On October 1st, five of the world’s major ballet companies will participate in an unprecedented 20-hour-long, live streaming event, World Ballet Day Live, during which ballet enthusiasts around the world can go behind the scenes with each of these illustrious companies to watch classes, rehearsals and coaching for their productions in the forthcoming 2014-15 season.
San Francisco Ballet is the only US company to be represented in this international event – which also features The Australian Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada – but to enable the San Francisco company participate, it needs to raise $30,000.
SF Ballet has therefore launched a Kickstarter Campaign, so that supporters and enthusiasts can make a contribution to help cover the cost of hiring a technical crew and host; renting cameras, lighting and other equipment; and paying for broadband costs to host the event live online. Any donation of any size will be gratefully received, and SF Ballet will be offering unique rewards exclusively for Kickstarter participants, so here’s a chance for us to enable America’s oldest ballet company to participate in this worldwide event.
World Ballet Day Live is an extension of Royal Ballet Live, a nine-hour streaming event which took place in March 2012, and was so successful that it drew an audience of about 200,000 viewers on the day, with 2.5 million subsequent views of edited material on YouTube.
This year’s event will take place in successive four-hour slots, beginning at 12 pm local time in Melbourne, then move across continents and time zones to Moscow, London, Toronto and San Francisco. The live stream will be available on the website of each ballet company during its four-hour broadcast, and afterwards the whole day’s streaming will be repeated on YouTube, to enable viewers around the world to catch up on any parts of the day they missed. Edited highlights will subsequently be available for further viewing.
This unusual event will show each of these five companies going through the similar routines with which dancers everywhere in the world start their day, followed by rehearsals for forthcoming productions, highlighting the different styles of these companies, and the way in which each approaches the choreography and presentation of the selected works.
Details of the San Francisco and Royal Ballet companies’ activities on the day will be available shortly, but we know that highlights of the Australian Ballet presentation include group and pas de deux rehearsal for Graeme Murphy’s celebrated Swan Lake, Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker and Stanton Welch’s La Bayadère.
The Bolshoi Ballet will feature rehearsals for The Taming of the Shrew, commissioned from Jean-Christophe Maillot, Director-Choreographer of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, a work which premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in July.
The National Ballet of Canada broadcast includes rehearsals for Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, and Nijinsky by John Neumeier, Director and Chief Choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet, a work which the Company performed during the San Francisco Ballet’s 2013 season.
Members of the viewing public will have the opportunity to submit questions to the dancers via Twitter, to which they’ll respond during the broadcast.
To make a donation, and learn more about World Ballet Day Live, go to www.kickstarter.com/projects/sfballet/sf-ballet-on-world-ballet-day-live. You can also keep track of developments on Twitter #worldballetday.
The broadcast schedule is as follows (all times are in Pacific Daylight Time – PDT):
Australian Ballet – September 30th at 7.00 pm
Bolshoi Ballet – September 30th at 11.00 pm
Royal Ballet – October 1st at 3.00 am
National Ballet of Canada – October 1st at 7.00 am
San Francisco Ballet – October 1st at 11.00 am
and the entire 20-hour live stream event will be available on sfballet.org/worldballetday or by visiting the Company’s YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/SFBallet.