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Watch: Highlights from The Royal Ballet's contribution to World Ballet Day 2017

The Company offered a unique backstage glimpse as part of this year's event.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

6 October 2017 at 9.00am | 74 Comments

World Ballet Day was streamed live across the world on 5 October 2017 on The Royal Opera House's Facebook page, and highlights are available to watch again via YouTube.

The 22-hour livestream, a partnership between Facebook and The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet provided viewers around the world with an exclusive look behind the scenes at what life is like at the world's top ballet companies.

Highlights of The Royal Ballet's five-hour segment included Company class and rehearsals of Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, works as part of the MacMillan festival and Arthur Pita’s new ballet The Wind.

This year, to bring the live, unfiltered spirit of #WorldBalletDay to everyone watching at home, we asked viewers to send in a short film of themselves doing a ballet move using the hashtag #BalletNoFilter.

Previous years have seen audiences join us from across continents, with viewers tuning in from places as far afield as Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan. This year for the first time the event was viewable in China through a partnership with the Chinese internet company, Tencent.

Like our Facebook page to be kept up-to-date with news about World Ballet Day 2017.

Watch highlights from World Ballet Day 2016.

This article has 74 comments

  1. Linda responded on 8 August 2017 at 11:08pm Reply

    The baby in Steven McRae's wife's tummy is out in the world now! So fun.

  2. Kevin responded on 9 August 2017 at 3:47pm Reply

    May I ask, is this to be streamed on Facebook rather than Youtube this year?

    I don't like or use Facebook.


    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 21 August 2017 at 9:26am

      Hi Kevin,

      The live event will be streamed via Facebook, with highlights available afterwards via YouTube.

      You don't need a Facebook account to watch the stream though, it'll be available via our website too (as an embed)



  3. Ellie Scotland responded on 11 August 2017 at 7:14pm Reply

    Sounds great. Love the program. I am a ballet enthusiast.

  4. valerie mcgilvary responded on 12 August 2017 at 3:11pm Reply

    Looking forward to this event and viewing.

  5. Niclaire responded on 13 August 2017 at 11:54am Reply

    Wonderful. Looking forward.

  6. Sharon Keogh responded on 13 August 2017 at 4:44pm Reply

    Was so looking forward to this but I will be away, I hope I'll be able to watch it online at a later date??
    I also hope that the Bolshoi have had some advice on their section - after class their segment is seriously underwhelming - ahem, boring. ...
    Finally I'm hoping that we get to see ALL of the Royal Ballet class - especially all of the grand allegro - which was interrupted last year by a silly item on fashion I think - & we ended up missing the men perform some exciting jumps.....

  7. Olivia responded on 18 August 2017 at 12:03pm Reply

    I can't wait. This is always an inspiration for me and ballet.

  8. Felicity responded on 19 August 2017 at 4:53pm Reply

    I am not on Facebook (and don't want to be). Will I still be able to watch World Ballet Day 2017? I have watched it in its entirety non-stop (and I'm an OAP) in previous years with no problems. I second the above request for the RB FULL class. One of the reasons I love the Australian Ballet is that we do get the full class without interruptions.

  9. Anna responded on 20 August 2017 at 2:41am Reply

    Really looking forward to this lovely event. I hope that we'll get to watch the whole company class and some principal dancers too!!

  10. alex responded on 20 August 2017 at 1:18pm Reply

    I agree with others: can we just watch the whole class without any interruptions please! Any publicity announcements/fashion/cinema etc. can wait till the end. I don't want the beauty of watching the RB dancers in a full class interrupted, it's really annoying.

  11. barbara responded on 20 August 2017 at 6:29pm Reply

    Love you all! Thank you form Italy:-)

  12. Ginny responded on 23 August 2017 at 9:48am Reply

    Really looking forward to this but please show whole class if possible and please reduce presenters chatting over the dancing to a minimum..

  13. Manon1753 responded on 15 September 2017 at 6:16pm Reply

    Motions for full classes without interruptions and improvement of Bolshoi contents seconded.
    Really looking forward to a Day of Dance, whilst occasionally popping downstairs to serve meals (mostly prepared in advance).

  14. Susan Lee Hauser responded on 17 September 2017 at 9:53pm Reply

    I wholeheartedly agree with the comments on not interrupting class for featurettes.

  15. It's Mayara Magri in the foreground of the YouTube trailer pic. Beautiful dancer and definitely one to keep an eye on.

  16. Irisha responded on 27 September 2017 at 2:32am Reply

    Oh, this will be a visual delight!
    What a superb way of celebrating the day.

  17. Vallee page responded on 30 September 2017 at 12:31pm Reply

    What time Eastern does it start?

  18. Vallee page responded on 30 September 2017 at 12:34pm Reply

    I want to watch all of it. When will it start eastern time and what is the face book address?

  19. Trish Brown responded on 2 October 2017 at 1:58am Reply

    I will be sitting my Latin exam on World Ballet Day. Snif! Is there no way I'll be able to see the entire class from the Royal Ballet afterward? I've been looking forward to this for a whole year! (not the Latin - the WBD) :)

    • ML responded on 4 October 2017 at 10:08pm

      Yes, you can watch it the next day on this website! Good luck for the exam, Trish!

  20. elleG responded on 3 October 2017 at 5:18pm Reply

    I find it strange that, less than 48 hours ahead of the Royal Ballet being featured, there is still no basic information on here about timing - not even when the RB segment begins and ends. Please enlighten us.

    • ML responded on 4 October 2017 at 10:10pm

      Royal Ballet starts at noon and finishes at 5pm when National Ballet of Canada take over. All sections start with company class.

  21. Susan responded on 3 October 2017 at 7:15pm Reply

    I can’t watch live this year so can we please have the full (uninterrupted) RB class available on play back? Highlights on YouTube will be better than nothing but watching the full class will make me so happy.

  22. Anna responded on 3 October 2017 at 10:23pm Reply

    Will we be able to watch it on youtube like we have with the other ones in past years?
    I don't use Facebook and really like to watch different parts of it from time to time.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 5 October 2017 at 12:43pm

      Hi Anna,

      Highlights will be available via YouTube afterwards.



  23. Jenn responded on 4 October 2017 at 4:24am Reply

    could you guys add some more morning classes please ? I've been always waiting the morning class. I'm learning music for ballet by myself and practice them everyday so I need a lot of reference of ballet classes and how other pianists play in ballet music but I've got very few chance to see other ballet classes. please upload the full morning class .

  24. Yaffa Sassoon responded on 4 October 2017 at 9:09am Reply

    Really looking forward to this. But please could you clarify which segments will/may not be available in full after the live stream, and at what time they will originally be broadcast. Then it will be much easier to plan. Many thanks.

  25. Ama responded on 4 October 2017 at 2:39pm Reply

    Really looking forwards to this but I'll be in Covent Garden this year - will there be a screen available at the ROH to watch the performances (I don't have a smartphone)?

  26. elleG responded on 4 October 2017 at 6:10pm Reply

    I am astonished that you are asking people to send in shots of themselves doing ballet moves. Surely those following World Ballet Day are doing so in order to watch high class artists 'behind the scenes' not amateur vanity projects from viewers? I appreciate that 'engagement' is important but this seems to be going too far. And why did you publish one schedule earlier today only to change it round later? People are trying to organise their days (and work) in order to catch certain segments and this is all the more important to them as there is no real indication of what will be available subsequently.

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 4 October 2017 at 10:31pm


      We'd like as many people as possible to join in with the day, and we'd encourage anyone who feels inspired to send in a short video of themselves - with the understanding that not everyone watching is a professional dancer, but might want to take part in the day from their own home. With five hours of broadcast from The Royal Ballet alone (not to mention the other companies!), there will certainly be plenty of footage of professional dancers to watch and interact with.

      Regarding the schedule, we are a working theatre and as a result, sometimes rehearsal schedules have to be changed. If you miss any of the broadcast, it will be available for 30 days following the stream.

      Hope you enjoy World Ballet Day this year, we're very much looking forward to it!

      All the best,


    • ML responded on 5 October 2017 at 4:11am

      The videos have been part of World Ballet Day from the beginning- with international stars themselves like Maria Alexandrova (Bolshoi) and Lana Jones (Australian Ballet) enthusiastically supporting the idea of viewers joining in. Lighten up.

  27. Smd responded on 4 October 2017 at 9:29pm Reply

    Agree let's see whole ballet class without interruptions from barre to centre please

  28. Manon1753 responded on 5 October 2017 at 8:10am Reply

    Facebook. Bolshoi. No sound! Dance without music. Same problem as last year. Can we please go back to YouTube?
    Had to miss Australians (as in the middle of the European continental night) and no catch up.
    Bit disappointing.

  29. Manon1753 responded on 5 October 2017 at 8:22am Reply

    Bolshoi. Russian being spoken should NOT be a reason for not providing translation by way of subtitles, or simultaneous interpretation.

  30. Manon1753 responded on 5 October 2017 at 9:22am Reply

    Bolshoi camera work has improved. But oh dear, the translations... a mixture of Google translate (which can NOT translate) and voice recognition technology leading to absurdities such as "batman" (transcription of battement) and "make your feet en dehors" (how about "turn out"?) and Lander's "elaborate" interview and a Vaganova Academy.... "Egor"?
    There is no need for this. Get a real simultaneous interpreter!!!!
    But I am thoroughly enjoying this Etudes rehearsal which offers a real insight into the amount of work that goes into preparing a performance.

  31. Imogen Monk responded on 5 October 2017 at 10:02am Reply

    For the second year running that I have been able to watch World Ballet Day live, I have found it a frustrating experience and not been able to. Your advice is wrong. On this page 'video is unavailable'. Go to Facebook still no video available. Obliged to download the Facebook app and made to log in. I now get a working video but without sound and so cluttered with emojis and other viewers comments that I still can't watch. A few years ago I could simply watch online through a browser and it was a great experience. Can you please give us an alternative to Facebook.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 5 October 2017 at 12:41pm

      Hi Imogen,

      I'd suggest viewing via and seeing if that works.

      On Facebook, you are able to turn off comments and emojis - simply make the video full screen and click on the leftwards arrow. This will make them disappear.



    • Vicky Hurst responded on 5 October 2017 at 2:26pm

      I had the same problems as you Imogen and I have a Facebook account and I still couldn't watch it. I phoned the ROH and the girl I spoke to said they couldn't access it either via their own website or Facebook There's obviously major problems somewhere. Thank goodness the World Ballet Day website works!

  32. Penelope Simpson responded on 5 October 2017 at 10:10am Reply

    I SO don't want to see amateur ballet pictures. BBC tried that with Wimbledon2day and look how that ended. We are not all selfie addicts or narcissists.

  33. Vicky Hurst responded on 5 October 2017 at 12:11pm Reply

    The World Ballet Day video on your website is not working and I can't seem to access anything via Facebook either even though I have "liked" the ROH page

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 5 October 2017 at 12:40pm

      Hi Vicky,

      Sounds like it might be your connection. I'd suggest refreshing or watching via a different source.

      Thanks and hope you'll be able to join us!


  34. Stevie responded on 5 October 2017 at 12:45pm Reply

    Just says 'Unavailable - This Video can't be embedded' . Very disappointing ??

  35. Janis Anderson School of Dancing responded on 5 October 2017 at 12:58pm Reply

    Be sharing this with my Beautiful Ballerinas in Cheshire. These dancers will be inspiring students from my classes starting from the age of 3yrs to 75yr olds. We will watch today and this week enjoy every minute! Thank you all for making ballet so accessible to all. Can't wait to share this evening might make my older students have a go of this amazing choreography.
    Ballet, Dance For All. Jennie Donnachie of Janis Anderson School of Dancing

  36. Geoffrey Spackman responded on 5 October 2017 at 1:27pm Reply

    Facebook no good. Can't get it on my iPad even after getting the Facebook app. Will not let me watch unless I get Facebook account which I do not want to do. PLEASE go back to YouTube. I know "highlights" will be available but PLEASE post it all unedited even if it is in segments.

  37. Darren responded on 5 October 2017 at 1:53pm Reply

    Whoever decided to make this a Facebook live event made a mistake. Not everyone uses Facebook and please don’t tell me this has something to do data capture..!

    Despite claims you can watch it without you simply can’t as it doesn’t work.

  38. Vicky Hurst responded on 5 October 2017 at 2:09pm Reply

    It doesn't work even if you do have a Facebook account. It doesn't work on the ROH website either.

  39. Andy responded on 5 October 2017 at 4:19pm Reply

    Loving Watching World Ballet Day 2017!! Thank you. I can only imagine how much work must have gone into it. Phew! I haven't had any problem watching on Facebook (don't usually use it), but can't see any FB live comments, the way you can when someone streams on Youtube. But otherwise - wonderful. A+++++ :-))

  40. Andy responded on 5 October 2017 at 4:25pm Reply

    Following on from my comment a few minutes ago ... I've just learn how to see the live FB comments! Only 35 mins left, but got there in the end. Enjoying v much, thank you to every one.

  41. Karenb responded on 5 October 2017 at 4:50pm Reply

    I've tried it too. Why change it from youtube when it has worked perfectly well in the past? A huge disappointment. I agree with those who have asked for the Royal Ballet section to be uploaded in full. Not all of us can afford the luxury of sitting in bed all day watching it.

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 5 October 2017 at 8:37pm

      Hi Karen,

      We will be uploading the full stream tomorrow once the live day is over.

      Hope you enjoy the stream tomorrow.

      Many thanks,


  42. Sue Ashton responded on 5 October 2017 at 6:33pm Reply

    Very disappointed that I cannot seem to watch this on my IPad.

  43. Anna responded on 5 October 2017 at 8:05pm Reply

    I wasn't able to watch the Royal Ballet Class due to my geographical location, I'm 8 hours before London.
    So, where can I find it right now?

  44. Nicola responded on 5 October 2017 at 8:20pm Reply

    I'm very disappointed because I have been at work all day and looked forward to scrolling back through the live stream (as has been possible in previous years) to catch up on the live action - but very disappointed to find I can't now do that! I want to see the whole thing, not "selected highlights" . Particularly wanted to see the Royal Ballet class and the Macmillan segments.
    I wish you would recognise that most people work but would like to see the whole thing when they get home - and make that possible! I don't know why we can't rewind back through the live stream, it can be done on other live streams.

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 5 October 2017 at 8:35pm

      Hi Nicola,

      The stream hasn't yet finished - and we'll be sharing the full stream tomorrow once the live day is over. You can continue to watch until 11pm BST.

      Many thanks, and hope you enjoy catching up!


  45. Anna responded on 5 October 2017 at 10:37pm Reply

    that's great news!!!

  46. Nicola responded on 6 October 2017 at 7:43am Reply

    I hope on YouTube? I see that the full Canadian and Australian segments are already up there in full and it's a much better medium to watch and deal with for most people.

  47. Eleanor responded on 6 October 2017 at 9:43am Reply

    Please can it be streamed via Youtube next year. Though partly the fault of my internet connection, it was buffering every few seconds which was almost impossible to watch and it crashed every time a new rehearsal started. The fact that Youtube can be paused in the middle of a live stream is so much more practical.

  48. Manon1753 responded on 6 October 2017 at 10:09am Reply

    First of all: the RB got it spot on - contents and camera wise. Good interviews, good presentation. And a huge thank you to the dancers who accepted to be filmed no matter and danced beautifully.
    There was one major technical problem during the RB part: in Elite syncopations, the images stalled, finally came back, but with a 30 second soundtrack that kept on repeating itself until the end of the broadcast. Weird.
    Now to the whole day: I haven't seen the Australians yet, but the Bolshoi are getting better at presenting themselves. (Here again though was a lengthy breakdown during the Bayadère variation rehearsal). Next, they need to get their translations sorted out. There is no excuse for providing us with no translation at all or just idiotic, often incomprehensable google-gobbledygook. Wonderful to see the Canadian again and the SFB. I particularly enjoyed discovering Robbins's Dreamer.
    So, can one catch up with the parts one missed? According to a ROH e-mail, one can. In reality, one cannot. Not without first creating a Facebook account.
    Wrong choice of platform, could you please go back to YouTube? Fewer technical hiccups during the live broadcast and far less intrusive system for the catch up.
    Oh, and incidentally, every year I sign up with WBD to receive news, and every year my subscription is confirmed and every year I receive NOTHING.
    And a tip: a bit more clarity about broadcast times. Yes, one can go back to the internet for converting PDT into GMT+2... but it would be helpful to have a link within the WBD and/or the invidiual's published programme.

  49. Sarah Burges responded on 6 October 2017 at 12:26pm Reply

    Hi, any idea when you'll be posting the live stream from yesterday and where? Thanks.

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 6 October 2017 at 2:31pm

      Hi Sarah,

      We'll be posting the stream as soon as it's available - usually, Facebook archives its live videos, but they last a maximum of 4 hours. This stream was much longer than Facebook usually allows, so won't archive automatically. We're working on an edit of our section and will share later this afternoon on this page, and across our social channels.

      Many thanks,


  50. Sarah Burges responded on 6 October 2017 at 2:45pm Reply

    Thanks Mel. So I think you're saying that what you're posting later today will only be an edited version, but that eventually Facebook will have it all available? If it's possible, can you please make sure that the rehearsals of The Judas Tree are included in your edit? Thank you so much.

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 7 October 2017 at 8:51pm

      Hi Sarah,

      The 'edit' I mentioned was just to cut The Royal Ballet's five hour segment into two parts. It's now live.

      Hope you enjoy the stream.

      Many thanks,


  51. Emily responded on 6 October 2017 at 3:14pm Reply

    I was so excited to catch up on the RB segment of World Ballet Day when I got home from work yesterday, only to find that you can't scroll back through it, which is what I have done in previous years and found disappointing yesterday. When will the full uninterrupted RB segment be uploaded and on which platform? I have been looking forward to this footage for a long time and it's a bit frustrating having to wait even longer than I anticipated.

  52. Pam Scragg responded on 6 October 2017 at 3:14pm Reply

    Is the world ballet day17, going to be available today? I missed it due the business and I don’t do Face book.
    Please advise, I have attended many wonderful performances over the years, & have been a Friend of the ROH & the RB since I was a dance student in the 70’s! It is wonderful and magical for me to be able to follow so much on line today, & marvel at the technical advances of the fabulous RB dancers of today.
    But being an Oldie I don’t do social media or Face book!
    Please spare a thought for the older enthusiast, we are very loyal & so excited to be able to see WBD ballet online. Last year I happily watched everthing on U tube, please can we do it again? Many thanks Pam

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 7 October 2017 at 8:55pm

      Hi Pam,

      Hope you're enjoying the stream which went live on YouTube yesterday. Please be assured we want to cater to as many ballet fans (and potential ballet fans) as possible - no one needs a Facebook account to be able to watch the broadcast.

      Hope to see you at another performance soon.

      Many thanks,


  53. Nicojtr responded on 6 October 2017 at 3:25pm Reply

    No, please, not an edit! I wanted to see the whole thing!
    I hope I am misunderstanding and that you mean that you are editing out the whole of the RB segment from the whole stream and showing the whole of that?

  54. elleG responded on 6 October 2017 at 7:52pm Reply

    I don't think that there was a widespread problem with viewing via Facebook if people were not registered there. My husband, who is not on Facebook, simply clicked the link on the ROH page and had good reception all day. I am on Facebook but experienced frequent stalling and other interruptions.

  55. Rachel Miller responded on 7 October 2017 at 12:30pm Reply

    I would be grateful if you could tell me what the piece of music is being played in the rehearsal for The Dreamers Ever Leave. I see it is by Lubomyr Melnyk, but I'd like to be able to buy it. Many thanks. Rachel

  56. The segments were all beautifully presented and it was brilliant to see the ballets being rehearsed such as Jeux, Dreamers, Alice etc. I also enjoyed the piece about Hull with the clip from BBC North immensely. Just one request - next time could we have morning class filmed with the camera in front of the dancers during the centre work so that we can see their faces instead of filming everyone from behind/everyone's behind? Thanks! It's a brilliant project and all the sections from Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, San Francisco Ballet and all the guest companies are superb. I actually enjoy watching some of it live but most of it after the event so that I can repeat sections I like the most. Looking forward to World Ballet Day 2018 already!

  57. alex responded on 9 October 2017 at 10:54am Reply

    Such a fabulous event and to see so many companies from all over the world collaborating is just amazing. It is a tribute to the beauty of Ballet and to all those dedicated dancers! The expression on the faces of the people in Hull, watching the Royal Ballet on a big screen, was very moving and proof that Ballet touches many people, newbies and oldies alike. I mostly enjoyed the RB segments and was thrilled to see RB Principals Alexander Campbell, Yasmine Naghdi, Ryoichi Hirano, Francesca Hayward rehearse "Dreamers", I also loved watching Vadim Muntagirov rehearse "Jeux" with Yasmine Naghdi. Ballet clearly is still a very much loved Art form in the 21st century! Thank you to all involved.

  58. Drew responded on 24 June 2018 at 10:11am Reply

    Where can I get a list of the full class? Not all the dancers are shown on the website.

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