Dance has been one of the performing arts hardest hit by social distancing: it’s simply not practical to massively adapt choreography that involves dancers touching each other. Thus, there’s been little live performance, with most of the country’s major dance companies instead focusing on digital work.
However, things are looking up a bit: at the end of October, ‘Lazuli Sky’, a new ballet choreographed for distanced dancers, will play a short IRL stint at Sadler’s Wells (October 29 to 31).
And before that, something even more spectacular, as the Royal Ballet gets back on the Royal Opera House stage with new show, er, ‘Back on Stage’, a full-on one-night-only extravaganza, with sumptuous design and the return of the full ballet – plus orchestra – barrelling through an evening of its greatest hits, from Fredrick Ashton to Hofesh Shechter.
Happening on Friday October 9 at 7.30pm, the night is being treated as a pilot for the resumption of large-scale performances, and will feature a very lucky socially distanced physical audience that will include invited students and healthcare workers.
You and I aren’t going to get in: but that’s okay, as for just £16 – a fraction of a usual ROH ticket – you can watch it online, anywhere in the world. You’ll be able to follow it live, and then for the next 30 days.
It’s a worrying time for us all at the moment, but hopefully October can offer some bright spots for London dance lovers.