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!
Revel in a royal visit when Northern Ballet brings its latest ambitious narrative ballet, Victoria, to Milton Keynes Theatre next week.
The title character is, of course, Queen Victoria and the production’s inaugural year in Northern Ballet’s repertoire coincides with the 200th anniversary of her birth.
Queen Victoria reigned for sixty-three years, from June 1837 until January 1901. She was the longest-reigning monarch in British history until her great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, surpassed her in 2015 . Throughout her life, Victoria was famously “not amused”. Ironically, she remains a figure of fascination and inspiration to the people who produce our entertainment today.
Little ones will be dancing with excitement at the news that Northern Ballet’s Tortoise and the Hare is racing onto the big screen at cinemas nationwide this weekend.
The bite-sized ballet is being shown on Saturday as part of Northern Ballet’s first ever cinema season for children.
Choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, danced by his New Adventures company, returns to Milton Keynes Theatre this month and the revival will have audiences flocking to the venue.
First performed in 1995, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is an unconventional take on the beloved nineteenth-century classical ballet. Although still set to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, this interpretation replaces the customary corps of swan maidens with a posse of feral, bare-chested male birds and adds a homoerotic twist to the traditional tale of love, freedom and identity.
These bold choices ruffled plenty of feathers when audiences first encountered the production.
The dancers of English National Ballet are prepping their pointe shoes in readiness to thrill theatregoers with the timelessly romantic tragedy of Manon this season.
Legendary British choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Parisian period drama is a highlight of the ballet repertoire, yet it is rarely seen outside London. Indeed, this season, English National Ballet is touring Manon for only the second time in thirty years and Milton Keynes Theatre is one of just three venues outside of London to be hosting the production. (The other two regional venues are Manchester Opera House and Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.)
The late MacMillan choreographed this steamy three-act ballet in 1974. He was inspired by French author Abbé Prévost’s controversial 1731 novel, L’historie du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut, which was considered so scandalous at the time of its publication that it was banned in France.