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Joseph Sissens in rehearsal for jojo, World Ballet Day 2018 © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Andrej Uspenski
Joseph Sissens in rehearsal for jojo, World Ballet Day 2018 © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Andrej Uspenski

Details of The Royal Ballet's itinerary for World Ballet Day 2020 announced

Join 40 companies around the world for the biggest World Ballet Day ever on 29 October.

By Ashley Woodfield (Head of Ballet Press)
Tuesday 27 October 2020, 1.45pm

World Ballet Day 2020 will be the biggest ever celebration of global dance with a staggering 40 dance companies participating in this year’s unique live-streamed event.

The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and The Royal Ballet will be joined by dance companies from across the globe including Singapore Dance, Joburg Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre and Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico.

With COVID-19 guidelines changing daily in countries across the globe, the dance world has struggled to return to its stages and rehearsal studios. However, 2020’s World Ballet Day will bring us together, more than ever before, to celebrate our art forms and go exclusively behind the scenes of the world's top ballet companies.

Each company will be streaming live rehearsals and bespoke insights in accordance with their respective local COVID-19 guidance via their Facebook and YouTube pages as well as via Tencent video in China.

The three main host Companies – The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and The Royal Ballet – invite audiences to experience morning class which, in the UK, will take place on the iconic Royal Opera House Main Stage. There will be exclusive interviews and access to backstage rehearsals as the Company prepares for The Royal Ballet: Live, the first series of live performances by The Royal Ballet in seven months.

The Royal Ballet itinerary

Presented by Royal Ballet dancers Alexander Campbell and Kristen McNally, The Royal Ballet’s itinerary includes:

  • Pre-recorded Class on the Royal Opera House Stage
  • George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky pas de deux, rehearsal with Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov
  • Cathy Marston’s In Our Wishes, rehearsal with Fumi Kaneko and Reece Clarke
  • Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour rehearsal with David Donnelly and Téo Dubreuil
  • Frederick Ashton’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits rehearsal with Fernando Montaño
  • Valentino Zucchetti rehearsing a new work Scherzo, performed by Artists of The Royal Ballet
  • There will also be interviews and insights celebrating Black History Month and The Royal Ballet summer community engagement programme Doncaster Dances.

The Australian Ballet itinerary

Following safety restrictions in place in Melbourne, Australian Ballet have recently returned to the Primrose Potter Australian Ballet Centre (with special permission from the Victorian Government). They will start their day with a Covid-safe morning ballet class to live piano. Followed by Bodytorque.Digital, an online series showcasing new choreography. Interviews will feature their Artistic Health and Education teams discussing the work they’ve been doing this year.

The Bolshoi Ballet itinerary

This year the Bolshoi dedicate their livestream to Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky, as the theatre celebrates the composer’s 180th birthday. The stream will also include access to rehearsals of The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake (choreography by Yuri Grigorovich), The Nutcracker (choreography by Yuri Grigorovich) and Onegin (choreography by John Cranko). Morning classes will be led by theatre tutors Nadezhda Grachyova and Alexander Vetrov. There will also be interviews with Bolshoi dancers Svetlana Zakharova, Ekaterina Krysanova, Olga Smirnova, Artem Ovcharenko, Egor Geraschenko and the head of the ballet company Makhar Vaziev.

The Australian Ballet will kick off the livestream (2am GMT) before passing the baton to the Bolshoi Ballet (7am GMT) and on to The Royal Ballet (11am to 3pm GMT).

A full schedule from these global dance companies will be available via worldballetday.com

Join us as we celebrate the best creative teams, dancers and artistic communities across the world, bringing companies together to celebrate past, present and future.

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet said: ‘Since 2014 World Ballet Day has proved a wonderful platform for connecting ballet lovers across the globe and now, more than ever, this digital celebration of dance promises to unite us all as we face new, shared challenges across the world. My heartfelt thanks go to Ricki Gail Conway without whose generosity The Royal Ballet would be unable to present this highlight of the dance calendar. We look forward to celebrating the incredible talents of all the international artists involved and bringing our art form to audiences who are missing live performance.’

Join us for the biggest World Ballet Day yet!

Watch The Royal Ballet's contribution to World Ballet Day live from 11am GMT on the Royal Opera House's Facebook page and YouTube channel