Happy World Ballet Day 2018!
Today is World Ballet Day, the one day of the year that balletomanes and ballet newbies alike are urged to press pause on their everyday activities and watch ballet.
American writer and dance critic Edwin Denby (1903–1983) is attributed to the quote: “You don’t have to know about ballet to enjoy it, all you have to do is look at it”. I support this sentiment. Simply witnessing ballet dancers do what they do best is enough to inspire admiration for ballet’s athleticism, aesthetics, artistry and amazing history and culture.
As part of today’s global celebration, we are being invited inside some of the world’s most prestigious professional ballet companies to watch the dancers’ daily class. Viewers will also have the chance to see rehearsals of upcoming performances; take a sneaky peek behind the scenes at costumes and pointe shoes; and participate in special interviews with dancers, choreographers and company directors via social media.
The premier ballet companies participating in World Ballet Day 2018 are: The Australian Ballet in Melbourne, Bolshoi Ballet in Russia and The Royal Ballet in London.
Guest companies and esteemed ballet schools from all over the globe are also getting involved in the event.
The guest companies in Australia and Asia are: The National Ballet of Japan, West Australian Ballet, Queensland Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet.
The guest companies in Mainland Europe are: Norwegian National Ballet 2, The Royal Danish Ballet, Bayerisches Staatsballett, Das Stuttgarter Ballett, Wiener Staatsballett, Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, Dutch National Ballet, The Royal Swedish Ballet School, Teatr Wielki Opera Narodowa.
The guest companies in the United Kingdom are: Scottish Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Royal Academy of Dance, Northern Ballet.
The guest companies in America and Canada are: Ballet Concierto De PR, Acosta Danza, Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal.
The footage is being broadcast on Facebook Live but will also be available on demand. Watch via each participating company’s Facebook page or visit the World Ballet Day website.
A version of this post is published on the Ballet Papier Blog.
Georgina Butler is an editor, a dance writer and a ballet teacher.