Breathtaking ballet and circus art shows light up London – and it’s all totally free!

Get yourself to Hackney for these free performances.

If you’ve ever tried to book a ticket for a West End show in London, you’ll know it costs a small fortune – especially if buying for all the family.

Though you might be in luck if you’re searching for something to entertain you during the final weeks of summer that won’t break the bank.

And thanks to the Royal Ballet, performances are now springing into life every weekend along the canal by Hoxton Docks.

Not only are the performances entirely free of charge, they are also all outdoors meaning that you can honour social distancing while watching the beautiful artistry.


The new project, named DistDancing, features a series of performances ranging from pirouetting ballet dancers, aerial hoops, circus arts, and contemporary dance.

During lockdown, the Royal Ballet in Covent Garden was forced to close its doors and they have been unable to perform to live audiences since March 17.

[Credit: Instagram @dancersdiary]

However, they are continuing to capture the public’s imaginations with their innovative Hackney programme on Saturdays and Sundays with shows at 3pm, 5pm or 7pm.

The brainchild of Chisato Katsura, a first artist of the Royal Ballet, and Valentino Zucchetti, a first soloist, the shows are to not only entertain the public but also to give the professional dancers a chance to perform in front of an audience again.

Speaking about the response, Chisato said she was overwhelmed by the warm reception and said the intimacy of the shows means artists can also interact with locals.

[Credit: Instagram @dancersdiary]

Chisato, 23, said: “It’s amazing to hear people scream and cheer. You don’t get that at the Royal Opera House.

“We struggle in the bigger companies and theatres to get that younger generation in, but in the feedback I get, the people in their 20s tend to be the ones that love the ballet and they’re very surprised after watching it.”

She added: “Every time the ballet dancers come on, it’s total silence, everyone puts down their phone and they just watch and it’s amazing to see that.”

By a twist of fate, Japanese dancer Chisato moved to a new flat during lockdown, with her landlord also owning the Hoxton Docks, and suggesting she curate a performance for the canalside after discovering she was a dancer.

For more dazzling snaps, click here: DistDancing.

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