With close to 50 global companies taking part (see below for the latest list), World Ballet Day 2021 on Tuesday October 19 will be the biggest yet, offering plenty of behind-the-scenes access to ballet’s biggest companies, their stars and emerging performers. The line-up includes nine companies joining for the first time alongside returning favourites The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet, The National Ballet of Japan, and Cape Town City Ballet.
As part of the event, The Royal Ballet, in conjunction with The Australian Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet, are launching the largest ever global dance challenge, Jump for Joy.
In a World Ballet Day first, participating companies will be encouraging audiences to take part in the Jump for Joy challenge. For a chance to be featured on the day, viewers will be asked to share a video of themselves performing their favourite celebratory dance move. No ballet experience is necessary, and any content should be shared using #WorldBalletDay.
The day’s programme will include a combined six hours’ worth of digital content from The Australian Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet’s five-hour live stream will commence at 11am BST. Opening with a morning class, the day will also offer sneak previews of rehearsals and exclusive behind-the-scenes content from some of this season’s productions, including Peter Wright’s Giselle and Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet. New work will also feature, celebrating the breadth of choreographic talent within the company today.
Later in the day, The Royal Ballet will livestream a section from the stage and piano rehearsal for Wayne McGregor’s new ballet, The Dante Project featuring music by Thomas Adès and designs by Tacita Dean. Inspired by Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, the production will receive its world premiere on 14 October, marking 700 years since the poet’s death.
Times of streams from the other UK companies are on www.worldballetday.com, although details are not yet available.
From The Australian Ballet, audiences can expect a full class, complete with commentary by Artistic Director David Hallberg, followed by rehearsals for Harlequinade, I New Then and Romeo and Juliet. The three-hour segment, streamed from Melbourne, will also include a tour of the costume production department, and an introduction to the company’s educational and outreach projects.
The Bolshoi’s three-hour programme will be hosted by ballet soloists Artyom Ovcharenko and Ana Turazashvili. Pre-recorded content will include a morning class followed by rehearsals for Orlando, La Bayadère, Don Quixote and Pharaoh’s Daughter, all intercut with live interviews conducted in the historic foyer of the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow.
In another World Ballet Day first, this year’s event will feature exclusive content on TikTok, in addition to full-length streams on Facebook and YouTube.
Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, says, “World Ballet Day is a time to celebrate dance, and now, more than ever, it’s important that we come together with our global family to provide dancers and audience members across the world with a sense of solidarity – bringing us together despite the challenges we have faced over the last year.”
David Hallberg, Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet says, “I look forward to opening our studio doors and giving everyone a glimpse into the life of our compelling artists. We can’t wait to connect with our loyal audiences and show them how we have persevered through these times, re-energised and re-inspired.”
The line-up and their respective streaming schedules is being continually updated (see www.worldballetday.com for more.
* indicates joining for the first time.
*Bangkok City Ballet
*Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
Hong Kong Ballet
Korean National Ballet
The National Ballet of Japan
Singapore Dance Theatre
Cape Town City Ballet
The Australian Ballet
Royal New Zealand Ballet
West Australian Ballet
Birmingham Royal Ballet
Dutch National Ballet
English National Ballet
*Estonian National Ballet
Finnish National Ballet *ISTD
La Scala Theatre Ballet
Norwegian National Opera & Ballet
Paris Opera Ballet
*Perm Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre
Polish National Ballet
Royal Academy of Dance
The Royal Ballet
The Mikhailovsky Theatre
The Royal Danish Ballet
*Ural Opera Ballet Theatre
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
American Ballet Theatre
Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal
Central & South America
Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico
*Ballet de Monterrey
Ballet Nacional de Cuba
São Paulo Dance Company