The Australian Ballet joins four of the world’s leading ballet companies for 22 hours of live streaming this Thursday.

The Australian Ballet has announced that Australian journalist, television presenter and ballet lover Chris Bath will host its contribution to this year’s World Ballet Day, taking place on Thursday.

For the fourth year running, five of the world’s leading ballet companies will open up their studios and backstage spaces for 22 hours of live streaming, beginning at 12 noon on October 5 with the Australian Ballet. The other companies are Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada (who will be on tour in Paris) and San Francisco Ballet.

For the first four hours, viewers will be able to watch the AB dancers in their daily class as well as rehearsing for upcoming shows (including David McAllister’s opulent production of The Sleeping Beauty returning to Sydney in November) as part of a broadcast that will include other surprises. The streaming will continue through the night as the other four companies take over, with each of them taking viewers behind the scenes to offer various insights into the life of the company and its dancers.

World Ballet Day celebrates ballet as an artform and provides audiences with a glimpse into the daily life of some of the finest ballet dancers in the world. World Ballet Day 2016 saw more than 700,000 views during the day itself, and subsequently reached an audience of more than 6.7 million on demand.

Tony Followell, Executive Producer for World Ballet Day said: “Since the first World Ballet Day in 2013, the event has grown from strength to strength. Our aim is to demonstrate how accessible ballet can be. By allowing viewers behind-the-scenes [access] to some of the top ballet companies in the world, we  hope to show that ballet is for everyone.”

Viewers can tune into the Australian Ballet’s Facebook page to watch live and are encouraged to participate in the event using the hashtag #WorldBalletDay

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