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 Post subject: Bournonville Festival - Exhibitions
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 8:02 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3394
Location: Canada
As a part of the Bournonville Festival, there are a wide variety of exhibitions in Copenhagen and farther afield. This topic is a place to discuss these exhibitions....

Detailed on each exhibition, including location and opening hours is available at the Bournonville Festival Website

The National Museum of Denmark - Tulle & Tricot - Costumes for the Bournonville Ballets

The Round Tower - Striking Sylphs & Posing Trolls - a photographic journey through Bournonville's ballets

Thorvaldsens Museum - Everything Dances!

The Theatre Museum - Legs, Lectures & Bournonville

Bournonville's House, Fredensborg - The King’s Ballet-master in Fredensborg – a 19th century artist’s residence

The New Stage Stærekassen - Bournonville the European

The Royal Library - Hans Christian Andersen's Theatre Dreams

Glass case exhibitions:.

The Old Stage, The Royal Theatre - Bournonville Stamps

The Royal Library - Digterens og balletmesterens luner

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 8:28 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3394
Location: Canada
ksneds visits

The National Museum of Denmark - Tulle & Tricot
- Costumes for the Bournonville Ballets

Ana and Mary, this is an exhibit that you definitely need to see as it's
brilliantly put together.

It's housed in one large, strikingly lit room, with the costumes on tailor's
dummies (just torso and arms) suspended from the ceilings. This allows the
whole costumes to be visible as the dummies twist in any breeze and the
exhibit to be spacious. In a neat touch, a series of slyphide costumes from
"La Sylphide" are hung in a row, climbing from floor to ceiling. It would
have been nice to be able to get closer to some of the costumes, but they
probably wanted to keep the older ones out of touching distance.

Each costume is labeled with ballet, designer and the dancer(s) who wore it,
and range from the 40s to the present day. I found it intriguing how many
of the costumes had been worn by just one dancer because I know that in
companies like the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre,
costumes re rebuilt for different dancers many times until they are worn
out, so often they are worn by many dancers.

I suspect here that at the Royal Danish ballet, the ballets have been in the
repertory for so long, dancers stay in the company for so long and the roles
are done by so few dancers, that costumes are likely to wear out or be
replaced by a newer design before a dancer leaves.

It was particularly interesting for me to view the older costumes, as I've
seen most of the current ones up close many times, either on the dancers or
on the costume rack in the hall. To see costumes worn by the likes of
Henning Kronstam, Kirsten Simone, Flemming Ryberg, Eva Kloborg, Lise la Cour
is amazing. And also it was intriguing to examine the detailing and to see
and compare the sizes of the costumes.

Along the walls were photos from various ballets and costumes sketches of
various productions of the ballets. It's fascinating to see how the designs
have evolved over the course of the century - it seems like the trend is
towards more simplicity. Not that the costumes are any less intricate, but
more modern materials.

One whole side of the room was given over to a movie screen with clips from
four Bournonville ballets (current casts) being played. The clips are well
edited and in parts slowed down so you can really see the steps. Having
seen "Napoli" just two nights before, the clip from Napoli was my favorite!

There's an accompanying paperback guide for around $7/£4, which is well
worth buying. ... ndex2.html

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 8:59 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3394
Location: Canada
From Effy:

The nametag in the costumes used for identification will often be the name of the last dancer wearing the costume, so a lot of the costumes will have been worn by several dancers. There are a few mistakes in the labelling at the exhibition The junker Ove costume contributed to Johnny Eliasen, had never been worn by him, he has never danced this part, but Erling Eliasson has, so it is probably his costume and would probably be the one made for Peter Martins who premiered the production. I think as a rule that there are at least two costumes made for the firsts casts, and these will be altered when the ballets are recast. You can also se one costume having been worn by Anna Lærkesen (one of the tallest dancers) and Petruskja Broholm, who is one of the shortest.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 11:17 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 140
Location: London
The exhibition is really worth seeing. The way the different costumes have been displayed is wonderful. The curator of the exhibition explained how it was important to preserve the movement in those costumes and thus, they are all presented hanging and video excerpts illustrate how they actually look on stage when the dancers use them in performance.
There is also the wonderful feeling of interaction between the museum and the theatre in that every costume that is being used in the different ballets during the festival is actually withdrawn from the exhibition and then returned on the following day.
There are also video fragments that show the different costume effects from Napoli and La Sylphide (the famous wings falling off once the Sylph wears the shawl). Very informative, plenty of opportunity to see the different changes from original designs to present productions.
A must for any lover of ballet, costume design and of course Bournonville!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:54 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1742
Location: London UK
Cassandra visits

Bournonville's House

To mark the 200 years since Bournonville’s birth, his country home has been opened to the public for the limited period of approximately three months. This is a one-off occurrence unlikely to be repeated, so on my last day in Denmark I made my way to Fredensborg to take a look at the house where the great man lived.

The homes of great artists have always fascinated me; from the tourist filled birth house of Mozart to the more modest home of Beethoven, where I was the only visitor, to the unexpectedly affluent Paris town house of Gustave Moreau (that artist never starved in a garret) and to the unpretentious flat of musical maverick Scriabin. They all seem somehow to have left a little of themselves behind.

On arriving at Fredensborg my friends and I were surprised to discover that it is a popular town with a tourist industry due to the fact that Fredensborg has a castle that is the summer home of the royal family, a kind of Danish Windsor. Bournonville’s house is very easy to find, just walk up to the castle and turn left; on asking directions, a friendly Danish lady who happened to live almost next door invited us to follow her as she pushed her pram up the hill and in five minutes we were standing in front of the pretty white house that Bournonville made his family home in 1854. We were bang on time too, as it was exactly the opening time of 11 o’clock and the front door was immediately opened by the house’s owner, Mr No Widding, whom we assumed at first to be the curator.

The house is an attractive two-storey building with a red tiled roof and a small front garden with neat flowerbeds and low hedges. Inside most of the ground floor is open to the public and a specially assembled array of articles and documents that belonged to Bournonville are on display, the majority generously loaned by his descendents that still live in Denmark and Sweden. The rooms on show are the entrance hall, sitting room, library/study and a garden room, much like a modern conservatory, that looks out over a tree filled back garden that slopes downwards from the house.

Of course the documents and the labelled exhibits were all in Danish, but we were kindly issued with a summary of the rooms in English together with a description of Bournonville’s day to day life in the house with his extended family. It seems that Bournonville loved having visitors, often playing his violin by way of entertainment and kept open house inviting all the celebrities of his day including his contemporary (and fellow birthday boy), Hans Christian Anderson.

Of the many exhibits in the house I was particularly drawn to a beautiful gaming table that belonged to Bournonville’s father, Antoine. This superb example of 18th century furniture transformed from gaming table to more respectable writing desk in the twinkling of an eye: a tribute to the imagination of the consummate craftsmen of the past. The books on display proved that Bournonville was very well read, with his well-worn volume of Shakespeare having pride of place on his bookshelf. Of particular interest was a small collection of artefacts that are the results of a little do-it-yourself archaeology that the house owner had carried out, finding all sorts of discarded odds and ends from torn pieces of old wallpaper to discarded shards of china.

After our look around the house, we spoke to Mr Widding, who explained that he wasn’t the curator, but the owner. It seems he had worked in the theatre as a young man and had developed a deep love of ballet and opera. When Bournonville’s house came on the market he had jumped at the chance to buy it and has nobly thrown open many of the rooms of his home (and although he didn’t say so, must have suffered greatly in the disruption of his daily routine) in order that the public can get closer to Bournonville by experiencing the unique atmosphere of the house.

There were also one or two items of Bournonvilleana on sale in the house, mostly books in Danish and then I spotted something I simply couldn’t resist: A bottle of red Chateau Bournonville. I’m keeping it for a special occasion.

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