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Behind The Scenes of The Royal Ballet: Royal Ballet Live

Kristen McNally in the studio with Thomas Whitehead, May 2010. © Dave Morgan.
Kristen McNally in the studio with Thomas Whitehead, May 2010. © Dave Morgan.

The Royal Ballet are going to throw open the doors on the 23 March and live stream on the net through the day – soloist Kristen McNally and TV/radio presenter George Lamb will host. A bold initiative.

Pleased to say that Kristen McNally blogged for Balletco, the forerunner of DanceTabs, from March 2010 until July 2011: Kristen McNally blog

The press release follows…

For Immediate Release

Behind The Scenes of The Royal Ballet: Royal Ballet Live

On 23 March, the Royal Opera House will offer an unprecedented glimpse into life behind the scenes at The Royal Ballet.

A full working day will be streamed live on the Royal Opera House YouTube channel and the Guardian website and will feature top dancers from Britain, Japan, Australia, South America and the US. Live rehearsals and interviews will be interspersed with backstage films to offer an inside look at the ballet world, the first time a ballet company has opened its doors in such a way. The aim of the day is to show the work and dedication that go into The Royal Ballet’s performances.

The day will round off with a live Insights Evening in front of an invited audience with Wayne McGregor, The Royal Ballet’s Resident Choreographer, and musician and producer Mark Ronson. Wayne will work with dancers on his new ballet Carbon Life, for which Mark has written the music.

Royal Ballet Live will be presented by television and radio presenter George Lamb and Royal Ballet Soloist Kristen McNally. Between them, they will have exclusive access to the Company and audiences will be encouraged to tweet questions to be asked live on air.

The day will feature rehearsals from works such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Romeo and Juliet, plus the opportunity to see ballets in the process of being created by both Wayne McGregor and Liam Scarlett, ahead of their world premieres on 5 April.

Streaming will start just before daily class at 10.30am and run right through the day until 7.45pm. Viewers on will also be able to watch a performance of Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, recorded in 2010, after the Insights Evening at the end of the day, in order to see the Company in action.

Highlights from the day will be available on the Royal Opera House YouTube channel the day after the event, when the entire day will also be re-streamed on YouTube.

In the run up to Royal Ballet Live, people are being encouraged to release their inner dancer by submitting videos of their attempts at a grand jeté, a large, split jump from one foot to the other as demonstrated by Kristen McNally in a short film on the ROH YouTube channel. A selection of those who leave their film as a video comment on Kristen’s YouMove video will have their step broadcast as part of Royal Ballet Live.

— Notes to editors—

Viewers from around the world will be able to watch the full day of screening, either on the Royal Opera House’s YouTube channel or accompanied by articles and commentary on the Guardian website Users’ comments and questions with the hashtags #RBLive and #RBLquestions will be pulled into the Royal Opera House YouTube channel, and used on-screen during the event.

The Royal Opera House is committed to bringing its work to as wide an audience as possible. As well as performances at the theatre, there is a full cinema season with ballet and opera broadcast live into cinemas around the world, an annual BP Summer Big Screens season, plus recordings for DVD and television.

— Ends —

About the author

Bruce Marriott

Bruce Marriott is editor of DanceTabs. For non-dance stuff he can be found at


  • I’ll reserve final judgment until after I’ve seen it but it doesn’t augur well if George Lamb of all people is presenting it.
    I guess one man’s lowest common denominator appallingly trashy gameshow host is another’s gateway to broaden ballet’s appeal and get down with the kids however.

    • I’ll reserve judgement until after the day too (of course) but I warmly welcome the initiative and also that there is a broadcaster of experience around that will help propel it along (its a lot of hours!) and make it relevant to all who help fund the ROH. The last thing that any of us need is for this to be a day that connects only with fans or ‘arty types’ in general. Personally I’m really pleased that it’s NOT fronted by Darcey Bussell, Deborah Bull or Katie Derham etc – wonderful individuals though they are.

      • I completely agree with the notion of finding a presenter that will have a broader appeal, and just question the choice of George Lamb out of everyone available.
        Let us hope he won’t be as obnoxiously rude to anyone from the RB as he so memorably was to Ray Davies on his radio show.

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