Since we can't go watch the ballet at the moment, The Australian Ballet has decided to bring it to us, by uploading full-length productions for Australians to watch for free, from home. These are archived shows that have taken place all over the country in the past few years, and, once uploaded, each will be accessible for two weeks.
The program began in April with David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty. The current production, Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella, is being featured till May 1st. After that it's Graeme Murphy's Romeo & Juliet (May1-15). Check here for updates about what you'll find from May onward, as more information gets added.
So far all sorts of behind-the-scenes videos are being uploaded too. The Cinderella production, which was performed in 2016 in the Lyric Theatre at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, has a whole series focusing on the creation of the show.
As well as these shows, Ballet TV includes educational videos and conversations (these are what normally makes up the Ballet TV content, I think). You can learn the basics of ballet with mini lessons or listen to interviews with principal dancers, designers, choreographers and more.
The 2020 digital ballet season comes after The Australian Ballet had to cancel some of its planned productions because of current government policies that ban large, non-essential public gatherings till June (at least). The Sydney Opera House was supposed to be hosting Volt and Anna Karenina this month for example.
With COVID-19 hanging over us right now, I think we all need a bit of escapism and I really appreciate that these shows are being posted online. As someone who's never watched ballet before, I was excited to get to see Cinderella and will definitely be tuning into Romeo & Juliet.
Since when do you get to enjoy a season of ballet for free?