we impact our students.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • SUNLIFELexisPlace1072014jpg (1).jpg Lexi's Place: A safe haven for teens battling suicide, sexual abuse and depression

    In a perfect world, a 14-year-old wouldn’t know exactly how it feels to try suicide.
    An 11-year-old who reaches out to the unwanted kids at school would not be thrown against a locker and bullied by other teens trying to make her feel small.
    And surely no teen would have a father who, when she was small, would give her to his friends for sex.
    All those things happened to the teens at Lexi’s Place.

    July 22, 2014 8 Photos

  • SUN LIFE wine fest 3 072014.jpg [Duplicate] Sip the Niagara Wine Trail's best in one location The Niagara Wine Trail reveals it's sweetness slowly, and only to those dedicated enough to spend the time. There are 27 wineries and to sample a taste of each requires much driving through the backroads of the Niagara region, and far too much sipping to make driving a logical possibility. That's what makes the trail's 6th annual Wine and Culinary event such a good idea. Wine lovers who've always wanted to explore the new and unusual offerings of the 14-year-old wine trail, can do so next weekend, all in one place.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • SUN LIFE Open gardens 4 072014.jpg [Duplicate] Niagara gardeners take part in fest's Open Gardens program

    As they looked out over the near-half-acre that is the Blyth garden in the Town of Tonawanda, a visitor asked Linda Blyth if they ever get weeds.

    July 21, 2014 10 Photos

  • mug - Tybor, Chris RGB FIT FOR LIFE: The components, signs of an effective diet

    According to the latest research, “keto diets” or very low-carb diets are not more effective long-term than other diet methods. A wide range of diets work and I won’t debate the value of each and every diet or method out there, but the keys to a successful diet need to take the following into consideration:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE terrariums 2 072014.jpg [Duplicate] Terrariums — for the love of nature

    Terrarium workshops by Sara Johnson of Sylvatica 

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • NIA Fire Trucks art 2 071914 Local fire departments display their antique fire trucks at Canal Fest

    Canal Fest premiered a new event on Thursday afternoon with the first Vintage Fire Truck Muster, featuring antique firefighting vehicles from as early as 1872.

    July 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Debutante 2 Falls debutante program aims to teach girls the art of success

    Many of the young girls in the newest debutante class in Niagara Falls have bigger challenges in their lives than practicing curtsies and writing thank-you notes.

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • SUN LIFE milk 1 071314.jpg [Duplicate] LOCKPORT: Farm couple shares organic dairy farming methods. When Tina Kowalski is out grocery shopping and she sees someone pick up a carton of organic milk, she sometimes walks over to thank them. If that carton is produced by the Upstate Farms dairy cooperative, there's a good chance it contains milk from one of the 60 dairy cows on her Lockport Farm. And she just loves those cows.

    July 13, 2014 4 Photos

  • mug - stack, catherine RGB [Duplicate] [Duplicate] NATURAL HEALTH: Do you really know what you are eating?

    Many individuals fall for words like “all natural,” “heart healthy” and pretty pictures of fruits and vegetables when shopping for groceries. These very misleading marketing ploys are partially responsible for the rising numbers of those diagnosed with heart disease and diabetes and people suffering from obesity even though they are eating foods that claim to benefit their health.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE exercise 2 071314.jpg [Duplicate] Local venues follow trend, offer free public exercise programs

     Following a trend of public, outdoor exercise programs, a number of local venues are offering their own free events aiming to get residents outside and active during the summer.

    July 13, 2014 3 Photos

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page