Happy World Ballet Day 2020!
World Ballet Day 2020 is here to remind us to make the most of any opportunity to celebrate.
This is such a strange year, but “ballet” remains my default setting.
Indulging in the ritual of barre. Sharing knowledge and enjoyment by teaching. Being immersed in the storytelling and emotion of an online performance. No doubt about it: for me, ballet is providing the normality, connection and escapism that 2020 is sorely lacking.
My art will go on
Ballet is an enduring artform. Dancers possess passion and perseverance. Consequently, the global dance community embraced social disdancing in March and made it work.
Seven months later and we are longing for a return to unrestricted social gatherings, freedom in the dance studio and curtain-up for business as usual in theatres. Nonetheless, I have been pleasantly surprised by how much can be achieved while working at home. As a dancer I have kept moving within the confines of a much smaller space. As a teacher I have continued to provide challenging and fun lessons. As a person I have remained inspired and motivated (most of the time!).
Now that our lives have had to adjust to social distancing, self-isolation and seemingly daily uncertainty, we all need the arts more than ever. And, as there has not been much to get excited about this year, having an entire day dedicated to ballet feels very special indeed.
I will be celebrating today by enjoying the live-streams; connecting with friends, students and colleagues online; and adding some repertoire-inspired sparkle to my in-person teaching.
Ballet back on stage
The three ballet companies uniting for World Ballet Day 2020 are: The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and The Royal Ballet.
We will start the day with The Australian Ballet (at 2am GMT) before visiting Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet (at 7am GMT) and London’s The Royal Ballet (11am to 3pm GMT).
All three companies are planning to show morning class as well as live rehearsals, interviews, and specific insights into how they are coping with ongoing restrictions due to the pandemic. As the day progresses, additional ballet companies from all over the globe will join in.
Expect impressive displays of dedication, heartfelt performances, and a much-needed collective optimism as the world’s best ballet artists respond to new ways of rehearsing, working and performing. World Ballet Day 2020 is sure to be the most unique edition of this annual event so far!
Celebrate World Ballet Day 2020
World Ballet Day 2020 footage is being live-streamed via each participating company’s YouTube channel or Facebook page and will be shown on Tencent Video in China. The recordings will be available on-demand afterwards too. All the ballet companies involved will be sharing live rehearsals and exclusive behind-the-scenes access in accordance with their local COVID-19 guidance.
Watch the entire online event live by visiting the World Ballet Day website.
Use the hashtag #WorldBalletDay on social media to join the conversation and celebrate your love for ballet.
* Illustration of Georgina Butler by Gaia Leandri.
Georgina Butler is a journalist, a dance writer and a dance teacher who specialises in teaching classical ballet. She previews and reviews productions, writes features and interviews people from the world of dance.