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Ashley Dean and artists of The Royal Ballet in rehearsal for La Bayadère, World Ballet Day 2018 © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Andrej Uspenski
Ashley Dean and artists of The Royal Ballet in rehearsal for La Bayadère, World Ballet Day 2018 © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Andrej Uspenski

Join the sporting elite and Royal Ballet dancers live and behind the scenes on #WorldBalletDay 2019

Dame Kelly Holmes, Colin Jackson, Mark Ramprakash, Tony Adams and Chemmy Alcott will join The Royal Ballet for #WorldBalletDay on 23 October 2019.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)
Monday 30 September 2019, 10am

For the sixth year running, #WorldBalletDay will see a record-breaking 31 dance companies, including The Royal Ballet, The Australian Ballet and The Bolshoi Ballet, join forces in this global celebration of dance.

Exploring the theme ‘Every Body Can Dance’, World Ballet Day 2019 will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube, as cameras go behind the scenes with the world’s best professional dancers.

The free online stream takes place alongside an immersive programme of daytime events at the Royal Opera House in London. Join free performances and ticketed workshops in the first year that doors have been opened for visitors to join Royal Ballet dancers and sporting celebrities on World Ballet.

The Royal Ballet will also partner with mental health charity, Mind, as Royal Ballet dancers, along with Olympians and sports stars, lead the conversation on the importance of managing good mental health at an elite level. The day will culminate in the Company signing the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation – part of The Royal Ballet’s commitment to positive mental well-being. The Charter, which was set-up by Mind in partnership with the Sport and Recreation Alliance and Professional Players Federation, was created to encourage more organisations to take positive action around mental health and physical activity.

Dame Kelly Holmes, #WorldBalletDay ambassador commented:

'I’m excited to be a part of #WorldBalletDay and these very important conversations about wellbeing. During my career I have experienced the pressure of facing a crowd, performing at an elite level and am looking forward to exploring this with Royal Ballet dancers and the similar experiences they have dealt with.'

Kevin O’Hare, Director of the Royal Ballet, said:

'#WorldBalletDay is one of the highlights of the ballet Season, and this year’s programme of events is here to show that absolutely every body can dance – no matter your age, experience or ability. As part of this year’s World Ballet Day celebrations, we also look forward to partnering with Mind to shine a light on mental health in dance and sport and open up the conversation on performance pressure across all of our disciplines'.

Royal Ballet Principal Alexander Campbell and Principal Character Artist Kristen McNally will present expert insights on Facebook and YouTube. The day starts with morning class at the barre (11am) followed by rehearsals of Coppélia, Frederick Ashton’s Enigma Variations, Cathy Marston’s new ballet The Cellist, a full call of The Sleeping Beauty and a masterclass of Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto duet with dancers from the Company and students from The Royal Ballet School. Full programming will be announced in due course.

Across the day, The Royal Ballet will also host a series of immersive activities for participants of all ages and abilities, which also form part of the regular daytime events series at the Royal Opera House. These include:

Ballet Dots

11–11.40am | Paul Hamlyn Hall | Participatory workshop | Booking required | Age 12 months to 2 and-a-half years

Explore the repertory of The Royal Ballet through creative movement and dance, accompanied by live piano music. Babies and children with their parents and carers are encouraged to move together through creative, fun and sensory participatory workshops, which are designed to complement early years development.

Monday Moves

12–12.40pm | Paul Hamlyn Hall | Demonstration | No need to book, just turn up

For over 25 years, the Royal Opera House's Monday Moves project has been challenging the art form's visual nature. This demonstration is an opportunity to learn more about the Royal Opera House's long-standing regular ballet class for visually impaired adults. There is no need to book, just turn up and watch.

Live at Lunch

1–1.45pm | Paul Hamlyn Hall | Demonstration | No need to book, just turn up

Drop by for a free lunchtime performance, featuring Royal Opera House artists and guest artists. Experience an exciting programme of free lunchtime performances inspired by the heritage of the Royal Opera House and its operas and ballets.

Dance with The Royal Ballet

14.15–15.30pm | Paul Hamlyn Hall | Participatory workshop | Booking required | Age 12+

An opportunity for adults and children to learn and dance steps inspired by ballets performed at the Royal Opera House. Gain an active insight into the repertory of The Royal Ballet by learning steps and creatively exploring the choreography.

For further details, RSVP to our Facebook Event