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Missed World Ballet Day 2018? Catch Up Now!

San Francisco Ballet in class during World Ballet Day 2016. Photo Courtesy SFB.

Here at Pointe, every day feels like World Ballet Day, though the official 2018 event took place on Tuesday. While WBD is a thrill for any bunhead, it can also be overwhelming. How are you supposed to sit in front of your computer all day when you have class and rehearsal and work and a life? We get it, and we're here to help.

To give you a chance to catch up, we've rounded up WBD videos from 26 companies. So grab some popcorn, a backlog of pointe shoes to sew, and settle in. If you start watching now, you might just be done in time for WBD 2019.


The Royal Ballet, London

This year, WBD was organized a little bit differently. Three official companies—The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and The Royal Ballet—produced full five-hour streams (though unfortunately the Bolshoi's is no longer available for viewing). Then WBD invited guest companies from all over the world to join in with their own half hour to hour-long additions.

The Royal Ballet is the official co-producer of WBD, so it's only fitting to start with them. This expertly-produced segment includes the entirety of company class, rehearsals and interviews with dancers including Marianela Nuñez and Beatriz Stix-Brunell. This year, the company focused on their female choreographers, which includes a short profile on Charlotte Edmonds, The Royal's inaugural Young Choreographer.

The Australian Ballet, Melbourne

The Australian Ballet usually starts their WBD streams off with a fun intro, and this year is no different. Australian comedy actress Tegan Higginbotham, our host for the day, catches the tram to the theater in a full platter tutu (keep your eyes on the faces of the passerby). The rest of the five-hour stream features company class and rehearsals of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia and The Australian Ballet's new production of Spartacus.

National Ballet of Japan, Tokyo 

From the official WBD companies, we now move on to their guests. We'll start in Asia and Australia and then move to mainland Europe, the United Kingdom and finally the United States and Cuba. First up is the National Ballet of Japan. On the shorter end of WBD offerings, two company dancers give us a glimpse into the start of class.

Queensland Ballet, Brisbane

This hour-long video follows Queensland Ballet on tour in Melbourne where they're dancing Liam Scarlett's A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as rehearsals back in the company's home in Brisbane.

Melbourne Academy of the Arts, Cheltenham

Back in Australia, we see a staged dress rehearsal of Sleeping Beauty with the Australian National Youth Ballet.

West Australian Ballet, Maylands

West Australian Ballet artistic director Aurélien Scannella shares a bit about the company, and then takes viewers into a rehearsal with choreographer Garry Stewart.

Norwegian National Ballet, Oslo

Congrats! You've made it to Europe. Norwegian National Ballet artistic director Ingrid Lorentzen introduces the company and what they're up to. She even pulls dancer Silas Henriksen out of class to ask him about his recent promotion to principal. The stream also features rehearsals from Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Manon with guest artist Maria Kochetkova.

Royal Danish Ballet, Copenhagen

Any dance history fans out there? This one's for you. Royal Danish Ballet artistic director Nikolaj Hübbe narrates a rehearsal of Bournonville's Napoli in the very studio where Bournonville choreographed his masterwork in 1842. The rehearsal features RDB principals Holly Dorger and Jonathan Chmelensky.

Bayerisches Staatsballett, Munich

This is Bayerisches Staatsballett's first time participating in WBD. Catch principals Ksenia Ryzhkova, Osiel Gouneo and guest artist Sergei Polunin in a rehearsal of Raymonda.

Stuttgart Ballet, Stuttgart

Stuttgart Ballet's contributions focuses on the men of the company. Watch them rehearse John Cranko's 1966 Concerto for Flute and Harp.

Winer Staatsballett, Vienna

Vienna-based Winer Staatsballett takes viewers into a rehearsal of Sylvia.

Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam

Dutch National Ballet gives us a glimpse inside a rehearsal of La Dame aux Camélias, followed by interviews with some of the company's principal dancers.

Royal Swedish Ballet, Stockholm 

Royal Swedish Ballet rehearses for an upcoming mixed bill performance with special focus on a world premiere by Lukas Timulak. *Note that the video doesn't start until minute nine.

Paris Opéra Ballet, Paris

From the beautiful Palais Garnier, Paris Opéra Ballet gives us a peek into rehearsal for John Neumeier's La Dame aux camélias and Jerome Robbins A Suite of Dances with étoiles Léonore Baulac, Mathieu Ganio and Mathias Heymann.

Polish National Ballet, Warsaw

Polish National Ballet gives viewers a full tour of the theater, which includes one of the largest stages in Europe (according to company dancers this is both a blessing and a curse). The tour also includes the company's physical therapy room and a rehearsal of Swan Lake.

Scottish Ballet, Glasgow

The above video shows Scottish Ballet in company class. They also live streamed a rehearsal with choreographer Helen Pickett; see it here.

Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham

Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers Céline Gittens, Mathias Dingman and Brandon Lawrence join choreographer Juanjo Arqués in a rehearsal for his work Ignite.

English National Ballet, London

Watch English National Ballet in rehearsal for Manon.

Royal Academy of Dance, London

English National Ballet dancer Shevelle Dynott gives viewers a full tour of the RAD headquarters and describes many of the organization's programs taking place around the world. First up, see two of the recent Genée International Ballet Competition medalists in rehearsals: gold medalist Monet Hewitt has just joined the English National Ballet School, and silver medalist Basil James has just joined The Royal Ballet Upper School.

Northern Ballet, Leeds

Northern Ballet's live stream includes an interview with choreographer Cathy Marston on Victoria, her upcoming ballet based on the life of Queen Victoria. Also, watch for a clip of dancers sword fighting in a castle...you won't be disappointed.

Acosta Danza, Havana

Carlos Acosta introduces this day-in-the-life video of his Havana-based company, Acosta Danza.

Houston Ballet, Houston

In exciting news for the company, Houston Ballet brings fans back into the Wortham Center after a year-and-a-half long absence due to destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. Principal Jessica Collado hosts, leading viewers through company class and Houston Ballet II class, as well as rehearsals for Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free and The Cage, and Swan Lake, which the company will bring to Dubai later this month.

Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle

Meanwhile, in Seattle, watch Pacific Northwest Ballet run through nearly the entirety of Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York

This year, WBD broadened their parameters by welcoming Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater into the mix. See inside their rehearsals of Rennie Harris' Lazarus and Ronald K. Brown's The Call.

Still haven't had enough? There's more! Royal New Zealand Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal's streams are exclusively available on their FB pages. Click here and here to watch them now.

The Conversation
Ballet Training
Via Burst

I'm a ballet dancer of 13 years, but I only got serious about it a few years ago, and very recently realized that I might want to pursue ballet professionally. I've contemplated auditioning for several prestigious pre-professional programs. But now I'm a junior in high school, so I'm worried it's too late. Should I still go for it, or am I better off staying at my current studio and going to college? —Lexi

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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Tetsuya Kumakawa, via YouTube

Tetsuya Kumakawa, a former principal with The Royal Ballet and the founder and artistic director of K-Ballet in Tokyo, could make an audience gasp with his wildly powerful and inventive allegro. A boyish, dare-devil dancer, Kumakawa was a natural fit for roles like Franz in Coppélia. Watching him in this clip of Franz's Act I variation, it seems Kumakawa must have some sort of gravity-defying DNA.

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Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB

Your teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Marcia Dale Weary, recently passed away. What impact did she have on you?

I feel deeply indebted to her. She shaped my life's course, and I know that were it not for her, I would not be living out my dream today. She led by example through her remarkable commitment to her work, as well as her genuine kindness and generosity.

You were a trainee with San Francisco Ballet. What was that experience like?

It was an exposure to different schools of thought. We were mostly in the full-lengths, and watching run-throughs of Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote was revolutionary for me. But I was young and far away from home. That transition was hard. My body started changing. It wanted to be fleshy. Biology is cruel in that way. I desperately wanted to fit in, but it wasn't meant to be.

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