6 of the Best: Different Ways to See Ballet

We're celebrating #WorldBalletDay!


Ballet has enjoyed something of a resurgence in the last decade, having tackled issues of elitism and snobbery head on. Audiences are now younger and far more diverse, as are the companies themselves, often incorporating modern dance or music elements into their repertoire. To celebrate #WorldBalletDay today (1 October), we round up six different ways to experience this wonderful artform in the coming months.


Romeo and Juliet Royal Ballet Company

Prokofiev’s setting of Shakespeare’s tragic love-story has become a staple in the repertoire of most major ballet companies, the Royal Ballet being no exception. The ballet has a huge variety of dances within it, from large scale ‘battle’ scenes to intimate duets: in the last of these Romeo dances helplessly with the seemingly-lifeless Juliet. The ‘Dance of the Knights’, in which the Montagues and Capulets face off, is probably the best known music from the ballet, not least thanks to being used as the theme for the BBC show The Apprentice.

Romeo and Juliet will be performed by the Royal Ballet Company at the Royal Opera House, from 1 October-2 December 2015. Find out more here

Northern Ballet

This new ballet, from composer Alex Baranowki and choreographer Jonathan Watkins, is based on the classic dystopian novel by George Orwell. Called ‘a brave new production’ by The Telegraph, the company promises to ‘change the way you think about ballet.’

Northern Ballet tours ‘1984’ (below) from 29 September 2015 to 28 May 2016. Find out more here.

With a twist:
Sleeping Beauty
New Adventures and Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne has become famous (and infamous in some circles) for his all-male productions of classic ballet. Having had huge success with his recent production Car Man, Sleeping Beauty (Tchaikovsky) promises another extraordinary experience.

‘Sleeping Beauty’ will tour from 17 October 2015 to 30 April 2016. Find our more here.

Lest We Forget
 English National Ballet

Lest We Forget was concieved for the 100t-anniversary year of World War I. The ballet reflects on the experiences of soldiers and British citizens throughout the conflict in three separate works, two by contemporary composers Andy Cowton and Jocelyn Pook, and the third excerpted from music by Franz Liszt.

‘Lest We Forget’ is being staged in Milton Keynes (20 October) and Manchester (24 November). Find out more here.

For the Kids:
Ballet Cymru

Ballet Cymru is building up a reputation for fresh and intimate approach to dance. Its version of Cinderella is based on a brand new musical score by Jack White, and promises to incorporate circus elements with classical dance.

Ballet Cymru tours ‘Cinderella’ from 2 October to 5 December, and will visit regional venues across the UK. Find out more here.


To celebrate #WorldBalletDay BBC Arts are live-streaming a full day of behind-the-scenes footage from five of the world’s leading ballet companies.

The Live Stream takes place throughout the day on 1 October 2015. Find out more here.

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