Happy World Ballet Day 2019
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 World 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 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!
Johannesburg-born dancer and choreographer Dada Masilo – known for fearlessly deconstructing classical ballets – brings her take on Giselle to Milton Keynes Theatre this month.
The production is visiting the new city as part of the Dance Consortium tour, which presents must-see international contemporary dance across the UK.
Masilo, who dances the role of Giselle, has radically reimagined the definitive Romantic era ballet by uprooting it from its European origins and giving it a trailblazing feminist twist.
Set in a South African village, Masilo’s Giselle tells the tale of a peasant girl who is overwhelmed by betrayal and shame when her duplicitous lover deserts her. Rejected by her family and alienated from the village community, Giselle’s heartbreak sends her mad and ultimately kills her.
Still, it’s not long before she is resurrected as a spooky supernatural being, bent on revenge…
British street dance troupe Diversity is celebrating its 10 year anniversary with a landmark tour that includes a one-off performance at Milton Keynes Theatre.
A decade ago, Diversity took the nation by storm when the dance act won the third series of Britain’s Got Talent, beating singer Susan Boyle to victory in a live television final watched by 20 million viewers.
Since then, Diversity has enjoyed eight sell-out UK tours – plus countless other live performances – and the back-flipping BGT favourites are showing no signs of slowing down.
The dancers are planning to blow theatregoers away with Born Ready, The 10 Year Anniversary Tour. This is a production that promises to showcase amazing new routines and express the troupe’s excitement for what the next decade might bring.
See the current crop of performers in all-male dance troupe BalletBoyz at their powerful best when they present inventive double bill Them/Us.
This critically acclaimed company is internationally renowned for taking an athletic and adaptable approach towards dance. Always charismatic, and sometimes quite cheeky, BalletBoyz uses ballet technique as a foundation for developing dynamic and accessible dance productions.
The ensemble is dancing at Milton Keynes Theatre for one night only this month. Theatregoers have plenty to look forward to as the boys will showcase their aptitude as budding choreographers alongside their versatility as expressive, energetic dancers in Them/Us.
Dancing in your seat is unavoidable when watching Motown the Musical so prepare to be up on your feet bopping along by the end!
The performers in this exuberant jukebox musical are currently showcasing fancy footwork and versatile vocals in a two-week run at Milton Keynes Theatre. Their efforts result in an entertaining show that delivers a heartfelt tribute to Motown and everything that the revolutionary record label represented.
Detroit songwriter Berry Gordy Jr founded the Motown Records label – named after the car manufacturing city’s ‘Motor Town’ moniker – with just $800 in 1959. The former car factory worker was keen to be the best version of himself that he could be, while helping others to do the same. Accordingly, he resolved to invest in atypical musical arrangements sung by black artists and promote them to mainstream (white) audiences.
This ground-breaking gamble launched the careers of Diana Ross and the Supremes, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and countless other legendary performers.
As the defining sound of the 1960s and 1970s, Motown moved the world with hit after glorious hit. Considering this impressive inventory of timeless tunes, Motown the Musical could have easily been a sweet soul sleepover. However, the two-act show powers through a hit parade of songs with purpose and pizzazz so there is no need for audience or cast members to pull an all-nighter.