In addition to boosting their presence on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, leading ballet companies have also taken to blogging regularly. Company blogs have radically changed the face of communication within the arts sector. Before them organisations were more dependent on regular media/art pages to pick up on their stories but now they publish their own content, sharing news and features directly with audiences and developing their own “internet voices”.
Hoping to recruit new ballet goers and engage the public, official company blogs focus on what happens behind ballet curtains. Some also leverage off their insider knowledge to give readers real and timely “scoops”. In this way they can make up for lack of impartiality (they are after all representing a company, so don’t expect critical reviews there) and even compete with conventional, more established arts and dance publications.
In this post which follows our recent list of 5 very cool blogs you should read we pick some of our favorite ballet company blogs. We like them for their high editorial quality and original content:
Behind Ballet – The official blog of Australian Ballet
From “ask Colin” (advice to aspiring dancers) to “Legends of ballet”, from ballet crossed over with fashion to mini features, this blog has a fantastic editorial team and regular features including interviews and competitions. Their high-end concept and structure are an example to online dance publications.
We like: Flashback, a Legendary Pair
In an article tracing the history of international ballet dancers visiting Australia, published in The Age in 1964, Geoffrey Hutton described Nureyev and Fonteyn as: “… probably the most highly priced dancers in the world; Fonteyn the pride of the British ballet who has queened it for a generation; Nureyev the sensational young male dancer from the Leningrad Kirov who has brought a new sense of excitement into the Western ballet.”
Open Studio 455 – The official blog of San Francisco Ballet
In a similar way to Behind Ballet, Open Studio 455 provides regular features ranging from interviews to news and reports on community projects. They have an impressive roster of guest writers: principal dancers, members of the staff, directors. Their “picture of the week” series showcases the excellent work of resident photographer Erik Tomasson.
We like: I Did It! Davit Karapetyan proposes to his partner Vanessa Zahorian onstage
At the end of our Romeo & Juliet performance Saturday night, Vanessa and I stood on stage for our bows. The ushers brought her flowers and handed me a microphone; Vanessa looked at me in shock! Luckily, everything was planned very well. Right before the bows, I had gone out for water and someone handed me the ring, which I placed in my poison case. The ushers brought Vanessa flowers and handed me a microphone; she looked perplexed!
Birmingham Royal Ballet – Touring Blog
BRB are a touring company so the blog’s main focus is to show us what happens on the road: plenty of funny or “real world” anecdotes from every angle: dancers, technical crew, creative team. They also have great spotlight features to highlight their season repertoire and superb videos documenting rehearsals and the process of creating new work.
We like: Dusty Button Interview
Q: Is there any one item in your bag that you can’t tour without?
A: Oh, my iPod! Yes! I don’t think I could live without my iPod, even more so than my cell phone. I just love music. When you wake up and you have a great song on and are strutting down the street in the morning it’s amazing, it can make or break your day! Sometimes I take my speakers for when we’re back at our digs between shows, or a lot of the time you can just run it through the TV speakers. I’m the flat DJ for sure!
This blog reminds us of The Winger in places. It has a fresh and vibrant voice, with plenty of guest posts where dancers participate, writing and posting pictures in a “dear diary” format. They also have features on teachers and the transition from school into professional dancing; great for aspiring ballet dancers. Lots of interesting videos too.
We like: Our First Ladies
The May issue of W Magazine includes a photo spread by famed fashion photographer Bruce Weber called “First Ladies,” which features Miami City Ballet dancers and School students! This “portfolio of inspirational women” includes a breathtaking shot of Jeanette and Patricia Delgado in flowing dresses by Valentino and Burberry, along with photos of fashion icon Iris Apfel, Haitian human-rights leader Marleine Bastien, among others.
The Tokyo Ballet
Yes the Tokyo Ballet’s blog is in Japanese but you can always follow what’s happening via google translate. Or you can focus instead on their excellent images. With great use of photography to show what happens in between performances, this blog reminds us of how ballet is first and foremost a visual art.
For many people here it will be the first time to go overseas. Although there is plenty of anxiety, I am really looking forward to this experience… Given the 11-hour long rehearsals, the girls decided to lower the tension by wearing pink practice clothes. Pink done, here we come!
Also worth adding to your RSS readers
- Footnotes: The official blog of Boston Ballet
- J Pointe: The official blog of Joffrey Ballet
- City Brights: SF Ballet master Ricardo Bustamante’s blog