Viktorina Kapitonova in "Swan Lake Bath Ballet" (photo by Ryan Capstick, courtesy Corey Baker Dance)

Please Enjoy the Quarantine Genius of “Swan Lake Bath Ballet”

That old saying about limitations breeding creativity—hat tip to Orson Welles—has never felt more relevant than in these lockdown days. Here's the latest brilliant dance project born (hatched?) of quarantine restrictions: "Swan Lake Bath Ballet," a contemporary take on the classic featuring 27 A-list ballet dancers performing from their own bathtubs.


The BBC commissioned the project from choreographer Corey Baker. And while you might be imagining a lighthearted, soapy romp (full disclosure: that's what we pictured when we first heard about "Swan Lake Bath Ballet" back in May), the result has striking beauty and complexity, as well as some gentle splashstick humor.

Baker, the director of Corey Baker Dance and an alum of BalletBoyz, told The Guardian that he created the choreography in his own bathroom. He made special tutorial videos to help the film's impressive cast—including American Ballet Theatre's Skylar Brandt, The Royal Ballet's Meaghan Grace Hinkis, National Ballet of Canada's Jurgita Dronina, and Paris Opéra Ballet's Mathias Heymann—learn the tub-specific moves. The dancers then filmed themselves on their phones. Some of them performed in colored water; one filled his tub with feathers, harvested from 20 pillows. Producer Anne Beresford, director of photography Nicola Daley, editor Travis Moore, and line producer Guy Trevellyan used innovative tech solutions to make the results feel remarkably polished.

The filming process was "like trying to hang a picture with your eyes closed from 5 miles away," Baker said in a statement. He credits the gifted cast for making it all work: "Dancers became camera operators, stage managers, as well as costume and prop department, not to mention performing tricky choreography at the same time, all from their bath tubs."

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Courtesy Esse

What It Was Like When Ruth Bader Ginsburg Was in the Audience—or Backstage

The 27 years that Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent on the U.S. Supreme Court were 27 years that she spent as one of Washington, D.C.'s most ardent, elegant and erudite supporters of the performing arts. The justice, who died on September 18 of metastatic cancer, was also an avid cultural tourist, traveling to the Santa Fe and Glimmerglass operas nearly every summer, as well as occasionally returning to catch shows in her native New York City.

Ginsburg's opera fandom was well known, but her tastes were wide-ranging. Particularly in the last 10 years of her life, after Ginsburg lost her beloved husband, Marty, it was not unusual for the petite justice and her security detail to be spotted at theaters several nights a week. She saw everything, from classic musicals to serious new plays, plus performances that defied classification, like Martha Clarke's dance drama Chéri, with Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo, which toured to the Kennedy Center in 2014.

To honor Ginsburg, Dance Magazine asked three dance artists whose performances the justice attended to recall what Ginsburg meant to them.

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