Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances
Updated on 9/9/2020
Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we’ve put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.
PBS Great Performances: The Royal Ballet in “Romeo and Juliet”
PBS’s “Great Performances” is broadcasting Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet nationwide on Friday, September 11 at 9pm EDT (check local listings). Rather than a recorded live performance, this Romeo and Juliet is a gorgeously shot 90-minute cinematic adaptation. Directed by BalletBoyz artistic directors William Trevitt and Michael Nunn, the film features The Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. First soloist William Bracewell and principal dancer Francesca Hayward star in the title roles, with principals Matthew Ball and Marcelino Sambé as Tybalt and Mercutio, respectively. Available on PBS, pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app.
BalletCollective, the maverick company started by New York City Ballet soloist Troy Schumacher, is performing outdoors this week for a socially distanced, drive-in audience in scenic Pine Plains, New York. But don’t worry if you can’t make it—BalletCollective will be live-streaming each performance on its website. Natural History, a world premiere choreographed by Schumacher that explores concepts of “before” and “after,” is based on commissioned poems by Carey McHugh and set to a new score by San Fermin’s Ellis Ludwig-Leon. The cast of seven dancers, who hail from NYCB and the Martha Graham Dance Company, quarantined together during the choreographic process to ensure safety. Tune in to BalletCollective’s website and on September 10 and 11 at 6:15 pm EDT, and September 12 at 2:30 pm EDT. (Rain date is September 13 at 2:30 and 6:15 pm.) To reserve a ticket to the live performance, click here.
San Francisco Ballet
San Francisco Ballet released a new dance film directed by Benjamin Millepied on Thursday, August 13, featuring the choreography of Dwight Rhoden, Janie Taylor, Christopher Wheeldon and Justin Peck. Titled Dance of Dreams, the film was shot at iconic locations around San Francisco and fetures dancing by SFB’s Frances Chung, Joseph Walsh, Ellen Rose Hummel, Daniel Deivison-Oliveira, Benjamin Freemantle and Madison Keesler. (The dancers observed social distancing rules.) It also features the music of the SFB Orchestra, incorporating 150 tracks recorded remotely by 60 musicians. Dance of Dreams is available on SF Ballet@Home, the company’s Facebook page, YouTube channel and Instagram TV.
Works & Process at the Guggenheim Virtual Commissions
Works & Process, the performing arts arm of the Guggenheim Museum, is presenting newly commissioned dance films every Sunday and Monday this month. Watch upcoming premieres on W&P’s YouTube channel, as well as its Facebook and Instagram pages. (Catch past releases, including works by Gabrielle Lamb and NYCB’s Joseph Gordon and Adrian Danchig-Waring, here.) Check out the schedule below:
- September 13: Ethan Steifel
- September 14: Amy Hall Garner
- September 20: Richard Thomas and Philip Fisher
- September 21: Anthony Roth Costanzo, Adam Charlap Hyman, Dick Hyman, and Zack Winokur
- September 27: Maxfield Haynes
Capital Dance Project
Courtesy Capital Dance Project
Sacramento’s dancer-led Capital Dance Project is premiering 11 new works as part of its CDP Digital Series: Made in Sacramento. The dance films, choreographed and performed by CDP artists and made in collaboration with filmmaker Brandon Manning, will be available on the company’s website and its Facebook and Instagram pages. The ballets, which also feature local artists, musicians and Sacramento landmarks, will be released one at a time every Wednesday and Saturday starting August 26, with the full viewing of the series available October 2. While the performances are free, CDP asks that viewers consider making a donation.
State Street Ballet
State Street Ballet is presenting its Virtual Summer Series on the platform CYA.Live. Tickets are available on the CYA.Live website for $9.99 each. All broadcasts are live streamed 8-10 pm EDT. Check out the lineup below:
: William Soleau, Kevin Jenkins, and Edgar Zendejas’ Chaplin
Chamber Dance Project
Christian Denice performing Sarabande in Los Angeles
Owen Scarlett, Courtesy Chamber Dance Project
Washington D.C.’s Chamber Dance Project presents its online performance program New Works 2020 (and beyond), which offers a selection of site-specific contemporary ballet films free for streaming from your home. Tune in on September 24 at 7 pm EDT to catch broadcasts featuring four cities, eight dancers, three choreographers and a new commissioned score for each film. View casting and reserve tickets for free via the CDP website, and check out its Facebook and Instagram pages for more details.
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
After months of working remotely over Zoom, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre premiered a film version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the Allegheny County Parks Concert Series on Sunday, August 16. Shot at the scenic Hartwood Acres park, the ballet was released first on Pittsburgh’s CW television, and are still available to watch on the Allegheny County Park’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Under the direction of PBT’s new artistic director Susan Jaffe, the production was conceived and choreographed by PBT dancers Tommie Lynn Kesten, Jessica McCann, Kurtis Sprowls and Cooper Verona.
Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami
Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami is presenting a pre-recorded virtual performance dedicated to frontline works at Baptist Health, South Florida’s largest healthcare system, now available on the company’s Vimeo channel. The program includes Vow, a work by Miami City Ballet dancer Ariel Rose, and Apollo and Daphne by Ben Needham-Wood. You can also access the performance on the company’s website and Facebook page.
Island Moving Company
Rhode Island–based Island Moving Company has launched its second monthly watch party premiering episodes every second Friday of the month. Tune in at 7 pm EDT on September 11 and October 9 for each upcoming livestream hosted by artistic director Miki Ohlsen via the company’s Facebook page.
In addition, IMC continues to stream select performances from its repertory archives on its website on demand. Called Great Dance in Great Places, the series runs every Thursday through Sunday.
London’s Ballet Black has been releasing filmed performances on its website and YouTube channel on Sunday nights as part of its BB on Film initiative. Each will be available for one week. Right now you can catch the company in Mute, written and directed by Mark Donne and performed by Cira Robinson. You can also still watch the full performance of House of Dreams, choreographed by Michael Corder, here on their YouTube channel.
Black Iris Project
Jeremy McQueen’s Black Iris Project, which focuses intensely on bringing Black stories to life through ballet, is now streaming the Emmy-nominated dance film A Mother’s Rite on the company’s website and on Vimeo. Set to a four-handed piano arrangement of Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, McQueen’s ballet follows a mother’s grief after her son is murdered by police. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre’s Courtney Celeste Spears stars in this powerful 40-minute solo, which was filmed in the historic home of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes.
Check out the new work by choreographer Kyle Abraham, Ces noms que nous portons, starring NYCB principal Taylor Stanley. Filmed in front of the Lincoln Center fountain and its Pride light installation, the solo celebrates queer artists and their history in dance. Tune in via the Lincoln Center website and YouTube channel.
Lincoln Center is also offering a selection of previously broadcasted Dance Week performances on-demand for a limited time. Included in the lineup are Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2015 performance of Chroma, Grace, Takademe, and Revelations; New York City Ballet in Christopher Wheeldon’s This Bitter Earth (excerpt) and Ballet Hispanico’s 2015 performance of CARMEN.maquia and Club Havana. You can access these performances through Lincoln Center’s website.
Carolina Ballet has been uploading a pre-recorded ballet from its vast repertoire to its website. To watch Bariolage, with music by Shinji Eshima and choreography by Robert Weiss and Zalman Raffael, as well as Raffael’s The Metaphorical Heart (to music by Leonard Bernstein) click here.
Dutch National Ballet
Dutch National Ballet is streaming ballets on its online platform and on its YouTube channel. Right now, the company is sharing its world premiere of The Prometheus Project, a triple bill of solo works featuring choreography by Erica Horwood, Wubkje Kuindersma, and Ernst Meisner celebrating the poignant Greek myth.
Seattle Dance Collective
Seattle Dance Collective
, run by PNB principals Noelani Pantastico and James Yoichi Moore, presents its online streaming platform Continuum: Bridging the Distance. Check out new works by Amanda Morgan, Bruno Roque, Penny Saunders, SeaPertyls and Beth Terwilleger on the company website.
English National Ballet
Dancers of English National Ballet in Cinderella Games
ENB continues its #ENBatHome initiative with a special premiere of its new film project Cinderella Games. Directed and choreographed by Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple (collectively known as Jess and Morgs), the work is based on Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella and adds some new dark twists to the classic fairy tale. After the real Cinderella disappears after the ball, contestants across the kingdom now compete in a twisted game show to win its title. Check out this unique performance now on the company’s website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.
UK–based Northern Ballet is offering a Pay As You Feel Digital Season, with a series of videos available on the company’s website for a limited time, along with a link to donate. EGO, a Northern Ballet original dance film, is available on the website now. You can also catch highlights from the company’s 50th Anniversary gala performance, excerpts from Kenneth Tindall’s brand new ballet Geisha, Amaury Lebrun’s For an Instant, and the children’s ballet Little Red Riding Hood. David Nixon’s Dracula is also available now for 11 months on BBC Four and iPlayer as part of the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine Season.
New York Theatre Ballet
NYTB/Chamber Works (formerly New York Theatre Ballet), started its Living Room Series in March. The best part? NYTB has made all past Living Room Series performances available on its website. Click here for links to all performances, including the company’s Robert La Fosse’s The Soldier’s Tale, the full ballet from the musical Carousel, the “Hornpipe” excerpt from Agnes de Mille’s Celebration and more.
American Repertory Ballet
American Repertory Ballet was supposed to perform its new production of Giselle this summer at Princeton’s McCarter Theater. But since the COVID-19 pandemic has forced its cancellation, the company is now presenting an hour’s worth of excerpts on its website, filmed during a February 16 performance at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. The production is a collaboration between Cuban and American stagers, including José Manuel Carreño, Aydmara Cabrera, Ana Novoa and Ian Hussey.
City Ballet of San Diego
While you need a subscription to performing arts streaming service Marquee TV, it is currently offering discounts for students and arts professionals. Marquee offers a robust selection of ballet and contemporary dance performances from major international dance companies, including The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet.
, the streaming arm of New York PBS station WNET, is offering a slew of performances for free right now. Catch the Czech National Ballet in Romeo and Juliet, the Mariinsky Ballet in Balanchine’s Jewels, Tokyo Ballet and Ballet Béjart Lausanne in Maurice Béjart’s Ninth Symphony, Young Stars of Ballet, and State Street Ballet in the company’s production of Cinderella. You can also catch behind-the-scenes documentaries of Kansas City Ballet’s Wizard of Oz and Christopher Wheeldon’s Nutcracker at Joffrey Ballet.