By Mark Brown
23 September 2020
One of the largest dance performances to happen anywhere in the world since the coronavirus pandemic began has been announced featuring the full company of the Royal Ballet – and while it will be socially distanced, there will be dance duets thanks to couples in bubbles.
The company has revealed ambitious details of its “comeback” after a seven-month break from full performances on the Covent Garden stage. The plan is for a celebration performance with more than 70 dancers and a full orchestra on 9 October, livestreamed around the world.
Pieces have been chosen that accommodate distanced dancing but it would not have been the same without the intimacy of duets, or pas de deux, according to the Royal Ballet’s director Kevin O’Hare.
The company already has three real-life couples in the shape of Mayara Magri and Matthew Ball, Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales, and Fumi Kaneko and Reece Clarke. It has created seven more bubbles to allow close contact including the superstar pairing of Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov. Other pairs include Sarah Lamb and Ryoichi Hirano; Yasmine Naghdi and Nicol Edmonds; and Akane Takada and Federico Bonelli.
“Emotionally, it feels extraordinary to be returning,” O’Hare told the Guardian. “We have to be on stage. It is all about performing on stage as a company, there is nothing greater to us than that … to be there as one. People are feeling quite emotional about it and are desperate for it to happen.”
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