World Ballet Day is returning in 2019, and it’s Wednesday, October 23rd. Mark those calendars! Like last year, it will be hosted by a smaller core group: The Royal Ballet, the Australian Ballet and the Bolshoi. Boo hoo for those of us in North America, who will once again miss seeing the San Francisco Ballet and National Ballet of Canada in their own 4-5 hour segments, but last year, taped contributions from other ballet companies around the world (see below for an example of scheduling) helped fill out the day.
This is the 6th annual World Ballet Day. Credit for the original idea goes to The Royal Ballet who, in 2012, live-streamed a nine-hour day of behind-the-scenes footage, which drew 200,000 viewers, and, since then, over 3.6 million viewers to the YouTube archive. Want to see the company class segment of that auspicious event? It’s amazing.
The Royal Opera House, home to The Royal Ballet and headquarters for World Ballet Day, has not yet updated its web page for 2019, but they have a great “World Ballet Day: Discover More” page HERE. If you’re a newcomer to the ballet world and want to learn more, it’s very much worth checking out. If you’re an old-timer like myself, it’s still very much worth a look.
Those who will be in London on October 23rd are in for an extra treat. In line with this year’s theme of “Every Body Can Dance,” the Royal Opera House will open its doors to everybody and every body, offering activities, demonstrations, a free lunchtime performance, all in addition to what’s going streaming online (via Facebook and YouTube). One perk of this for Londoners and The Royal Ballet both, I imagine, is the unparalleled exposure to the newly renovated Royal Opera House, completed in 2018. Chief Executive, Alex Beard, shared that, “We are delighted to open the doors to a transformed Royal Opera House, with our new Linbury Theatre, new entrances, foyers and terraces, a new café, bar and restaurant and refurbished Clore Studio, as well as an extensive programme of daytime events, activities and festivals. The Royal Opera House is now open every day from 10am, and we want as many people as possible to visit one of the world’s most beautiful theatres, to experience our art forms and to get a taste of the remarkable creativity at play here.”
How cool is THAT? Hint, hint, all you other ballet companies out there, and don’t go saying, “That’s fine for smaller companies, but WE are too big, too established [and exclusive] to allow visitors in.” Bullshit. Take a page from the Royal Opera House’s playbook. In 2019, this is what dance fans and new-to-dance fans and not-yet-a-fan-of-dance people want. It’s time to really open up the ballet world to the public. You will be amply rewarded, in so many ways, for doing so.
So get ready for World Ballet Day 2019, on Wednesday, October 23rd. Curious to know what the schedule will look like? See below, for World Ballet Day 2018’s official schedule.This does NOT mean this is the 2019 schedule, but it gives you an idea of what the 2019 event might look like. As details come available, I will slot them in here, so that by The Big Day, it will be fully accurate for 2019. I will also employ my nifty time chart from 2018 that shows what time each segment starts/stops in in YOUR location.
For my coverage of the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 World Ballet Days, click on their dates. And if you’re hungry to read about behind the scenes in the ballet world, check out my novels from the Ballet Theatre Chronicles, Off Balance (only 99 cents!) and Outside the Limelight, named a Best Book of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews. And my newest dance-centric novel, A Dancer’s Guide to Africa, quarter-finalist for the 2018 BookLife Prize, is on special right now for only 99 cents. Grab it before the price returns to $3.99.
World Ballet Day 2018 Official Schedule
The Australian Ballet, Melbourne
11:00-16:00 AEST (UTC+10hrs)
Большой театр России / Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, Bolshoi Ballet, Moscow
09:00-14:00 MSK (UTC +3hrs)
Royal Opera House, The Royal Ballet, London
12:00-17:00 BST (UTC +1hr)
AUSTRALIA and ASIA
The National Ballet of Japan, Tokyo – 11:00-11:15 JST (UTC +9hrs)
West Australian Ballet , Perth – 14:30-14:40 AWST (UTC +8hrs)
Queensland Ballet, Brisbane – 15:00-16:00 AEST (UTC+10hrs)
Royal New Zealand Ballet, Wellington – 15:00-16:00 NZST (UTC +12hrs)
Nasjonalballetten UNG / Norwegian National Ballet 2, Oslo – 14:00 – 14:30 CEST (UTC +2hrs)
The Royal Danish Ballet, Copenhagen – 14:15-14:45 CEST (UTC +2hrs)
Bayerisches Staatsballett, Munich – 14:30-15:00 CEST (UTC +2hrs)
Das Stuttgarter Ballettt, Stuttgart – 15:00-15:30 CEST (UTC +2hrs)
Wiener Staatsballett, Vienna – 15:15-15:45 CEST (UTC +2hrs)
Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, Paris – 15:30-16:00 CEST (UTC +2hrs)
Het Nationale Ballet – Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam – 16:00-16:30 CEST (UTC +2hrs)
Kungliga Svenska balettskolan/ The Royal Swedish Ballet School, Stockholm – 16:15-16:45 CEST (UTC +2hrs)
Teatr Wielki – Opera Narodowa, Warsaw – 17:00-17:30 CEST (UTC +2hrs)
Scottish Ballet, Glasgow – 11:00-11:30 BST (UTC +1hr)
Birmingham Royal Ballet – 13:00-13:30 BST (UTC +1hr)
English National Ballet, London – 14:00-14:30 BST (UTC +1hr)
Royal Academy of Dance, London – 14:30-15:00 BST (UTC +1hr)
Northern Ballet, Leeds – 16:00-16:30 BST (UTC +1hr)
AMERICA and CANADA
Ballet Concierto De PR, San Juan – 10:00-11:00 AST (UTC -4hrs)
Acosta Danza, Cuba – 12:00-12:40 EDT (UTC -4hrs)
Houston Ballet, Texas – 12:30-13:30 CDT (UTC -5hrs)
Pacific Northwest Ballet , Seattle – 11:00-11:30 PDT (UTC -7hrs)
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York – 15:00-15:30 EDT (UTC -4hrs)
Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal – 16:00-17:00 EDT (UTC -4hrs)