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ThuNov 2

World Ballet Day – November 2, 2023

World Ballet Day is a floating holiday and its date is set by several ballet companies annually. This year, it takes place on November 2. Ballet, which can be traced back to the 15th century, is an intricate and artistic dance form that involves precise, light, and graceful movements and gestures, performed to music. World Ballet Day is a special occasion for people around to celebrate this well-loved art.

History of World Ballet Day

World Ballet Day was first celebrated on October 1, 2014. On this special day, top ballet companies from around the world stream live videos over six continents, showcasing their behind-the-scenes preparations, rehearsals, and dance classes. The main companies that contribute to the event are The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, the San Francisco Ballet, and the Royal Swedish Ballet.

The history of ballet dates back to the 15th century in Italy and France. The dance was often performed by noblemen and women in the royal courts. However, the early form of ballet included not only dancing but music, poetry, décor, and costume, known as ‘ballet de cour’. The development of this elaborate form of ballet was developed by Catherine de’ Medici, wife of King Henry II of France.

The year 1681 witnessed the transition of ballet from the royal courts to the stage, where it was incorporated with operas, especially in France. In the 1700s, a French-ballet master revolutionized this ballet-opera trend, advocating that ballet deserved to stand on its own as a recognized genre. This led to the creation of yet another form of ballet, known as the ‘ballet d’action’. This form involved expressive and dramatic movements that were used to tell stories through dance.

In the 19th century, ballet gradually evolved, as classical techniques such as pointe work, the precision of movement, and turn-out developed in Russia. It was during this period that the classical “Swan Lake,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “The Nutcracker” were created.

Today, ballet takes different shapes and styles, with the rules being a little less rigid than they were in the past. Costumes vary based on creativity and classical music is no longer the mandatory genre of music it is performed to. It has also given life to new dance forms, such as contemporary, lyrical, modern, and neo-classical dance.

World Ballet Day timeline

1500s
Catherine of France

‘Ballet de Cour’ begins to grow as a result of the influence of Catherine de’ Medici.

1661
First Dance Academy

The first dance academy, Academie Royale de Danse is established by King Louis XIV of France.

1800s
“Giselle”

“Giselle” is created during the Romantic Movement in Russia.

2014
First Celebration

World Ballet Day is celebrated for the first time.

World Ballet Day FAQs

How do ballerinas stand on their toes?

Wearing pointe shoes, which are specifically designed for those moves, allows ballerinas to stand on their toes. 

Can ballerinas have short hair?

Ballerinas typically keep their hair long but more of them are steering away from this tradition and sporting short hair.

Are ballet classes expensive?

Learning ballet can be fairly expensive. Aside from classes, other costs include costumes, shoes, accessories, and dance competition expenses.

How to Celebrate World Ballet Day

  1. Join the event

    Participate in World Ballet Day by joining the live stream on the companies’ websites. Alternatively, you can view them on other social media platforms.

  2. Use the hashtag

    While you’re on your social media page, spread awareness about the day. Use a hashtag, such as #worldballetday.

  3. Attend a performance

    Want to really go all out in celebrating? Try attending a live ballet performance and enjoy the beautiful art.

5 Amazing Facts About Ballet

  1. Male dancers can lift!

    The average male dancer can lift up to one ton’s worth of ballerinas in a performance.

  2. No female ballerinas

    During the 15th century, women were not allowed to join the ballet as it was prohibited for them to dance in public.

  3. Happy tutus

    According to research, just looking at a tutu has the potential to increase the happiness of audience members by 60%.

  4. Delicate costumes

    Ballet costumes are so delicate, they can only be hand-washed in cold water using a very mild detergent.

  5. Police officers and ballet

    Romanian police officers take ballet so that they can control traffic gracefully.

Why We Love World Ballet Day

  1. It is a beautiful art

    We love ballet! It is such a beautiful and graceful form of dance that leaves audiences captivated.

  2. Longing for fairytales

    Ballet appeals to humans’ innate longing for fantasy. This is elicited by the dazzling costumes and the lovely music.

  3. It is soothing

    Watching ballet is an immersive experience. Some report that watching one is soothing, refreshing, and has a calming effect.

World Ballet Day dates

YearDateDay
2022November 2Wednesday
2023November 2Thursday
2024November 2Saturday
2025November 2Sunday
2026November 2Monday

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