Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music.

Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 9/9/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.



PBS Great Performances: The Royal Ballet in "Romeo and Juliet"

PBS's "Great Performances" is broadcasting Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet nationwide on Friday, September 11 at 9pm EDT (check local listings). Rather than a recorded live performance, this Romeo and Juliet is a gorgeously shot 90-minute cinematic adaptation. Directed by BalletBoyz artistic directors William Trevitt and Michael Nunn, the film features The Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. First soloist William Bracewell and principal dancer Francesca Hayward star in the title roles, with principals Matthew Ball and Marcelino Sambé as Tybalt and Mercutio, respectively. Available on PBS, pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app.

Ballet Collective

BalletCollective, the maverick company started by New York City Ballet soloist Troy Schumacher, is performing outdoors this week for a socially distanced, drive-in audience in scenic Pine Plains, New York. But don't worry if you can't make it—BalletCollective will be live-streaming each performance on its website. Natural History, a world premiere choreographed by Schumacher that explores concepts of "before" and "after," is based on commissioned poems by Carey McHugh and set to a new score by San Fermin's Ellis Ludwig-Leon. The cast of seven dancers, who hail from NYCB and the Martha Graham Dance Company, quarantined together during the choreographic process to ensure safety. Tune in to BalletCollective's website and on September 10 and 11 at 6:15 pm EDT, and September 12 at 2:30 pm EDT. (Rain date is September 13 at 2:30 and 6:15 pm.) To reserve a ticket to the live performance, click here.

San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Ballet released a new dance film directed by Benjamin Millepied on Thursday, August 13, featuring the choreography of Dwight Rhoden, Janie Taylor, Christopher Wheeldon and Justin Peck. Titled Dance of Dreams, the film was shot at iconic locations around San Francisco and fetures dancing by SFB's Frances Chung, Joseph Walsh, Ellen Rose Hummel, Daniel Deivison-Oliveira, Benjamin Freemantle and Madison Keesler. (The dancers observed social distancing rules.) It also features the music of the SFB Orchestra, incorporating 150 tracks recorded remotely by 60 musicians. Dance of Dreams is available on SF Ballet@Home, the company's Facebook page, YouTube channel and Instagram TV.

Works & Process at the Guggenheim Virtual Commissions

Works & Process, the performing arts arm of the Guggenheim Museum, is presenting newly commissioned dance films every Sunday and Monday this month. Watch upcoming premieres on W&P's YouTube channel, as well as its Facebook and Instagram pages. (Catch past releases, including works by Gabrielle Lamb and NYCB's Joseph Gordon and Adrian Danchig-Waring, here.) Check out the schedule below:

  • September 13: Ethan Steifel
  • September 14: Amy Hall Garner
  • September 20: Richard Thomas and Philip Fisher
  • September 21: Anthony Roth Costanzo, Adam Charlap Hyman, Dick Hyman, and Zack Winokur
  • September 27: Maxfield Haynes

Capital Dance Project

A female dancer in jean shorts and a black T-shirt skips outside in front of a yellow wall.

Capital Dance Project's Julia Feldman

Courtesy Capital Dance Project

Sacramento's dancer-led Capital Dance Project is premiering 11 new works as part of its CDP Digital Series: Made in Sacramento. The dance films, choreographed and performed by CDP artists and made in collaboration with filmmaker Brandon Manning, will be available on the company's website and its Facebook and Instagram pages. The ballets, which also feature local artists, musicians and Sacramento landmarks, will be released one at a time every Wednesday and Saturday starting August 26, with the full viewing of the series available October 2. While the performances are free, CDP asks that viewers consider making a donation.

State Street Ballet

State Street Ballet is presenting its Virtual Summer Series on the platform CYA.Live. Tickets are available on the CYA.Live website for $9.99 each. All broadcasts are live streamed 8-10 pm EDT. Check out the lineup below:

  • September 16: William Soleau, Kevin Jenkins, and Edgar Zendejas' Chaplin

Chamber Dance Project

A male dancer in an all-white outfit dances barefoot outside in front of a bridge in Los Angeles.

Christian Denice performing Sarabande in Los Angeles

Owen Scarlett, Courtesy Chamber Dance Project

Washington D.C.'s Chamber Dance Project presents its online performance program New Works 2020 (and beyond), which offers a selection of site-specific contemporary ballet films free for streaming from your home. Tune in on September 24 at 7 pm EDT to catch broadcasts featuring four cities, eight dancers, three choreographers and a new commissioned score for each film. View casting and reserve tickets for free via the CDP website, and check out its Facebook and Instagram pages for more details.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

After months of working remotely over Zoom, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre premiered a film version of A Midsummer Night's Dream as part of the Allegheny County Parks Concert Series on Sunday, August 16. Shot at the scenic Hartwood Acres park, the ballet was released first on Pittsburgh's CW television, and are still available to watch on the Allegheny County Park's Facebook page and YouTube channel. Under the direction of PBT's new artistic director Susan Jaffe, the production was conceived and choreographed by PBT dancers Tommie Lynn Kesten, Jessica McCann, Kurtis Sprowls and Cooper Verona.

Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami

Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami is presenting a pre-recorded virtual performance dedicated to frontline works at Baptist Health, South Florida's largest healthcare system, now available on the company's Vimeo channel. The program includes Vow, a work by Miami City Ballet dancer Ariel Rose, and Apollo and Daphne by Ben Needham-Wood. You can also access the performance on the company's website and Facebook page.

Island Moving Company

Rhode Island–based Island Moving Company has launched its second monthly watch party premiering episodes every second Friday of the month. Tune in at 7 pm EDT on September 11 and October 9 for each upcoming livestream hosted by artistic director Miki Ohlsen via the company's Facebook page.

In addition, IMC continues to stream select performances from its repertory archives on its website on demand. Called Great Dance in Great Places, the series runs every Thursday through Sunday.

Ballet Black

London's Ballet Black has been releasing filmed performances on its website and YouTube channel on Sunday nights as part of its BB on Film initiative. Each will be available for one week. Right now you can catch the company in Mute, written and directed by Mark Donne and performed by Cira Robinson. You can also still watch the full performance of House of Dreams, choreographed by Michael Corder, here on their YouTube channel.

Black Iris Project

Jeremy McQueen's Black Iris Project, which focuses intensely on bringing Black stories to life through ballet, is now streaming the Emmy-nominated dance film A Mother's Rite on the company's website and on Vimeo. Set to a four-handed piano arrangement of Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, McQueen's ballet follows a mother's grief after her son is murdered by police. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre's Courtney Celeste Spears stars in this powerful 40-minute solo, which was filmed in the historic home of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes.

Lincoln Center

Check out the new work by choreographer Kyle Abraham, Ces noms que nous portons, starring NYCB principal Taylor Stanley. Filmed in front of the Lincoln Center fountain and its Pride light installation, the solo celebrates queer artists and their history in dance. Tune in via the Lincoln Center website and YouTube channel.

Lincoln Center is also offering a selection of previously broadcasted Dance Week performances on-demand for a limited time. Included in the lineup are Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's 2015 performance of Chroma, Grace, Takademe, and Revelations; New York City Ballet in Christopher Wheeldon's This Bitter Earth (excerpt) and Ballet Hispanico's 2015 performance of CARMEN.maquia and Club Havana. You can access these performances through Lincoln Center's website.

Carolina Ballet

Carolina Ballet has been uploading a pre-recorded ballet from its vast repertoire to its website. To watch Bariolage, with music by Shinji Eshima and choreography by Robert Weiss and Zalman Raffael, as well as Raffael's The Metaphorical Heart (to music by Leonard Bernstein) click here.

Dutch National Ballet

Dutch National Ballet is streaming ballets on its online platform and on its YouTube channel. Right now, the company is sharing its world premiere of The Prometheus Project, a triple bill of solo works featuring choreography by Erica Horwood, Wubkje Kuindersma, and Ernst Meisner celebrating the poignant Greek myth.

Seattle Dance Collective

Seattle Dance Collective, run by PNB principals Noelani Pantastico and James Yoichi Moore, presents its online streaming platform Continuum: Bridging the Distance. Check out new works by Amanda Morgan, Bruno Roque, Penny Saunders, SeaPertyls and Beth Terwilleger on the company website.

English National Ballet

Dancers in tan jumpsuits pench\u00e9 and reach upward throughout a rounded theater with red curtains and gold accents.

Dancers of English National Ballet in Cinderella Games

Courtesy ENB

ENB continues its #ENBatHome initiative with a special premiere of its new film project Cinderella Games. Directed and choreographed by Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple (collectively known as Jess and Morgs), the work is based on Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella and adds some new dark twists to the classic fairy tale. After the real Cinderella disappears after the ball, contestants across the kingdom now compete in a twisted game show to win its title. Check out this unique performance now on the company's website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Northern Ballet

UK–based Northern Ballet is offering a Pay As You Feel Digital Season, with a series of videos available on the company's website for a limited time, along with a link to donate. EGO, a Northern Ballet original dance film, is available on the website now. You can also catch highlights from the company's 50th Anniversary gala performance, excerpts from Kenneth Tindall's brand new ballet Geisha, Amaury Lebrun's For an Instant, and the children's ballet Little Red Riding Hood. David Nixon's Dracula is also available now for 11 months on BBC Four and iPlayer as part of the BBC's Culture in Quarantine Season.

New York Theatre Ballet

NYTB/Chamber Works (formerly New York Theatre Ballet), started its Living Room Series in March. The best part? NYTB has made all past Living Room Series performances available on its website. Click here for links to all performances, including the company's Robert La Fosse's The Soldier's Tale, the full ballet from the musical Carousel, the "Hornpipe" excerpt from Agnes de Mille's Celebration and more.

American Repertory Ballet

American Repertory Ballet was supposed to perform its new production of Giselle this summer at Princeton's McCarter Theater. But since the COVID-19 pandemic has forced its cancellation, the company is now presenting an hour's worth of excerpts on its website, filmed during a February 16 performance at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. The production is a collaboration between Cuban and American stagers, including José Manuel Carreño, Aydmara Cabrera, Ana Novoa and Ian Hussey.

City Ballet of San Diego

City Ballet of San Diego is now offering online on-demand access to its new virtual dance project, The Dark Room Series, on its website and Vimeo channel.

Marquee TV​​

While you need a subscription to performing arts streaming service Marquee TV, it is currently offering discounts for students and arts professionals. Marquee offers a robust selection of ballet and contemporary dance performances from major international dance companies, including The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet.

All Arts

All Arts, the streaming arm of New York PBS station WNET, is offering a slew of performances for free right now. Catch the Czech National Ballet in Romeo and Juliet, the Mariinsky Ballet in Balanchine's Jewels, Tokyo Ballet and Ballet Béjart Lausanne in Maurice Béjart's Ninth Symphony, Young Stars of Ballet, and State Street Ballet in the company's production of Cinderella. You can also catch behind-the-scenes documentaries of Kansas City Ballet's Wizard of Oz and Christopher Wheeldon's Nutcracker at Joffrey Ballet.

Stage Access

Check out the online streaming company Stage Access for a new selection of full-length performances by The Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet and more. Subscribers gain full access to all materials, and you can begin a week-long free trial now.

Latest Posts


Chisako Oga photographed for Pointe by Jayme Thornton

Chisako Oga Is Soaring to New Heights at Boston Ballet

Chisako Oga is a dancer on the move—in more ways than one. From childhood training in Texas, California and Japan to a San Francisco Ballet apprenticeship to her first professional post with Cincinnati Ballet, where she quickly rose to principal dancer, she has rarely stood still for long.

But now the 24-year-old ballerina is right where she wants to be, as one of the most promising soloists at Boston Ballet. In 2019, Oga left her principal contract to join the company as a second soloist, rising to soloist the following year. "I knew I would have to take a step down to join a company of a different caliber, and Boston Ballet is one of the best companies in the country," she says. "The repertoire—Kylián, Forysthe, all the full-length ballets—is so appealing to me."

And the company has offered her major opportunities from the start. She danced the title role in Giselle in her very first performances with Boston Ballet, transforming a playful innocent into a woman haunted by betrayal with dramatic conviction and technical aplomb. But she also is making her mark in contemporary work. The last ballet she performed onstage before the pandemic hit was William Forsythe's demanding In the middle, somewhat elevated, which she says was a dream to perform. "The style really clicked, felt really comfortable. Bill drew something new out of me every rehearsal. As hard as it was, it was so much fun."

"Chisako is a very natural mover, pliable and strong," says artistic director Mikko Nissinen. "Dancing seems to come very easy for her. Not many have that quality. She's like a diamond—I'm curious to see how much we can polish that talent."

Chisako Oga, an Asian-American ballerina, does a pench\u00e9 on pointe towards the camera with her arms held out to the side and her long hair flying. Smiling confidently, she wears a blue leotard and a black and white ombr\u00e9 tutu.

Jayme Thornton for Pointe

A Life-Changing Opportunity

Oga began dancing at the age of 3. Born in Dallas, she and her family moved around to follow her father's job in IT. Before settling in Carlsbad, California, they landed in Japan for several years, where Oga began to take ballet very seriously. "I like the simplicity of ballet, the structure and the clear vocabulary," she says. "Dances that portray a story or have a message really drew me in. One of my favorite parts of a story ballet is diving into the role and becoming the character, putting it in my perspective."

In California, Oga studied with Victor and Tatiana Kasatsky and Maxim Tchernychev. Her teachers encouraged her to enter competitions, which she says broadened her outlook and fed her love of performing in front of an audience. Though highly motivated, she says she came to realize that winning medals wasn't everything. "Honestly, I feel like the times I got close and didn't place gave me perspective, made me realize being a dancer doesn't define you and helped me become the person and the dancer I am today."

At 15, Oga was a semifinalist at the Prix de Lausanne, resulting in a "life-changing" scholarship to the San Francisco Ballet School. There she trained with two of her most influential teachers, Tina LeBlanc and Patrick Armand. "She came in straightaway with strong basics," Armand recalls, "and working with her for two years, I realized how clever she is. She's super-smart, thoughtful, driven, always working."

She became a company apprentice in 2016. Then came the disappointing news—she was let go a few months later. Pushing 5' 2", she was simply too short for the company's needs, she was told. "It was really, really hard," says Oga. "I felt like I was on a good track, so to be let go was very shocking, especially since my height was not something I could improve or change."

Jayme Thornton for Pointe

Moving On and Up

Ironically, Oga's height proved an advantage in auditioning for Cincinnati Ballet, which was looking for a talented partner for some of their shorter men. She joined the company in 2016, was quickly promoted to soloist, and became a principal dancer for the 2017–18 season, garnering major roles like Swanilda and Juliet during her three years with the company. "There were times I felt insignificant and insecure, like I don't deserve this," Oga says about these early opportunities. "But I was mostly thrilled to be put in those shoes."

She was also thriving in contemporary work, like choreographer-in-residence Jennifer Archibald's MYOHO. Archibald cites her warmth, playfulness and sensitivity, adding, "There's also a powerful presence about her, and I was amazed at how fast she was at picking up choreography, able to find the transitions quickly. She's definitely a special talent. Boston Ballet will give her more exposure on a national level."

Chisako Oga, an Asian-American ballerina, poses in attitude derriere crois\u00e9 on her right leg, with her right arm out to the side and her left hand grazing her left shoulder. She smiles happily towards the camera, her black hair blowing in the breeze, and wears a blue leotard, black-and-white ombre tutu, and skin-colored pointe shoes.

Jayme Thornton for Pointe

That was Oga's plan. She knew going in that Cincinnati was more stepping-stone than final destination. She had her sights on a bigger company with a broader repertoire, and Boston Ballet seemed ideal.

As she continues to spread her wings at the company, Oga has developed a seemingly effortless artistic partnership with one of Boston Ballet's most dynamic male principals, Derek Dunn, who Oga calls "a kind-hearted, open person, so supportive when I've been hard on myself. He's taught me to believe in myself and trust that I'm capable of doing whatever the choreography needs." The two have developed an easy bond in the studio she likens to "a good conversation, back and forth."

Dunn agrees. "I knew the first time we danced together we had a special connection," he says. "She really takes on the artistic side of a role, which makes the connection really strong when we're dancing onstage. It's like being in a different world."

He adds, "She came into the company and a lot was thrown at her, which could have been daunting. She handled it with such grace and confidence."

Derek Dunn, shirtless and in blue tights, lunges slightly on his right leg and holds Chisako Oga's hand as she balances on her left leg on pointe with her right leg flicking behind her. She wears a yellow halter-top leotard and they dance onstage in front of a bright orange backdrop.

Oga with Derek Dunn in Helen Pickett's Petal

Liza Voll, Courtesy Boston Ballet

Perspective in a Pandemic

The pair were heading into Boston Ballet's busy spring season when the pandemic hit. "It was really a bummer," Oga says. "I was really looking forward to Swan Lake, Bella Figura, some new world premieres. When we found out the whole season was canceled, it was hard news to take in."

But she quickly determined to make the most of her time out of the studio and physically rest her body. "All the performances take a toll. Of course, I did stretches and exercised, but we never give ourselves enough time to rest as dancers."

She also resumed college courses toward a second career. Oga is one of many Boston Ballet dancers taking advantage of a special partnership with Northeastern University to help them earn bachelor's degrees. Focusing on finance and accounting, Oga upped her classes in economics, algebra, business and marketing. She also joined Boston Ballet's Color Our Future Mentoring Program to raise awareness and support diversity, equity and inclusion. "I am trying to have my voice inspire the next generation," she says.

Jayme Thornton for Pointe

One pandemic silver lining has been spending more time with her husband, Grand Rapids Ballet dancer James Cunningham. The two met at Cincinnati Ballet, dancing together in Adam Hougland's Cut to the Chase just after Oga's arrival, and got married shortly before her move to Boston. Cunningham took a position in Grand Rapids, so they've been navigating a long-distance marriage ever since. They spend a lot of time texting and on FaceTime, connecting in person during layoffs. "It's really hard," Oga admits, but adds, "We are both very passionate about the art form, so it's easy to support each other's goals."

Oga's best advice for young dancers? "Don't take any moment for granted," she says without hesitation. "It doesn't matter what rank you are, just do everything to the fullest—people will see the hard work you put in. Don't settle for anything less. Knowing [yourself] is also very important, not holding yourself to another's standards. No two paths are going to be the same."

And for the foreseeable future, Oga's path is to live life to the fullest, inside and outside ballet. "The pandemic put things in perspective. Dancing is my passion. I want to do it as long as I can, but it's only one portion of my life. I truly believe a healthy balance between social and work life is good for your mental health and helps me be a better dancer."

Students of International City School of Ballet in Marietta, Georgia. Karl Hoffman Photography, Courtesy International City Ballet

A Ballet Student’s Guide to Researching Pre-Professional Training Programs

Many dancers have goals of taking their training to the next level by attending full-time pre-professional programs next fall. But it's hard to get to know the organizations without physically experiencing them first. Even when the world isn't practicing social distancing, visiting a school or attending its summer program isn't always possible. So, what can students and their families do to research programs and know what might work best for them? Who do you reach out to, and what are the questions you and your parents should be asking?

Here, pre-professional-program leaders share some practical advice for taking the next step in your dance training.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
American Ballet Theatre corps member Rachel Richardson. NYC Dance Project, Courtesy Rachel Richardson

ABT’s Rachel Richardson on Performing With Her Hometown Company, Eugene Ballet

When I signed my first professional contract with Eugene Ballet, one of the last things I anticipated was the opportunity to dance beside a member of American Ballet Theatre. Flash forward to the start of our spring season this year, and suddenly I'm chatting in the hallway and rehearsing the Cinderella fairy variations next to luminous ABT corps member Rachel Richardson. When ABT announced it was canceling live performances for the 2020–21 season, Richardson traveled back home to Eugene, Oregon, to be with her family—and this spring joined the company as a guest artist.

Growing up, Richardson trained locally in Eugene before moving to The Rock School for Dance Education's year-round program in Philadelphia. After securing a spot in the ABT Studio Company in 2013, she was promoted to corps de ballet in 2015. This unconventional year marks her sixth season with the main company.

After having the privilege of dancing with her this spring, I sat down with Richardson to discuss her recent guesting experience, how the pandemic has helped her grow and her advice for young dancers.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks