World Ballet Day LIVE Returns Thursday, 10/5
Five of the world's leading ballet companies will come together for World Ballet Day on Thursday, October 5 to broadcast 20 hours of live, behind-the-scenes footage via Facebook Live, following a successful partnership with Facebook in 2016.
The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, and San Francisco Ballet will partner for the fourth year in a row to provide viewers around the world with an exclusive look behind the scenes.
World Ballet Day is a celebration of dance and an opportunity for audiences to experience what it is like to be a part of one of the world's top companies and to see close up the athleticism and dedication of some of the finest ballet dancers. Each company will introduce viewers to a variety of insights, from morning class to rehearsals for upcoming performances and backstage preparations. The National Ballet of Canada will be on tour in Paris on World Ballet Day and will be an active participant via a video transmission.
World Ballet Day 2016 saw unprecedented engagement with more than 700,000 views during the day and subsequently reached an audience of over 6.7 million on-demand. It was also a trending topic on social media around the world. Working with Facebook, World Ballet Day LIVE was able to reach an even wider audience and engage with both ballet fans and newcomers internationally. For 2017, World Ballet Day and Facebook Live will continue their partnership.
Glenn Miller, Strategic Partner Manager for Facebook, said, "Working with World Ballet Day LIVE is a wonderful opportunity to bring ballet and dance to an international audience. Facebook is proud to be partnering with them for the second year running. World Ballet Day demonstrates how dance connects all cultures, and we are happy to be able to facilitate such a fantastic initiative."
Tony Followell, Executive Producer for World Ballet Day, said, "Since the first World Ballet Day in 2014, the event has grown strength upon strength. Our aim is to demonstrate how accessible ballet can be. By allowing viewers behind-the-scenes to some of the top ballet companies in the world, we hope to show that ballet is for everyone."
Viewers are encouraged to get involved using the hashtag #WorldBalletDay.
The full schedule for the day will be released nearer the time.
The first World Ballet Day LIVE was held on 1 October 2014 via YouTube. The live broadcast attracted a total of 502,823 views from dance lovers around the world. Allowing unparalleled, behind-the-scenes access, the collaboration revealed each company's approach to morning class and rehearsals, illustrating the unique personalities that characterize five world-class companies. As the first event of its kind, the 20-hour streaming project garnered critical and viewer acclaim with the New York Times declaring it an "unprecedented bout of internationalism" and the Toronto Star calling it a "milestone event." World Ballet Day LIVE was inspired by Royal Ballet Live in 2012, a nine-hour live streaming via YouTube and The Guardian website.
The Australian Ballet
The Australian Ballet exists to inspire, delight and challenge audiences through the power of its performances. The Australian Ballet is one of the world's premier ballet companies and has delivered extraordinary performances for over 50 years. A commitment to artistic excellence, a spirited style and a willingness to take risks have defined the company from its earliest days, both onstage and off. The company regularly represents Australia on the world stage and has performed to critical acclaim in 87 cities worldwide including New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, London and Paris. Caring for tradition yet daring to be different, The Australian Ballet performs beloved classical ballets and commissions new work annually. The Australian Ballet presents upwards of 250 shows and 1,700 education and audience engagement events each year. In addition to 80 exceptional dancers, The Australian Ballet employs master craftspeople and leaders in injury prevention, dance education, marketing and philanthropy as well as an orchestra of 62 musicians (Orchestra Victoria). Moving effortlessly between the great classical ballets and new contemporary commissions, the company has a uniquely Australian style, powered by artistry and athleticism.
The Bolshoi Ballet is about to open its 242nd season. One of the oldest and largest ballet companies in the world, the Bolshoi combines its great classical tradition with a fresh approach. The Bolshoi Ballet is renowned for its unique style characterized by true virtuosity and incredible stage presence, and it celebrates an illustrious history with legends such as Galina Ulanova, Vladimir Vassiliev, Maya Plisetskaya, Ekaterina Maximova and many others. The Bolshoi Ballet was also the first company to stage Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and Minkus' Don Quixote. Much of the Bolshoi's legacy can be attributed to Yuri Grigorovitch who was the artistic director for more than 30 years and who celebrated his 90th anniversary this past season. While this season Bolshoi mostly dedicates to the anniversary of Marius Petipa, who served Russian imperial ballet for more than 40 years and to whom the greatest part of classical ballet's legacy might be attributed. Without his creative impact we will not know today The Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere, The Nutcracker or Coppelia - which Bolshoi will be renewing this season.
Bolshoi constantly expands its repertoire with new works such as The Taming of the Shrew or Hero of Our Time. Pursuing this direction, Bolshoi will present at this much ballet based on the Tolstoy novel Anna Karenina which famous choreographer John Neumeier stages as a coproduction between Bolshoi and his company in Hamburg. Today's Bolshoi artists Svetlana Zakharova, Olga Smirnova, Ekaterina Krysanova, Vladislav Lantratov, Artem Ovcharenko, Semion Chudin, Denis Rod'kin, and others-coached by Liudmila Semeniaka, Marina Kondratieva, Svetlana Adyrchayeva, Nikolai Fadeechev, Boris Akimov, Alexandr Vetrov, and more-ensure that under the leadership of Makhar Vaziev the Bolshoi's standards are held as high as ever.
The Royal Ballet
Based at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, The Royal Ballet is Great Britain's most prestigious ballet company and one of the great classical ballet companies of the world. Led by Director Kevin O'Hare, the Company has a wide-ranging repertory that showcases the great 19th-century classics alongside heritage works including those of its two great 20th-century choreographers Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan. In addition, The Royal Ballet performs new works by Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor and Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, two of the foremost international choreographers of today. The Royal Ballet continues to create and encourage new choreography and appointed Liam Scarlett as Artist in Residence in 2012.
The National Ballet of Canada
One of the top international ballet companies, The National Ballet of Canada was founded in 1951 by Celia Franca. A company of 70 dancers with its own orchestra, the National Ballet has been led by Artistic Director Karen Kain, one of the greatest ballerinas of her generation, since 2005. Renowned for its diverse repertoire, the company performs traditional full-length classics, embraces contemporary work and encourages the creation of new ballets as well as the development of Canadian choreographers. The company's repertoire includes works by Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, John Cranko, Rudolf Nureyev, John Neumeier, William Forsythe, James Kudelka, Wayne McGregor, Alexei Ratmansky, Crystal Pite, Christopher Wheeldon, Aszure Barton, Guillaume Côté and Robert Binet. The National Ballet has toured in Canada, the US and internationally with appearances in London, England, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with upcoming tours to Paris, France, San Francisco, and Hamburg, Germany.
San Francisco Ballet
San Francisco Ballet, long recognized for pushing boundaries in dance, has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic "firsts" since its founding in 1933. These milestones include performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. SF Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States and currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. The mission of SF Ballet is to share its joy of dance with the widest possible audience-in its community and worldwide-and to provide the highest caliber of dance training in its School. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world. For more information, visit sfballet.org.
Evan McKie is sponsored through Dancers First by Simona Shnaider.
The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the City of Toronto through the Economic Development & Culture Department; the Government of Canada - Department of Canadian Heritage, through the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages; and the Government of Ontario through the Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.