World Ballet Day is back and bigger than ever before! Tipped to surpass the success of previous years, here’s what we can expect for 2019.
Polish your pointe shoes and prepare to be transfixed by your screens as World Ballet Day makes its triumphant return on Wednesday 23 October! The annual festivity marks a day of joy and celebration in ode to one of our favourite forms of dance, giving ballet enthusiasts an inside peek into life behind the scenes at renowned companies across the globe.
Now in its sixth year, this year’s event is once again hosted by The Royal Ballet, The Australian Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet. Streaming live* from their studios for 24 hours, viewers will be able to witness every intensive minute — from technique classes and coaching, to backstage prep — offering a rare glance into what goes on behind the curtain at leading companies. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Every body can dance’, encouraging dancers from all walks of life to tune in and celebrate this art form – something we're totally on board with.
WBD have announced a dazzling line-up featuring 31 companies from across the UK, Asia, Europe, America and Africa also taking part, including: Royal New Zealand Ballet, Queensland Ballet, National Ballet of Japan, West Australian Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, English National Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre and The Royal Danish Ballet to name a few.
Dance devotees can enjoy exclusive live access to rehearsals, interviews, classes and more, showcased via YouTube and Facebook, offering an exciting opportunity to discover the athleticism and dedication required as a member of a major ballet company.
Last year, 29 companies from 18 countries across the world took part – marking the largest number so far. With 197,000 views, the Royal Ballet’s contribution received the highest total of online views in the event’s history - but with more companies on the bill than ever before, 2019 is set to be the biggest year yet!
The event was equally popular on social media, becoming a trending topic on Twitter, and amassing 113.5m dance fans engaging with the hashtag #WorldBalletDay. Inspired to join the conversation, thousands of dancers posted photos and videos of themselves performing pirouettes throughout the day and are encouraged to do the same again this time. Why not join in and give it your best shot?
The idea for World Ballet Day was originally pioneered by The Royal Ballet in 2012, when they exhibited the very first behind the scenes live stream, lasting nine hours. The event drew 200,000 viewers during its debut, and so successful it was that several other companies began to follow to suit. And the rest, as they say, is history! In past years the event has also been hosted by companies such as National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet.
In support of this year’s theme, lead co-producer The Royal Opera House is opening its doors to present a timetable of immersive activities and events for every dancer to enjoy. A selection of free workshops will be on offer throughout the day, including ‘Ballet Dots’ a creative movement class for children and babies to the soundtrack of live piano music, and ‘Dance with the Royal Ballet’ teaching steps inspired by ballets performed at the Royal Opera House, so if you happen to be in London, be sure to book your place.
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*Tip: Head to World Ballet Day to set a reminder for each stream to make sure you don’t miss a moment of the action.