Ballet Careers

Missed World Ballet Day? Here's Your Chance to Catch Up!

Members of San Francisco Ballet in company class as part of World Ballet Day LIVE 2017. Photo by Erik Tomasson via San Francisco Ballet on Instagram.

Last Thursday was World Ballet Day LIVE, the official 22-hour live-stream relay showcasing companies across the globe. If you were busy (we know that you don't always have the luxury to spend an entire day watching ballet), don't fret. Many of the companies involved recorded their classes, rehearsals and interviews from the day of, and we rounded them up for you to watch at your leisure. Careful, though; there are more than twenty hours of footage included here... make sure you take a break to, you know, sleep.


First up is San Francisco Ballet with a full five hours, including rehearsal for Balanchine's timeless classic, Serenade.


The Royal Ballet's WBD stream is split into three parts. Here's the first chunk, featuring company rehearsals of a few Sir Kenneth MacMillan ballets as well as Christopher Wheeldon's Alice in Wonderland (a measly two hours and 45 minutes). You can find part 2 here and the full company class here. The video also features a quick aerial tour of London from the balcony of the Royal Opera House.


English National Ballet shared a substantially shorter (10 minute) rehearsal of MacMillan's masterpiece Song of the Earth, complete with interviews with the dancers on the meaning behind the piece.


Back in the States, Ballet West shared excerpts from their rehearsal of Nicolo Fonte's Fox on the Doorstep.


Another five hour stream comes courtesy of The Australian Ballet in rehearsal of a number of story ballets including Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty as well as contemporary works by the company's resident choreographers. And, the stream starts on a Melbourne beach. What could be better than that?


Though National Ballet of Canada was on tour in Paris during WBD, they pre-recorded a session including company class and rehearsal of Justin Peck's Paz de la Jolla, John Neumeier's Nijinsky and Christopher Wheeldon's A WInter's Tale.


Going behind-the-scenes at the Bolshoi is a real treat. Though the full live stream isn't up yet, you can check out this rehearsal of Balanchine's Diamonds featuring Alena Koveleva from WBD. Though the rehearsal is conducted in Russian, parts of it include English subtitles.


The Dutch National Ballet recorded a rehearsal of Mata Hari in front of a live studio audience including interviews with the company's artistic director and two principal dancers.


Houston Ballet has not had an easy few weeks due to the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey. Yet the company has gracefully landed on its feet, as is quite clear in these excerpts from company class and rehearsals.


Lastly, Scottish Ballet shows a short clip from rehearsal for Christopher Hampson's production The Rite of Spring.

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Ballet Stars
Photo by Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet

Houston Ballet soloist Harper Watters has a good thing going on. Not only is he one of the company's rising young dancers, but he's also a ballet celebrity on social media, where he charts his life on Instagram and on his hugely popular YouTube series, "The Pre Show" (which he describes as "tons of ballet, banter, boys and lots of backstage shenanigans").

The Dover, New Hampshire, native, who seems just as comfortable in a pair of pink heels as he does onstage, trained at Walnut Hill School for the Arts and Portsmouth School of Ballet. While a member of Houston Ballet II, he landed an apprenticeship with the company after winning the Contemporary Dance Prize at the 2011 Prix de Lausanne. He joined the main company that same year and was promoted to soloist in December 2017. Known for his big personality, elegantly long lines and sensual flow in contemporary work, Watters, 26, is ready to take on the next phase of his career. He recently spoke with Pointe about his new rank and his mission to help others feel proud of who they are.

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Sara Webb and Connor Walsh with Artists of Houston Ballet in "Swan Lake" choreographed by Stanton Welch. Photo by Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've pulled together some highlights.


The Australian Ballet's Triple Bill, Verve, Includes New Work by Company Dancer Alice Topp

Verve, a triple-bill program from The Australian Ballet running June 21-30 in Melbourne, will host revivals of works from resident choreographers Stephen Baynes and Tim Harbour, as well as a world premiere from company coryphée Alice Topp. Topp's Aurum is inspired by kintsugi, a Japanese art in which broken ceramics are mended using lacquer colored with silver or gold, so that the cracks are emphasized, instead of hidden. In Aurum, Topp applies that philosophy to the human ability to find beauty in vulnerability and imperfections. Completing the bill are Baynes's Constant Variants, which pairs neo-classical ballet with a Tchaikovsky score, and Harbour's Filigree and Shadow, a contemporary ballet featuring striking set and lighting design.

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David Hallberg in rehearsal. Photo by Kate Longley, Courtesy The Australian Ballet.

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