Ballet is somewhat inescapable in my life, with my sisters and mother all heavily involved in that universe. So while I do realize that not everyone is aware that today is #WorldBalletDay, I don't quite believe it! #WorldBalletDay is a a 22 hour live stream across five ballet companies around the world (The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House, National Ballet of Canada, and San Francisco Ballet), as well as numerous other guest companies. 

Currently, the UK is streaming, hosted by the Royal Opera House, and you'll be able to catch glimpses of my sister Anna during the 3.30 rehearsal of Kenneth MacMillan's Elite Syncopations, and the 4.35 rehearsals of Christopher Wheeldon's Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (she's their senior notator which you can read more about here).

Scroll down and click the link at the bottom of the page to join the livestream (or click here).

What makes #WorldBalletDay so successful every year?

  • It gives unfiltered behind-the-scenes access to 5 major ballet companies around the world, as well as numerous other guest companies. You can check in at any time during these 22 hours and find yourself on a whole new continent, inhabiting a different ballet universe. The emphasis is on rehearsals, and training techniques, rather than sharing polished performances.
  • It's a masterclass in teaching approaches - hear the precise way in which ballet masters pick up on every nuance of a movement, on each interpretation of a beat. Next time someone balks at constructive criticism they should be made to watch it. 
  • Interspersed with these rehearsal moments are various interviews, providing the audience with greater insights into what they have just witnessed. 

How can B2B companies learn from this approach for their own content?

1. Give your experts the stage.

Quite simply, show us the wings of your own theatre. Showcase your experts in their natural habitat, give them a voice, show us your process. I'm not just talking about your CEOs, your founders, your directors: show us your ecosystem. It might seem boring to you, but what you take for granted, most people won't!

How can you best give behind-the-scenes access to your experts?

world ballet day screenshot

2. Team up

The other main takeaway of course, is that of collaboration. The global aspect of #WorldBalletDay is part of its appeal - not everyone will be lucky enough to experience each of these companies in person, but through the magic of internet, we all get front row seats. It's quite a phenomenal undertaking. 

Are there complimentary organisations and businesses that you could collaborate with to create a unique event or other piece of content?

3. Take a risk

Live video adds excitement to #WorldBalletDay and recreates to some extent the frisson of being a theatre audience member: anything could go wrong! This is part of its appeal, and also adds urgency to the viewing: it's happening now! While the videos are archived, there is still a sense of urgency.

Can you embrace technology to approach your content differently? What other risks could you take?

4. Create something beautiful

It's no good expending all these resources if the end product is not interesting to your audience. #WorldBalletDay provides a really varied selection of content to keep audiences interested, and is also easy to dip in and out of. Let's face it, these may all be mostly rehearsals, but they also happen to be very watchable too.

As a B2B organization you might think you're too boring to create something beautiful or exciting - but that possibility exists at the core of every business - you just have to find the right angle for it. 

Can you find a way to create content that makes your audience care?

5. Get your audience engaged

My Twitter and Facebook feeds are full of people sharing beautiful videos, images and GIFs all under the banner of that hashtag #WorldBalletDay - it becomes more than just an event, it's a celebration of an art form. 

Through the hashtag #balletnofilter they also invited everyone watching to share footage and images of themselves dancing, a great way to make everyone feel part of the event.

Is there a way you can involve your audience in your content?