SWAN LAKE BATH BALLET: Ballet Dancers Performing From Their Bathtubs All Over The World On BBC Arts and BBC iPlayer
A modern-day Swan Lake filmed entirely remotely in the filled bathtubs of 27 elite ballet dancers from around the world
Corey Baker Dance has created a new short film entitled Swan Lake Bath Ballet which will receive its world premiere screening on BBC iPlayer and BBC Arts on Wednesday 8th July at 9.00 am BST as part of BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine, bringing arts and culture to the homes of the nation under lockdown.
Set to Tchaikovsky's famous swan theme, 27 elite ballet dancers from renowned dance companies perform a modern-day Swan Lake from their own home filled baths. Award-winning choreographer Corey Baker worked with dancers across the globe to choreograph and film Swan Lake Bath Ballet completely remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the film, Baker’s quirky choreography is performed in baths from New Zealand to South Africa, America to Hong Kong, Australia to the UK. Swan Lake Bath Ballet was filmed on smart phones, directed by Baker from his bathroom in the UK. Dancers found innovative solutions including a child’s scooter, piles of books and even a toilet plunger to help stabilise and enable camera angles.
Baker worked with long-time collaborator producer Anne Beresford as well as Director of Photography Nicola Daley ACS (Harlots, Paradise Lost), Editor Travis Moore, supported by Line Producer Guy Trevellyan. The team combined innovative technological solutions such as the app FiLMiC Pro and Zoom along with household makeshift tripods to make the film remotely.
Dancers filmed themselves, sometimes assisted by their housemates or partners, all directed by Baker and Daley from their separate bathrooms in the UK. Baker says about the experience, ‘It was like trying to hang a picture with your eyes closed from 5 miles away’.
The performers were drawn from a long list of distinguished companies including American Ballet Theatre, Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Staatsballett Berlin, National Ballet of Canada, Dutch National Ballet, Birmingahm Royal Ballet (with whom Baker has a long relationship) and The Royal New Zealand Ballet, where Baker is Choreographer in Residence.
Baker says "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."
Corey Baker Dance has an international reputation for creating a diverse array of work across film, TV and theatre, using unusual locations and reaching non-traditional theatre audiences. Antarctica: The First Dance (Channel 4/The Space) was filmed on the icy continent celebrating Antarctica while we still have it. This was the first of three dance films with a ‘green’ focus, the other two being Spaghetti Junction with dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet and Hong Kong Ballet filmed beneath Birmingham’s (in)famous motorway intersection and Lying Together with Hong Kong Ballet, filmed on location in rural and urban green spaces across Hong Kong. Both Spaghetti Junction and Lying Together were shown on BBC Culture in Quarantine in May/June 2020 for World Earth Day and World Environment Day respectively.
Swan Lake Bath Ballet was commissioned by Arts Council England and BBC Arts as part of Culture in Quarantine. With thanks to Royal Albert Hall.
|American Ballet Theatre
|The Australian Ballet
|Birmingham Royal Ballet
|Brandon Lawrence, Delia Mathews
|Cape Town City Ballet
|Mikayla Isaacs, Mariëtte Opperman
|Corey Baker Dance
|Corey Baker, Shelley Eva Haden, Chris George Scott
|Dutch National Ballet
|Maia Makhateli, Anna Ol
|Hong Kong Ballet
|The National Ballet of Canada
|Jurgita Dronina, Harrison James
|Paris Opera Ballet
|Kym Sojourna, Alex Soulliere
|The Royal Ballet
|Meaghan Grace Hinkis
|Royal New Zealand Ballet
|Sara Garbowski, Caroline Wiley
|San Francisco Ballet
|Ksenia Ovsyanick, Donnie Duncan Jr
|Director of Photography
|Nicola Daley ACS
|Tchaikovsky, Audio Network, Duncan Grimley
|Corey Baker Dance
|Executive Producer, The Space
|Anne Beresford, Corey Baker
Photo credits: Ryan Capstick_CBD Ltd / Marne van Opstal_CBD Ltd / Madison Keesler/FreelyMad_CBD Ltd
About Culture In Quarantine
BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine initiative is an essential arts and culture service across BBC platforms that will keep the arts alive in people’s homes, focused most intensely across BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Two, BBC Four, BBC Sounds, BBC iPlayer and BBC Arts. We are doing this in close consultation and collaboration with organisations like Arts Council England and other national funding and producing bodies.
This arts and culture service includes:
· Guides and access to shuttered exhibitions, performances or permanent collections in museums , galleries and performance spaces;
· Ways to experience books with privileged access to authors including a collaboration with the Big Book Weekend amongst other initiatives.
· Jewels from the archive as well as brand new content ensuring that brand new theatre and dance performances will join with modern classics to create a repertory theatre of broadcast.
· Participatory offers including masterclasses and ways to enable audiences to create at home through Get Creative
· Topical arts through Front Row, Front Row Late, Free Thinking and more
· A fund with Arts Council England to support around 25 artists to create new work
· A place for arts organisations to share innovations from quarantine and for audiences to discover new things through the BBC