The Royal Ballet in 2020
Opera House (Lo Royal
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From the publisher
In March 2020, Liam Scarlett's production of Swan Lake opened at the Royal Opera House, beginning its anticipated 3-month run. That same month, the UK government ordered theatres and arts centres across the country to close immediately as the COVID-19 pandemic starting its fast and destructive spread around the world. At the Royal Opera House, the Royal Ballet Company were furloughed and training programmes quickly set up virtually. Audiences who previously crowded into the venue were confined to their homes, with many switching their engagement to streamed digital performances live from the venue. This changed the audience experience significantly - not only because of the nature of the performance dramatically, but because it brought in new international audiences almost overnight. This book of photographs captures a period unlike any other, a journey that starts with the Company in "normal" times and develops into plans being made for a gradual in-person return to the Royal Opera House under strict COVID safety measures, such as mask-wearing, extensive COVID testing and artists working in "bubbles". Through a selection of striking photographs, the book showcases the remarkable resilience of the Royal Ballet throughout this year, a resilience that's shared by so many arts organisations affected equally dramatically by the pandemic. This Season in Pictures volume contains photographs of classic Royal Ballet productions, including Swan Lake, Coppelia and The Nutcracker, dancers engaged in community projects, socially distanced performances on the Royal Ballet stage, performances with totally empty auditoria and dancers in rehearsal wearing face masks.