Clear your diary, today is World Ballet Day 2019!
Ballet companies around the world open their digital doors on World Ballet Day, inviting us to witness hard work happening in the studio and creativity at play in rehearsals.
The first ever Ballet Day took place in October 2012 when The Royal Ballet streamed a nine-hour day of behind-the-scenes footage. This live broadcast attracted 200,000 viewers and, since then, over 3.6 million viewers have watched via the company’s YouTube archive.
Following the success of this initial celebration, The Royal Ballet united with other major ballet companies all over the world in 2014 to create an annual occasion unlike any other in the dance calendar. Boasting 24 hours of non-stop ballet from all corners of the earth, World Ballet Day offers viewers the chance to discover how different companies strut their stuff. The programme includes company class, rehearsals and interviews with dancers, directors and choreographers.
Unsurprisingly, World Ballet Day is one of my favourite days of the year!
Every Body Can Dance
World Ballet Day 2019 is centred around the theme ‘Every Body Can Dance’.
Aligned with the original aim to bring insights from the world of ballet to everyone and anyone, each company will not only connect with audiences online but is also holding its own local programme of participatory activities to demonstrate the accessibility of dance.
Through my adventures as a journalist, dance writer and dance teacher, I am delighted to be able to use my words and movement to inform and inspire other people. However, it is disheartening when people tell me they would love to watch ballet, or participate in ballet, but they don’t think they would understand it or fit the image of what a dancer should be.
Anyone who wants to engage with any style of dance can. And anyone who dances is a dancer.
World Ballet Day 2019 Companies
A record-breaking 31 professional ballet companies are taking part in the World Ballet Day 2019 broadcast.
The core group of premier ballet companies hosting World Ballet Day 2019 are: The Australian Ballet in Melbourne, Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow and The Royal Ballet in London.
They are joining forces with an impressive range of guest companies and prestigious ballet schools from all over the globe to stream exclusive live content direct to your digital device.
The guest companies in the United Kingdom are: Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet, Scottish Ballet and Royal Academy of Dance.
The guest companies in Europe are: Polish National Ballet, Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, Wiener Staatsballett, Stuttgart Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Bayerisches Staatsballett, Paris Opera Ballet, La Scala Ballet Company and Staatsballet Berlin.
The guest companies in Australia and Asia are: Singapore Dance Theatre, Hong Kong Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Korean National Ballet, National Ballet of Japan, Queensland Ballet and Royal New Zealand Ballet.
The guest companies in America and Canada are: Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Acosta Danza, Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and São Paulo Dance Company.
The guest company in Africa is: Cape Town City Ballet.
Join The Celebration
The footage is being live-streamed via each participating company’s YouTube channel or Facebook page, but will also be available on demand.
Watch the entire celebration live by visiting the World Ballet Day website.
Use the hashtag #WorldBalletDay on social media to join the conversation and share your love for ballet.
Georgina Butler is an editor, a dance writer and a ballet teacher.