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Viktorina Kapitonova in Swan Lake Bath Ballet. Photo by Ryan Capstick/CBD Ltd

Elite dancers from around the world perform Swan Lake in their bathtubs

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 8 July 2020, Last Updated 8 July 2020

Dance fans will be pleased to know that a modern-day Swan Lake is now available to stream as part of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine.

Set to Tchaikovsky’s famous swan theme, Swan Lake Bath Ballet sees 27 elite ballet dancers performing Swan Lake from their own home filled baths.

From New Zealand to South Africa, America to Hong Kong and Australia to the UK, Award-winning choreographer Corey Baker worked with dancers from all corners of the globe and filmed the dance piece completely remotely during the pandemic.

Filmed on smartphones and directed by Corey from his bathroom in the UK, dancers found various innovative solutions including a child’s scooter, piles of books and even a toilet plunger to help stabilise and enable camera angles.

Talking about the experience Corey said: ‘It was like trying to hang a picture with your eyes closed from 5 miles away’.

Viktorina Kapitonova in Swan Lake Bath Ballet. Photo by: Ryan Capstick/CBD Ltd

The performers were chosen from a list of renowned companies including American Ballet Theatre, Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Staatsballett Berlin, National Ballet of Canada, Dutch National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet (with whom Corey has a long relationship) and The Royal New Zealand Ballet, where Corey is Choreographer in Residence.

Corey said: ‘I am hugely indebted to the amazing 27 dancers and all the companies who really pulled the stops (plugs?) out to make this film happen. Dancers became camera operators, stage managers, as well as costume and prop department not to mention performing tricky choreography at the same time, all from their bath tubs’.

Watch Swan Lake Bath Ballet on BBC iPLAYER and BBC.CO.UK/ARTS now.

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