Ballet backstage: Watch world’s top theaters uncover their secrets online

Ballet backstage: Watch world’s top theaters uncover their secrets online
Everyday theater life, with its intricate secrets, is to hit your screens Wednesday as five world-renowned ballet companies - the Bolshoi and the Australian Ballet among them - will lift the curtain backstage for online viewers.

The Australian Ballet in Melbourne, Moscow's Bolshoi Theater, London's Royal Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada in Toronto and the San Francisco Ballet have all joined their dance forces in a move to show admirers around the world the everyday life of ballet dancers.


The first-ever event of the global project will feature backstage routine - primarily studio rehearsals - at five of the world's top theaters.

"Donkey work of the theater will be shown. Usually a viewer only sees the final result, the beauty on stage. But this event is to demonstrate how hard it is to achieve this beauty, how much blood, sweat and tears goes into it," Boris Akimov, a Bolshoi choreographer, says.

"We sleep here, eat here, go for a walk from here, everything's so close to the Bolshoi, and everything is the Bolshoi. It's our second home, it's our temple," Denis Medvedev, a dancer from the Bolshoi Ballet, told RT.

Bolshoi ballet dancers perform in the closing ceremony for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games February 23, 2014. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

Using time difference for even wider access, the live streaming event will kick off in Australia, with the broadcast to be handed over to Moscow. The online ballet marathon will finish in the US.

"The Russian slot is from 10am [Moscow time, 06:00 GMT] till 2pm [10:00 GTM]. These four hours will start with our morning class, then we will include key points in the daily life of our ballet company, and two rehearsals. We will also try to show the international audience a glimpse of our historic stage and maybe our new stage," Katerina Novikova, head of Bolshoi's press service told RT.

World Ballet Day Live will include not only streaming of warm-up exercises and rehearsals at the companies, but also interviews with dancers and choreographers.

Evgenia Obraztsova as Angela and Igor Tsvirko as Pepinelli during a run-through of Marco Spada by Daniel-Francois-Esprit Auber directed by Pierre Lacotte for the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich)

Viewers from anywhere in the world, with internet access, will be able to interact with the companies, asking questions and also posting videos of themselves practicing ballet.

"Our dancers are excited. They are all on Facebook, all over the internet, this young generation of dancers. The average age of a ballet dancer at the Bolshoi is 25 years old. These are all people who are familiar with the internet - it's such a big part of their daily life. They feel excited to have this chance to communicate with the audience and show something that's usually not seen," Novikova said.

Soloists of the St. Petersburg State Academic Ballet Theatre of Boris Eifman, Lyubov Andreeva in a scene from the ballet "Rodin", presented at the "Cherry Orchard" festival on the Stage Bolshoi Theatre (RIA Novosti / Grigory Sysoev)

Moscow's Bolshoi plans to showcase rehearsals of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ and ‘A Legend of Love’ choreographed by Yury Grigorovich. The latter first premiered in 1965 and will return on the Bolshoi's historic stage with a major revival on October 23.

The Bolshoi Theater, one of Russia's best-known trademarks, reopened its main stage after years of renovation in 2011. The project was directly supervised by the Kremlin and cost over $700 million, making it the most expensive theater renovation program ever.

To watch World Ballet Day Live, tune in on on Wednesday, October 1