World Ballet Day returned for its 10th year on 1 November 2023. The Royal Ballet School marked this event by celebrating the classical art form alongside over 50 prestigious dance companies from around the world.
These dance companies included Acosta Danza, Joburg Ballet, and Staatsballett Berlin.
Royal Ballet School students followed and partook in The Royal Ballet’s five-hour livestream on the day. The livestream involved rehearsals, classes, and exclusive interviews with Artistic staff and members of The Royal Ballet. Royal Ballet dancers and alumni of the School Kristen McNally and Alexander Campbell hosted the livestream from the Royal Opera House.
World Ballet Day With The Royal Ballet in London
World Ballet Day is an annual, global celebration of ballet that unites the world’s leading dance companies and artists. An initiative of The Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and The Australian Ballet, the event illuminates the methods that companies use to train dancers and help them prepare for performances.
Livestreamed for free across six continents, World Ballet Day 2023 showcased ballet classes, rehearsals for varied repertoire, and tasters of upcoming performances. Emerging performers and some of the biggest stars in ballet took part in the event.
The Royal Ballet livestream at the Royal Opera House began with a company class. Olga Evreinoff, a Principal Guest Teacher at The Royal Ballet, led the session.
Next, Assistant Director of Bern Ballet Jenny Tattersall helped Principal Dancers William Bracewell and Fumi Kaneko rehearse their roles as Dante and Beatrice in the second part of Wayne McGregor’s The Dante Project. Bracewell is an alumnus of The Royal Ballet School who joined White Lodge at the age of 11.
Rehearsals continued throughout The Royal Ballet livestream. Viewers enjoyed behind-the-scenes glimpses of:
- Don Quixote, with Principals Natalia Osipova and Reece Clarke.
- Anemoi with choreographer Valentino Zucchetti.
- The Cellist with Lukas B. Brændsrød and Mayara Magri.
Playing at the Royal Opera House from 20 October to 2 November 2023, Anemoi / The Cellist is a mixed programme that revives two one-act ballets created for The Royal Ballet. Both ballets have received Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for Best Classical Choreography.
Northern Ballet also made a special guest appearance during the livestream to rehearse Tiler Peck’s Intimate Pages.
Royal Ballet School Students Demonstrate Their Training
The Royal Ballet School demonstrated the ways it nurtures future ballet stars during The Royal Ballet livestream. In particular, World Ballet Day viewers saw how the School trains students in pas de deux and partnering.
Four Pre-professional Year students (aged 18-19) rehearsed the Rhapsody pas de deux by Frederick Ashton. The students’ demonstration exemplified the School’s seamless unification of training and health care to create athletic, performance-ready dancers.
Guest Répétiteur and Royal Ballet Coach for the Pre-professional Year Zenaida Yanowsky rehearsed the Upper School students. Meanwhile, ballet teacher Stuart Cassidy rehearsed the younger students. The expert feedback from Yanowsky and Cassidy helped students bring the challenging choreography to life.
The Royal Ballet School’s Healthy Dancer Programme
The Royal Ballet School’s Artistic Director and CEO Christopher Powney spoke with The Royal Ballet’s Clinical Director Shane Kelly during the livestream. Powney and Kelly explored advancements in health care and training in the world of ballet.
On this topic, they discussed The Royal Ballet School’s Healthy Dancer Programme. The programme ensures students have the professional support, care, and guidance they need to thrive as happy, healthy dancers.
A dedicated team of 20 health care professionals manages the programme. These professionals — including clinical psychologists, counsellors, physiotherapists, and nutritionists — work closely with the School’s Artistic team to nurture strong, resilient young dancers. This collaboration enables a fully integrated approach to health care.
Students undergo termly screening exercises. Data from these exercises allows staff to create a bespoke training plan for each dancer.
The School also works with the UK Sports Institute. Nutritionists from the institute support the School’s catering team and students, helping them plan healthy meals that give dancers the energy they need to perform at their best.
In addition, the programme’s ongoing research and medical insights inform the School’s System of Training. The system equips students with the artistry and dance technique they need to perform the English style of classical ballet.
Powney touched on the role of the Healthy Dancer Programme in helping students deal with the demands of full-time vocational training. The School invests in students’ long-term health with the programme, empowering dancers to take a leading role in their well-being.
The Healthy Dancer Programme also helps students prepare for their transition into challenging, rewarding careers as performers.
Learn more about The Royal Ballet School’s Healthy Dancer Programme.
About The Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School is one of the world’s greatest centres of excellence for classical ballet training. It’s also the top classical ballet school in the UK, attracting dancers with exceptional potential both nationally and internationally.
The School fosters academic and artistic excellence through its full-time training in London. Students receive a holistic education that sets them up for success in future careers with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and other notable dance companies.
Prioritising the health, happiness, and well-being of students, the School provides comprehensive health care through its Healthy Dancer Programme. Students also undertake Pilates classes, strength and body conditioning (from Year 10 up), and an upper body programme (Upper School only).
The Royal Ballet School widens access to ballet and creative dance education through its in-person and digital programmes and courses. Everyone from primary school students to dance teachers and the general public can benefit from the School’s educational resources and opportunities.