World Ballet Day LIVE Is Back

National Ballet of Canada dancers rehearsing Swan Lake. Photo by Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC.

Set your smartphone alarm. Write it on a Post-It note. Mark your calendar. Whatever you do, don't miss the second annual World Ballet Day LIVE. The 23-hour continuous live stream of professional ballet companies at work starts at 10pm EST on Wednesday, September 30, and continues until 9pm on Thursday, October 1. Throughout the day you'll be able to peek into the operations of The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet through each company's YouTube channel. (You can find all the links here.) From classes to rehearsals and even backstage, this is your free global ticket to ballet!

In addition to the live footage, the day will also feature pre-recorded video from many other companies, including Bangarra Dance Theatre, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Boston Ballet, English National Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Houston Ballet, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, National Ballet of China, Nederlands Dans Theater, Northern Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Scottish Ballet. (Just think of all the collective pliés and tendus.) This is an extra add-on from last year's event, and while some aren't ballet companies in the traditional sense, they're being included because of their geographic proximity to the live-broadcast troupes.

Here's a breakdown of the live-stream schedule, along with some of the highlights I'm most looking forward to. Each slot features company class (that means plenty of opportunities to swoon over your favorite stars and scout out newcomers), and all times below are Eastern Standard Time.

  • 10pm–3am, The Australian Ballet

Rehearsals of their new Sleeping Beauty by artistic director David McAllister, as well as four other ballets that will tour to China later in October.

  • 3am–6am, Bolshoi Ballet

Interviews with Sergei Filin, Yuri Possokhov, Brigitte Lefevre and others.

  • 6am–11am, The Royal Ballet

Behind the scenes of Covent Garden during a matinee of Romeo and Juliet and a rehearsal of Carlos Acosta's brand-new Carmen.

  • 11am–4pm, National Ballet of Canada

The company will be on tour in Montréal. Plus, get a sneak peak of Christopher Wheeldon's The Winter's Tale, which doesn't have its North American premiere until November.

  • 4pm–9pm, San Francisco Ballet

Hear from budding dancemaker Liam Scarlett on his upcoming Frankenstein, and the masterful William Forsythe on SFB's North American premiere of Pas/Parts.

While last year's event brought in more than half a million viewers, I imagine that this October 1, we'll easily eclipse that number. Full disclosure: My computer, along with my fellow editors at Dance Magazine, will keep a YouTube browser open all day.

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Marie Hale. Photo by Chris Salata, Courtesy Joseph J Bucheck III

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