World Ballet Day 2020 on 29 October, will be the biggest ever celebration of global dance with 40 dance companies participating in this year's live streamed event.
Dance companies from around the world will join the Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and The Royal Ballet including Singapore Dance, Joburg Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre and Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico.
With COVID-19 guidelines changing daily worldwide, the dance world has struggled to return to its stages and rehearsal studios, however, 2020's World Ballet Day aims to bring the dance community closer than ever before, to celebrate the art form and go behind the scenes of the world's top ballet companies.
Each company will be streaming live rehearsals and insights, following their respective local COVID-19 guidance. Watch via www.worldballetday.com or individual companies Facebook and YouTube pages as well as via Tencent video in China.
The three main host Companies – The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and The Royal Ballet – invite audiences to experience morning class which, in the UK, will take place on the Royal Opera House Main Stage. There will be interviews and access to rehearsals as the company prepares for The Royal Ballet: Live, the first series of live performances by The Royal Ballet in seven months.
Kevin O'Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet said,
Since 2014, World Ballet Day has proved a wonderful platform for connecting ballet lovers across the globe and now, more than ever, this digital celebration of dance promises to unite us all as we face new, shared challenges across the world.
My heartfelt thanks go to Ricki Gail Conway without whose generosity The Royal Ballet would be unable to present this highlight of the dance calendar. We look forward to celebrating the incredible talents of all the international artists involved and bringing our art form to audiences who are missing live performance.
The Royal Ballet itinerary
Presented by Royal Ballet dancers Alexander Campbell and Kristen McNally, The Royal Ballet's itinerary includes:
- Pre-recorded Class on the Royal Opera House Stage
- George Balanchine's Tchaikovsky pas de deux, rehearsal with Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov
- Cathy Marston's In Our Wishes, rehearsal with Fumi Kaneko and Reece Clarke
- Christopher Wheeldon's Within the Golden Hour rehearsal with David Donnelly and Téo Dubreuil
- Frederick Ashton's Dance of the Blessed Spirits rehearsal with Fernando Montaño
- Valentino Zucchetti rehearsing a new work Scherzo, performed by Artists of The Royal Ballet
There will also be interviews and insights celebrating Black History Month and The Royal Ballet summer community engagement programme Doncaster Dances.
The Australian Ballet itinerary
Following safety restrictions in place in Melbourne, Australian Ballet has recently returned to the Primrose Potter Australian Ballet Centre (with special permission from the Victorian Government). They will start their day with a Covid-safe morning ballet class to live piano. Followed by Bodytorque.Digital, an online series showcasing new choreography. Interviews will feature their Artistic Health and Education teams discussing the work they've been doing this year.
The Bolshoi Ballet itinerary
This year the Bolshoi dedicate their live stream to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, as the theatre celebrates the composer's 180th birthday. The stream will also include access to rehearsals of The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake (choreography by Yuri Grigorovich), The Nutcracker (choreography by Yuri Grigorovich) and Onegin (choreography by John Cranko). Morning classes will be led by theatre tutors Nadezhda Grachyova and Alexander Vetrov. There will also be interviews with Bolshoi dancers Svetlana Zakharova, Ekaterina Krysanova, Olga Smirnova, Artem Ovcharenko, Egor Geraschenko and the head of the ballet company Makhar Vaziev.
The Australian Ballet will kick off the live stream (2am GMT) before passing the baton to the Bolshoi Ballet (7am GMT) and on to The Royal Ballet (11am to 3pm GMT).
A full schedule from these global dance companies will be available via worldballetday.com
Photo: Darcey Bussell and The Royal Ballet rehearsing The Sleeping Beauty
during World Ballet Day 2019 © 2019 ROH. Photograph by Gavin Smart
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.