Special days that celebrate many things are a big part of the annual calendar and it stands to reason that ballet has one too. It is called World Ballet Day and it happens every year at the beginning of October. But what does the day celebrate and what happens?
What is World Ballet Day?
World Ballet Day is a celebration of ballet but is also a chance for people to see top ballet companies in action in a way they might never have seen before. It also helps to examine the role of ballet and the life of dancers, what it takes to reach the very highest level of the dance and the techniques and rehearsals that dancers use to stay there.
The celebration was founded in 2014 as a collaboration between some of the biggest dance companies in the world including the Bolshoi Ballet, the Royal Ballet, the Australian Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. Each company uses the day to showcase their work, their performances and the backstage preparations that most people never get to see.
What happened this year?
World Ballet Day 2018 is very much about promoting ballet and bringing it to a new audience – that’s why they scheduled a Facebook event to help people stay up to date with what was happening. Then on the day, there were live streams from the different companies during the day to highlight the work they were doing. This also means that the footage is available all year round for fans to check out if they missed it live.
Another element of the celebration this year was the #worldballetday hashtag and the campaign to get people involved. The organisers wanted to get people involved in the longest pirouette around the world from their bedrooms and gardens to the beach, the forest or even the dance studio. It was a clever idea to get people involved and saw fans sharing their videos on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag.
Ballet around the world
As the popularity of the event has grown, more companies than ever have taken part. This year saw 24 different companies take a 30-60 minute slot during the Facebook Live day to share ballet with their fans. These included companies from Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Germany, Poland, the UK, Brazil, Cuba and the USA.
Kevin O’Hare of the UK’s Royal Ballet said the company were excited to be involved with the annual project, being able to share their love of ballet and also offer inspiration for future dance fans in what it takes to be a ballerina.
The event is in its fifth year and looks set to continue to be a part of the regular calendar of ballet events. Not only does it help to showcase the hard work that dancers around the world put in to create amazing performances, but it also catches the attention of people who might previously have thought that ballet wasn’t for them and to make new lifelong fans.
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