Dance stars to give ballet class as part of BBC Arts’ Culture In Quarantine

BBC Arts has announced further programming for Culture In Quarantine, a virtual festival of the arts rooted in the experience of national lockdown.

Published: 2 April 2020
In Ballet Class Live, anyone at home can join Birmingham Royal Ballet in warm-ups and basic steps. And in a special performance, Céline Gittens will dance the iconic ‘The Swan’ solo, which has an added poignancy at this time of isolation and national lockdown.
— Jonty Claypole

In addition to recently announced theatre, visual arts and classical programming, we’re pleased to announce a partnership with Birmingham Royal Ballet. The new series Birmingham Royal Ballet: Home From Home will feature an exclusive ballet class with world class dancers and specially curated performances live streamed on BBC Arts Digital and BBC iPlayer, then available on catch up.

As part of Culture In Quarantine, BBC Arts Digital has been repurposed as a platform where the UK Creative industries can come together to share content and ideas. Guiding audiences into the heart of Birmingham Royal Ballet, this new series will feature an exclusive insight into the daily routine of the company as they stay fit and creative at their homes all over the world. Led by one of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Ballet Masters Dominic Antonucci, the class will give access to the daily physical warm up routine of these world-class dancers, with online participants including Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta.

Beginning this Friday, members of the company from the UK to Tokyo and beyond will be joining Ballet Master Dominic Antonucci for an international morning class, with audiences at home able to watch in real-time. Next week, Home from Home will see the Birmingham Royal Ballet present a very special ‘living-room’ performance of The Swan, set to Camille Saint-Saëns's Le Cygne from Le Carnaval des animaux and performed at home by principal dancer Céline Gittens, accompanied by principal pianist Jonathan Higgins and Antonio Novais from Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Royal Ballet Sinfonia, playing Cello.

Jonty Claypole, head of BBC Arts, says: “The mission of Culture In Quarantine is to support the arts and ensure the greatest possible access to culture in people’s homes. We’re thrilled to be working with one of the greatest dance companies in the world, Birmingham Royal Ballet, on this unique project. In Ballet Class Live, anyone at home can join Birmingham Royal Ballet in warm-ups and basic steps. And in a special performance, Céline Gittens will dance the iconic ‘The Swan’ solo, which has an added poignancy at this time of isolation and national lockdown.”

Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta, says: “Every dancer needs to stay fit and flexible and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. During this period of self-isolation and quarantine, it is vitally important that our company, based in their homes all over the world, continue to meet up online and take daily ballet class. As part of the Birmingham Royal Ballet: Home From Home series, we will be giving exclusive ballet class access to BBC’s Culture In Quarantine from 11am on Friday 3 April. Why not tune in and watch our company of world-class performers in class, and why not even participate yourself from the comfort of your own home?”

JC5

BBC Arts Digital & BBC iPlayer
Friday 3 April, from 11am

Live stream and participate with the Birmingham Royal Ballet company as they host a special ballet class live from their homes across the globe including Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand, the USA and UK. Led by Dominic Antonucci and accompanied by pianist Ross Williams, the class will give access to the daily physical warm up routine of these world-class dancers, with participants including Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta.

Home From Home: The Swan

BBC Arts Digital
Wednesday 8 April, from 3pm

A specially curated performance of The Swan by Birmingham Royal Ballet principal dancer Céline Gittens, accompanied by principal pianist Jonathan Higgins and Antonio Novais from Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Royal Ballet Sinfonia, playing Cello.

This poignant piece, set to Camille Saint-Saëns's Le Cygne from Le Carnaval des animaux, was originally choreographed by Mikhail Fokine for legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova and is popularly known as The Dying Swan.