As life under lockdown continues, the arts community is finding new ways to evolve its performances onto online formats. From special Broadway productions to weekly Met opera streams, these virtual streams foster creative collaboration, while continuing to inspire and entertain audiences who are sheltering in place. The latest to partake in the movement is The Juilliard School in New York City: the performing arts school—which is often regarded as the best in North America—banded together its current students and celebrity alumni for a special Zoom performance, set to French composer Maurice Ravel’s classic, “Bolero.”
Called “Bolero Juilliard,” the almost 10 minute-long video, which was released on April 30, includes performances from over 100 students who volunteered from across the school’s divisions: dance, drama, and music. Special celebrity alumni also partook in the video as well: it features appearances from names such as Laura Linney, Emanuel Ax, Christine Baranski, Jon Batiste, Renée Fleming, Isabel Leonard, Patti LuPone, Yo-Yo Ma, Andrea Miller, and Bebe Neuwirth, among others.
Damian Woetzel, president of Juilliard, says the project began when he and the faculty were searching for ways to keep everyone at the school connected, as many students returned to their homes and moved to remote learning formats. “In every time, the arts are our mirror, and our memory,” Woetzel tells Vogue. “It’s so important for our students to find ways to continue performing in this time when we are all at home, and this project was a way to collaborate artistically, and then share that work as a video performance.”