Press Releases

September 13, 2016

World Ballet Day LIVE Returns on October 4, 2016

Exclusive Backstage Footage from Five of the World’s Leading Ballet Companies to Be Streamed on Facebook LIVE for the First Time

SAN FRANCISCO, Tuesday, September 13, 2016—The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, and San Francisco Ballet will collaborate for the third time to broadcast 20 hours of behind-the-scenes footage on Tuesday, October 4. For the first time, World Ballet Day LIVE will be streamed via Facebook LIVE—the longest broadcast ever to be shown on the platform.

World Ballet Day LIVE is a celebration of dance and an opportunity for audiences to see what it takes to be one of the world’s top ballet companies, and get an inside look at the athleticism and dedication required for a life in ballet. Each company will introduce viewers to a variety of insights, from morning class, rehearsals for upcoming performances, and backstage preparations.

This year World Ballet Day LIVE will also include pre-recorded footage from a wide range of other dance organizations from across the world. Confirmed companies are: Ballets du Monte Carlo, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Boston Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, English National Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Houston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Northern Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Queensland Ballet, Scottish Ballet, and West Australian Ballet.

World Ballet Day LIVE 2015 saw an unprecedented 349,000 views on the day itself and has subsequently reached an audience of over 2 million. Working with Facebook LIVE, it aims to reach an even wider audience via social media channels including Instagram. Viewers are encouraged to get involved using the hashtag #WorldBalletDay and #mydanceshoes submitting pictures and videos of their own dancing shoes.

The full schedule for the day will be released closer to the event date. For more information, visit sfballet.org/WBD.

About World Ballet Day LIVE
The first World Ballet Day LIVE was held on October 1, 2014. The live broadcast attracted a total of 502,823 views from dance lovers around the world who watched for an average of 27 minutes. Allowing unparalleled, behind-the-scenes access, 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.

Bolshoi Ballet                             
The Bolshoi Ballet is about to open its 241st 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, and Ekaterina Maximova. 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 will celebrate this season his 90th anniversary on January 2, 2017. The Yuri Grigorovitch festival is a main theme of this season at the Bolshoi ballet. Numbers of his creations will be shown in the framework of it.

Bolshoi constantly expands its repertoire with new works such as The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, and Hero of Our Time. Pursuing this  direction Bolshoi will present at the end of this season a new ballet based on the life of Rudolf Nureev, the original ballet score for which  the theatre commissioned to the young but renown composer Ilya Demutsky. Today’s Bolshoi artists Svetlana Zakharova, Maria Alexandrova, Ekaterina Krysanova, Vladislav Lantratov, Artem Ovcharenko, Semion Tchudin, 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
Canada’s premier dance company, The National Ballet of Canada celebrates its 65th anniversary during the 2016/17 season. Founded in 1951 by Celia Franca, the National Ballet has been led by Artistic Director Karen Kain, one of the greatest ballerinas of her generation, since 2005. A company of 70 dancers with its own orchestra, the National Ballet is renowned for its diverse repertoire, performing traditional full-length classics as well as embracing contemporary work, encouraging the creation of new ballets and the development of Canadian choreographers. The company’s repertoire includes works by Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, John Cranko, Rudolf Nureyev, Glen Tetley, John Neumeier, William Forsythe, James Kudelka, Jiří Kylián, Wayne McGregor, Alexei Ratmansky, Crystal Pite, Christopher Wheeldon, and Aszure Barton. The National Ballet is based in Toronto and has toured in Canada, the U.S., and internationally.

San Francisco Ballet
As America’s oldest professional ballet company, San Francisco Ballet has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933, including performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. San Francisco 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.

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