CriticalDance Forum

Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005
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Author:  ksneds [ Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005


Harald Lander 100 years
Gala performance featuring Lander’s Etudes and Bournonville’s Le Conservatoire

The Danish ballet master is celebrated with a gala performance featuring surprises and star performers from the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris as well as a revival of August Bournonville’s Le Conservatoire.

Centennial Gala | Old Stage
25 February 2005, 8 am

Le Conservatoire, revival | Old Stage
25 February, 8 am
Also performed 2 | 4 | 10 | 18 March 8 | 30 April | 5 May | 8 June 2005

Harald Lander is commonly regarded as the most influential 20th century ballet capacity of the Royal Danish Ballet. He was associated with great art, striking choreography and with strong leadership of the Royal Danish Theatre, but also with intrigue and slander. Harald Lander was artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet from 1932 to 1951 and made milestone contributions to Danish ballet history. There is good to celebrate Harald Lander’s 100th birthday on 25 February 2005 and to pay homage to his remarkable achievement within the world of ballet at the Royal Danish Ballet.

Naturally, we will also perform Etudes, which more than any other ballet is synonymous with Harald Lander. To celebrate Lander’s wide-reaching international influence, we have invited three dancers from the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris – where Lander was artistic director from 1956 to 1963 – to perform the lead parts in Lander’s 1948 classic.

We have a number of surprises in store, including excerpts from Lander’s many works performed by solo dancers of the Royal Danish Ballet. We guarantee a festive and breathtaking evening at the Old Stage. And to mark Lander’s influence on contemporary Bournonville tradition, we also stage a revival of August Bournonville’s elegant two-act Le Conservatoire from 1849 – almost a century older than Etudes.

Bournonville’s ballet is the story of dance inspector Dufour who falls victim to intrigue. Le Conservatoire can be seen as a forerunner to Etudes and features a dance lesson with basic ballet exercises. Unlike most of Bournonville’s ballets, Le Conservatoire reflects the restrained classical French style which also characterises Lander’s principal work.

(Subject to change)

Gala performance 25 Feb. 2005
Ballerina Agnès Letestu
Solo dancer Jean Guillaume Bart
Solo dancer José Martinez

Le Conservatoire
Revival 25 Feb. 2005
Monsieur Dufour Flemming Ryberg
Bonjour Kirsten Simone
Elisa Gudrun Bojesen
Victorine Gitte Lindstrøm
Alexis Thomas Lund
Ernst Morten Eggert

2 March 2005
Monsieur Dufour Poul-Erik Hesselkilde
Bonjour Jette Buchwald
Elisa Yao Wei
Victorine Amy Watson
Alexis Jean-Lucient Massot
Ernst Dawid Kupinski

The Royal Danish Ballet
The Royal Danish Theatre Ballet School
The Royal Danish Orchestra

Author:  ksneds [ Fri Feb 25, 2005 4:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

Greetings from Copenhagen...below are some brief comments on the Harald Landers Gala, which lasted nearly four fabulous four hours.

It was definately a festive night at the Royal Theatre - the Queen attended the performance, and there was champagene for everyone during the intervals.

The program included 'Konservatoriet', 'Etudes', 'Festpolonaise', 'Grand Pas de Deux', a brief speech by Frank Andersen and some film clips of Harald Landers dancing and choreographing. It was a well thought out and appropriate tribute.

For me, the highlight of the night was 'Grand Pas de Deux' with Mads Blangstrup and Caroline Cavallo. This was the first time the ballet was performed live, the only previous performance having been taped for television. In the choreography one can see the motifs that Landers used earlier in 'Etudes'. Fascinating to watch, especially with Blangstrup and Cavallo giving spot on, sizzling performances. It was all the more impressive as this was Blangstrup's first performance since returning from more than a month off due to injury.

Gudrun Bojesen and Thomas Lund shone in 'Festpolonaise", another Lander pas de deux recently returned to the repertory.

The full 'Konservatoriet' was performed, with standout performances from Flemming Ryberg and especially Kirsten Simone. Simone is the company's senior character dancer and can bring a character to life like no other. The entire company was outstanding in the first act, which takes place in the dancing school. Thomas Lund and Kristoffer Sakurai, in the male solos were superb - crisp, elegant and controlled, but never hesitant. Morten Eggert also stood out, as did Gudrun Bojesen and Gitte Lindstrom. Tim Matiakis also deserves mention for his powerful 'jockey' solo.

The evening concluded with a fine, rousing performance of 'Etudes', led by Jose Martinez, Agnes Letestu and Jean Guillaume Bart from the Paris Opera Ballet. Martinez was particularly impressive in his turns, both in the air and pirouettes. The corps tired a bit in the end, but gave a performance that was crisp, energetic and laced with emotion. With this performance the company puts 'Etudes' to bed, at least for the near future, and judging from the cheers behind the curtain, it was a happy and welcome finale. Now on to little mermaids and lots of Bournonville!


<small>[ 26 February 2005, 01:18 PM: Message edited by: ksneds ]</small>

Author:  ksneds [ Sun Feb 27, 2005 12:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

Further casting, with the usual warning that it can change from day to day and hour to hour.


March 2, 10

Monsieur Dufour - Poul Erik Hesselkilde
Elisa - Yao Wei
Victorine - Amy Watson
Alexis - Jean-Lucien Massot
Ernst - Dawid Kupinski

March 4, 19
Monsieur Dufour - Flemming Ryberg
Elisa - Gudrun Bojesen
Victorine - Gitte Lindstrøm
Alexis - Thomas Lund
Ernst - Morten Eggert

The King's Guard in Amager

March 10
Edouard - Jean-Lucien Massot
Louise - Caroline - Cavallo
Otto - Thomas Lund
Steffen - Morten Eggert
Sophie - Diana Cuni
Andrea - Christina Olsen
Trine - Elisabeth Dam
Else - Maria Stokholm
Carl - Nicolai Hansen
Emil - Julien Ringdahl

March 19
Peter Bo Bendixen
Silja Schandorff
Tim Matiakis
Thomas Flindt Jeppesen
Amy Watson
Susanne Grinder
Elisabeth Dam
Izabella Sokolowska
Nicolai Hansen
Dawid Kupinski

La Sylphide

March 15
Kirsten Simone
Mads Blangstrup
Tina Højlund
Cecilie Lassen
Nicolai Hansen
Lis Jeppesem
Vincent van Webber
Fernando Mora
Christina L. Olsen

<small>[ 14 March 2005, 03:18 AM: Message edited by: ksneds ]</small>

Author:  Jane04 [ Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

Thanks Kate for your report on the Landers Gala - it sounded a wonderful and very memorable evening!


Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Sat Mar 05, 2005 8:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

Dance International features the Royal Danish Ballet in its Spring Issue.

Author:  ksneds [ Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

Thanks for posting that link!

A few clarifications...

I don't think that dancers have to retire at 40, but 40 is the age when pensions kick in and most choose to move on then. Martin James is over 40, and it is my understanding that Peter Bo Bendixen intends to stay as a principal, despite turining 40 this year.

Also, the company has had foreign dancers for several decades, and many do stay for years. Jean-Lucien Massot, Caroline Cavallo, Martin James, Marie-Pierre Greve, Leslie Culver, Claire Still, Josee Howard, Claire Ratcliffe, Alexander Sukonnik and Fernando Mora are all non-Danish and have been with the company for at least a decade. While some foriegn dancers do leave, so so some Danish dancers.

And part of the reason foreign dancers have become a vital part of the company is that there aren't always enough dancers coming from the school. Denmark is a country of just over 5 million, so there is a limited pool of potential ballet students, and then not every student will make it through the school to become a member of the company. So, looking abroad allows the company to maintain and increase it's size and also benefit from the different styles of training.



Author:  ksneds [ Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

Zhu Yan, principal dancer with the National Ballet of China, will be dancing the title role in 'La Sylphide' tonight opposite Mads Blangstrup.


<small>[ 15 March 2005, 06:35 AM: Message edited by: ksneds ]</small>

Author:  Kevin Ng [ Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

Good news about Miss Zhu's guesting with the company. I met her in Hong Kong during the National Ballet of China's memorable tour, and she did tell me that she has been invited by Frank Andersen to guest in Copenhagen.

Zhu is a most gifted and versatile dancer. I admired her in the National Ballet of China's production of La Sylphide produced by Frank Andersen. She is equally at home in Balanchine - most outstanding in "Theme and Variations", "Serenade", and "The Four Temperaments".

<small>[ 15 March 2005, 06:34 PM: Message edited by: Kevin Ng ]</small>

Author:  ksneds [ Sat Mar 26, 2005 2:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

The NY Times has a fascinating article about the new Opera House (Operaen) in Copenhagen. Tommasini really brings out some of the qualities that, to me, make watching ballet (or Opera) in Copenhagen so delightful.

Some comments...
People cross the streets only at designated crosswalks, waiting patiently on the curb for the pedestrian signal to turn green even when there is no traffic in either direction.
I believe it is actually illegal to cross against the lights in Denmark. Not that there are policemen (or women) on every corner waiting to pounce - but trying to dodge both the cars and bikes is a massive challenege. Better to wait for the green pedestrian signal than risk a collision with a bicycle.

Patrons tend to arrive early and check their coats (almost all patrons check their coats!)
At the Royal Theatre, you can either check your coat, or leave it hanging on a peg in one of the many non-manned coat areas. And if you don't, the ushers will normally politely ask you to please go and check your coat. (This also seemed to be the situation at the Royal Theatre in Stockholm) With heavy coats the norm during the cold Danish winters, it prevents people from tripping over coats draped on seats and leaves more room for each person to sit.

To me, a very wise idea, as bulky winter coats tend to leave you with very little room to sit or ooze over from your neighbor's seat squeezing you out of your seat. Plus, in theatres like the Royal Theatre or the NYS Theatre, with no centre aisle, it's very easy to trip over things on the floor.

Yet, I don't know if it would work elsewhere - I've never heard of a coat getting lost or being stolen from the un-manned areas, but I would be wary of leaving anything unprotected in NY.

I will get to see the new opera house close up in May - I've seen it from across the harbor - and look forward to it!!


The article:

The Protocols of Going to the Danish Opera (and Going Home)

Published: March 26, 2005

For a New Yorker accustomed to watching the madcap dash to the exits that typically ensues as soon as a performance ends at the Metropolitan Opera, the relaxed pace and genteel protocols of opera-going in Copenhagen were a balm.

Of course, maybe my recent experience was not typical. The citizens are still abuzz about the new $441 million home of the Royal Danish Opera, which opened in January. Arguments continue about the architectural quality of the imposing structure. But over all the city could not be more excited about its new house.

Author:  ksneds [ Mon Apr 04, 2005 4:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

Some casting for April....with Kristoffer Sakurai dancing two lead roles in two nights!

Napoli- April 2
Lis Jeppesen
Tina Højlund
Kristoffer Sakurai
Peter Bo Bendixen
Niels Balle
Poul-Erik Hesselkilde
Flemming Ryberg
Louise Midjord
Mogens Boesen
Kenn Hauge
Alexander Sukonik
Cecilie Lassen
Diana Cuni
Andrew Bowman, Mads Blangstrup, Caroline Cavallo, Gudrun Bojesen, Gitte Lindstrøm, Silja Schandorff

Morten Eggert
Caroline Cavallo
Andrew Bowman
Gitte Lindstrøm
Silja Schandorff
Esther L. Wilkinson og Dawid Kupinski
Susanne Grinder, Cecilie Lassen og Femke Mølbach Slot

Abdallah - April 5
Kristoffer Sakurai
Izabella Sokolowska
Kirsten Simone
Gitte Lindstrøm
Diana Cuni og Cecilie Lassen
Gàbor Baunoch
Mogens Boesen
Andrew Bowman
Poul-Erik Hesselkilde
Oscar Nilsson
Yao Wei
Femke Mølbach Slot
Camilla R. Holst
Nicolai Hansen og Vincent van Webber

King's Guard on Amager - April 8
Peter Bo Bendixen/Jean-Lucien Massot
Silja Schandorff
Kristoffer Sakurai
Thomas Flindt Jeppesem
Amy Watson
Diana Cuni
Elisabeth Dam
Izabella Sokolowska
Nicolai Hansen
Julien Ringdahl

Konservatoriet - April 8
Poul-Erik Hesselkilde
Izabela Sokolowska
Amy Watson
Jean-Lucient Massot
Dawid Kupinski

<small>[ 04 April 2005, 06:32 AM: Message edited by: ksneds ]</small>

Author:  ksneds [ Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

The press release for the Little Mermaid has been released - in Danish. Below is a list of dancers in various parts, though I believe that the caption indicates that casting for the premiere will be released later.

Den lille Havfrue
Koreografi og iscenesættelse: John Neumeier
Personlig assistent: Kevin Haigen
Musik: Lera Auerbach
Scenografi og lysdesign: John Neumeier
Instruktørassistenter: Anne Holm-Jensen, Heidi Ryom, Petrusjka Broholm og Martin James
Dirigent: Graham Bond

Den Kongelige Kapel
Den Kongelige Ballet

Little Mermaid: Marie-Pierre Greve / Susanne Grinder / Yao Wei
Prince Edward: Kenneth Greve / Mads Blangstrup / Kristoffer Sakurai
Mermaid's Sisters: Cecilie Lassen, Susanne Grinder, Femke Mølbach Slot, Mie Fjelstrup, Yao Wei
Sea Witch: Jean-Lucien Massot / Morten Eggert
Princess Henriette: Gudrun Bojesen / Amy Watson
H.C. Andersen: Mogens Boesen / Erling Eliasson

<small>[ 05 April 2005, 08:55 AM: Message edited by: ksneds ]</small>

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

Mary Clarke reviews Konservatoriet and the Harald Lander Tribute in Dancing Times:

Author:  ksneds [ Thu Apr 07, 2005 6:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

The Little Mermaid....


The Little Mermaid
New full-length three-act ballet by John Neumeier

New Production, 15 April 2005, 8 pm | The Copenhagen Opera House, Main Stage
Performances 15 | 16 | 18 | 20 | 23 | 27 | 28 April and 6 May 2005

Unrequited love

On 15 April, the Royal Danish Ballet stages a new full-length ballet by John Neumeier at the Main Stage at the Copenhagen Opera House. This commissioned ballet features original score by composer Lera Auerbach. The Little Mermaid has been created in celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen in 2005.

We are about to witness a unique event. For John Neumeier to stage a full-length ballet in Copenhagen is remarkable in itself, but the fact that he has created an entirely new full-length ballet for the Royal Danish Ballet is a sensation. Neumeier enjoys close ties with the Royal Danish Ballet and always succeeds in bringing the best out of our dancers. The original score is by the young Russian composer Lera Auerbach, who has enjoyed stellar success in recent years. This world premiere is our tribute to Hans Christian Andersen in the bicentennial year of his birth. Furthermore, the ballet is our maiden performance at the Main Stage at the Copenhagen Opera House – what more could you ask for?
Artistic director Frank Andersen

About the ballet
John Neumeier contemplated creating a biographical work on Hans Christian Andersen but has instead decided to stage his own rendition of his favourite fairytale 'The Little Mermaid'

I believe 'The Little Mermaid' represents a kind of love and a situation that is such an extreme that it is unmatched in world literature. I know no other story that expresses the same level of love. The Mermaid sacrifices her essence – her entire world – and that is the greatest sacrifice anyone can make.
I believe 'The Little Mermaid' is autobiographical. Andersen believed he came from another world, and that he didn’t belong to this world… didn’t find love in this world. I will try and weave these aspects of his life into the story itself – as far as this can be portrayed in dance.

New music
The original score for the ballet marks the first original ballet score commissioned by the Royal Danish Ballet since Caroline Mathilde in 1991. The choice of composer came natural. John Neumeier has worked with the young Russian composer Lera Auerbach before. The internationally renowned composer is also an accomplished author and poet, and she draws on this talent when setting Andersen’s poetry to music:
Andersen did not understand the human psyche. He engages with the most complex and often tragic, universal themes in a simple, poetic and metaphoric manner. It is a great pleasure to compose music for the Royal Danish Ballet, and it is a great honour to take part in the celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen. 'The Little Mermaid' is the symbol of Copenhagen, and a nation is known by its poets.
-Lera Auerbach

The Little Mermaid has been created with sponsorship by the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, the Kingdom of Denmark and the Bikuben Foundation.

The Little Mermaid
Choreographer and stage director: John Neumeier
Personal assistant: Kevin Haigen
Music: Lera Auerbach
Set and lighting designer: John Neumeier
Assistant stage directors: Anne Holm-Jensen, Heidi Ryom, Petrusjka Broholm and Martin James
Conductor: Graham Bond

The Royal Danish Orchestra
The Royal Danish Ballet

Casting (to be published shortly before the premiere):
The Mermaid: Marie-Pierre Grev / Susanne Grinder / Yao Wei.
Prince Edward: Kenneth Greve / Mads Blangstrup / Kristoffer Sakurai.
Mermaid’s sisters: Cecilie Lassen, Susanne Grinder, Femke Mølbach Slot, Mie Fjelstrup, Yao Wei
Sea Witch: Jean-Lucien Massot / Morten Eggert
Princess Henriette: Gudrun Bojesen / Amy Watson
Hans Christian Andersen: Mogens Boesen / Erling Eliasson
Casting is subject to change

John Neumeier
Since 1973 John Neumeier has been Director and Chief Choreographer of The Hamburg Ballet, and since 1996 he is "Ballettintendant". He was born in 1942 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A., where he received his first dance training. He went on to study ballet both in Copenhagen and at the Royal Ballet School in London. He acquired a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Theater Studies from Marquette University, Wisconsin. In 1963 he was "discovered" in London by Marcia Haydée and Ray Barra, leading John Cranko to engage him at the Stuttgart Ballet, where he progressed to solo dancer and created his first choreographic works.
In 1969 Ulrich Erfurth appointed Neumeier Director of Ballet in Frankfurt, where he soon caused a sensation. This was largely due to his new interpretations of such well-known ballets as "The Nutcracker", "Romeo and Julia" and "Daphnis and Chloe". In 1973 August Everding brought him to Hamburg. Under Neumeier's direction The Hamburg Ballet became one of the leading ballet companies on the German dance scene and soon received international recognition.

Lera Auerbach
One of the most widely performed composers of the new generation; Lera Auerbach is the youngest and the only American on the roster of Hamburg’s prestigious international music publishing company Hans Sikorski. A virtuoso performer, Lera Auerbach continues the great tradition of pianist-composers of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Born in Chelyabinsk, a city in the Urals bordering Siberia, Lera Auerbach became one of the very last artists to defect the Soviet Union during a concert tour in 1991 while still in her teens. She subsequently earned Bachelor and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School in piano and composing. In 2002 she graduated from the prestigious piano soloist program of the Hannover Hochschüle für Musik.
Her original compositions have been commissioned and performed by Gidon Kremer, Wu Han, Hamburg Ballet, Akiko Suwanai and Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa among many others. She has appeared as solo pianist at such prestigious venues as Moscow’s Bolshoi Hall, Tokyo’s Opera City, New York’s Lincoln Center and Washington's Kennedy Center. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in May 2002 performing her own Suite for Violin, Piano and. In 2005 Lera Auerbach was awarded the prestigious Hindemith Prize by Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany.
Lera Auerbach’s recognition is attributed not only to her musical activities but also to her writing. In 1996, she was named Poet of the Year by the International Pushkin Society.

<small>[ 07 April 2005, 08:03 AM: Message edited by: ksneds ]</small>

Author:  ksneds [ Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

Casting for the first two nights of "The Little Mermaid" has been posted. I hope all goes well tonight - this is the first big ballet production in the new opera house.

April 15, 18
Mermaid: Marie-Pierre Greve
Prince Edward: Kenneth Greve
Mermaid's sisters: Cecilie Lassen, Susanne Grinder, Femke Mølbach Slot, Mie Fjelstrup and Yao Wei
Sea Witch: Jean-Lucien Massot
Princess Henriette: Gudrun Bojesen
Hans Christian Andersen: Mogens Boesen

April 16,20
Yao Wei
Mads Blangstrup
Cecilie Lassen, Susanne Grinder, Femke Mølbach Slot, Mie Fjelstrup og Izabela Sokolowska
Morten Eggert
Amy Watson
Erling Eliasson

<small>[ 15 April 2005, 11:51 AM: Message edited by: ksneds ]</small>

Author:  silvia [ Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005

m... to everybody and particularly to JN. Please let us know about the production as detailed as usually you do. Thanks!

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