CriticalDance Forum

2007 RDB Dancers on Tour - Jacob's Pillow appearance
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Author:  ksneds [ Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:58 pm ]
Post subject:  2007 RDB Dancers on Tour - Jacob's Pillow appearance

Dancers from the company will appear this summer at Jacobs Pillow:

The pinnacle of one of the world’s most important ballet traditions is revealed with this exclusive appearance of Dancers of the Royal Danish Ballet. The noble and buoyant 1800s Bournonville tradition is set side-by-side with cutting-edge Scandinavian innovation, including a world premiere by Louise Midjord. Legendary Bournonville masterpieces to be performed include excerpts from Napoli and Flower Festival in Genzano.

Wednesday-Saturday, 8pm
Saturday & Sunday, 2pm

More information here

Author:  ksneds [ Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:04 pm ]
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Press images of the company can be found here

Author:  ksneds [ Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:37 pm ]
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The group that will appear includes the following dancers (subject to change of course, due to injury, illness etc.)

Ulrik Birkkjær
Elisabeth Dam
Mads Eriksen
Sebastian Kloborg
Christina L. Olsen
Camilla Ruelykke-Holst
Alexander Stæger
Louise Østergaard

Guest dancers for this appearance:

Gudrun Bojesen
Thomas Lund
Diana Cuni
Tim Matiakis
Kizzy Howard

Author:  ksneds [ Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:33 pm ]
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From the Jacob's Pillow website: talks involving the RDB

Wednesday 7/11 at 5:00

Royal Danish Traditions

In 1982, Frank Andersen and Eva Kloborg were two of the Royal Danish Ballet soloists who saluted the Pillow's 50th anniversary, and Andersen later became the company's director. They return to remember this and other key moments, while marking another anniversary and a new group's debut.

Thursday 7/12

Post-Show Talk: Dancers of the Royal Danish Ballet

Q&A with artists from the Royal Danish Ballet following their 8pm performance in the Ted Shawn Theatre.

Author:  ksneds [ Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:48 am ]
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The NY Times previews the RDB performances:

Dance Festival Celebrates the New While Welcoming Some Old Friends

Published: July 12, 2007

BECKET, Mass., July 7 — Ted Shawn was not given to casual praise. But Shawn, who founded the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 75 years ago, had a soft spot for the members of the Royal Danish Ballet. “Not only are they technically fabulous dancers,” he wrote in a newsletter in February 1956, “but they are such warm, vibrant, gracious, charming and physically beautiful people.”

He had fallen in love with them the summer before, when a small touring group from the Danish company performed at the Pillow. “They danced every minute as if they were having the time of their lives, and as if they truly loved the audience,” Shawn wrote in the newsletter.

Click here for more.

Author:  ksneds [ Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:10 pm ]
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Reviews: ... bs_pillow/ ... =7/13/2007

I have to admit that I've never seen much charm in Festival Polonaise, despite having seen Lund & Bojeson dance it quite well. Some of the pairings in this program seem a bit odd - certainly not who would be partnered if they were back home. I am rather surprised that Bojeson and Lund didn't dance together as they are one the superb partnerships in ballet today.


Author:  ksneds [ Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:58 am ]
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From the NY Times:

Turning a Danish Prism of Joy

Published: July 14, 2007

BECKET, Mass., July 13 — Does any art convey joy better than dance? W. H. Auden, writing about “The Nutcracker” in particular, spoke of the “present Eden” that ballet is singularly equipped to create: the paradise with knowledge neither of good and evil nor of past and future that dance and choreography can sustain.

And though many ballets do contain intimations of grief and tragedy, it often seems that what dance does best is to give an image of fulfillment in action. There are examples from Astaire to Tharp, from Balanchine to Taylor, but before all of these a choreographic master of bliss was the Danish August Bournonville (1805-79), contemporary and friend of Hans Christian Andersen. He created full-length ballets that hold dark as well as light, but he argued that tragic emotion should be represented by acting, gesture, mime, whereas dancing expressed joy.

Click here for more.

Author:  ksneds [ Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:11 pm ]
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Joel Lobenthal on the performances:

Contrary what is said in the article, the Royal Theatre stage is not raked, and as far as I know, hasn't been raked in recent memory. A very peculiar error and it makes me wonder if Lobenthal was thinking of the Royal Swedish Ballet which does perform on a raked stage.

Author:  KaraJ [ Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:47 am ]
Post subject:  Royal Danish Ballet at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival- Review

The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival has a knack for paying homage to European dance masters who have set the barre, so to speak, within the classical dance tradition. One such figure is August Bournonville, whose Royal Danish Ballet graced the Pillow stage on July 11, 2007, after a 21-year hiatus from any performing in the U.S. The company’s diverse program raised an important question: can the old and new coexist amicably, especially within an established ballet company?

The Bournonville choreography featured in the program (“The Flower Festival in Genzano,” “Jockeydance,” “La Sylphide,” and the third act of “Napoli”) testified to not only the talents of the dancers, but also to Bournonville’s technique. The nuances of his codified style—intricate footwork and buoyant jumps—provided clean lines despite the speedy footwork and athletic choreography. Although the dancers seemed born and raised on Bournonville, their artistic integrity was not lost in the countless jetés and pirouettes. For example, Kizzy Howard and Thomas Lund’s “The Flower Festival” pas de deux had a flirty innocence that can be captured only in this snapshot of young love through bashful glances and an energetic embrace.

Although the program featured pieces primarily from the 19th century, it also included Tim Rushton’s 1999 work, “Triplex,” and the world premiere of “My Knees are Cold,” choreographed by Royal Danish Ballet dancer Louise Midjord. “Triplex” showed a playful conversation between Sebastian Kloborg, Alexander Stæger, and Diana Cuni. Due to the two-against-one trend in the choreography—including the men passing Cuni back and forth amidst tricky lifts and throws—the gender dynamics suggested both light-hearted frolicking and disturbing manhandling. For instance, her legs flailing wildly as the men carry her along an entire diagonal illustrates such obvious victimization. Nevertheless, as Cuni claps her hands bossily and the men collapse to the ground at the dance’s conclusion, the woman ultimately triumphs. “Knees” addressed choreographic issues also found in “Triplex”: ho-hum phrases; perfunctory “tricks”; and pedestrian movements, such as jogging and strutting, which attempted (and failed) to provide a post-modern edge to the choreography. This biker shorts-clad quartet (Elisabeth Dam, Christina L. Olsen, Alexander Stæger, and Sebastian Kloborg) offered unrehearsed movements that seemed more like class combinations than a finished piece. The unsteady transitions in and out of lifts also contributed to the work’s amateur image. The dancers’ athleticism provided some surprising movements, such as the women jumping into a crouched pose and the men catching them in mid-air. Despite such moments, the piece left ideas undeveloped. This world premiere was disappointing because it gave the impression of existing on stage, in the Ted Shawn Theater, merely for the sake of being new, different, and modern amidst Bournonville’s old, albeit timeless and far from boring, masterpieces.

Are works such as “Triplex” and “Knees” attempts to broaden the image of the Royal Danish Ballet, stuck—quite beautifully, I daresay—in the nineteenth century? Is it wrong to be “anti-modern” amid such seamless ballet technique? While any company will inevitably flirt with artistic reinvention and welcoming in the “contemporary,” one hopes that the Royal Danish Ballet ultimately preserves the rich ballet tradition with which it has been blessed. Any other road would seem almost sacrilegious. The American writer Henry James writes of the timelessness of his literary predecessor, Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose “characters and images remain for us curious winged creatures preserved in the purest amber of the imagination.” Capturing and preserving the master works of past centuries, as if in amber, is vital to remembering where the new came from. And, amid the bombardment of the new for the sake of being new and nothing else, the old seems all the more precious.

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