October 2, 2015

World Ballet Day Live 2015

What a joy today to join with Балетоманы (balletomanes – ballet enthusiasts) around the world for 23 hours of live streaming ballet rehearsals, performances and interviews. In its second year of offering, World Ballet Day showcased five international companies – The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet – as well as guest appearances from at least a dozen others.

Several of my Humanities classes joined with the dance classes on campus for the screening. Later we reflected on and wrote about our attitudes toward ballet and our views on the value of the arts and humanities to society.

Students also applied what they saw to previous topics covered in their respective courses, including the degree to which art may express the self and/or the world, the trajectory of modernism and the relevance of earlier artistic and philosophical movements for contemporary life and the evolving (or possibly more static) social expectations for femininity, beauty and women’s bodies in the public sphere.

Several of the companies have posted video archives of their live streams, including The National Ballet of Canada, the company our students were able to spend the most time watching.