CriticalDance Forum

Johan Kobborg and Bournonville
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Author:  ksneds [ Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:56 am ]
Post subject:  Johan Kobborg and Bournonville

It will be interesting to find out what company and which Bournonville ballet...

A Star Dancer Looks for a New World to Conquer

NY Times
Published: February 7, 2007

LONDON — “I like a challenge,” said Johan Kobborg, backstage at the Royal Opera House, where he is a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet.

It was the day of the premiere in January of his “Napoli Divertissements,” extracts from August Bournonville’s 1842 three-act “Napoli,” which Mr. Kobborg had staged with his own choreographic additions. Also on the evening’s program was his version of Bournonville’s 1836 ballet “La Sylphide,” first staged for the Royal Ballet the previous season, and now in repertory until Feb. 9.

More here

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

If I were given to speculation, I'd bet on NBoC as the "North American" company.

Author:  ksneds [ Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:37 am ]
Post subject: 

That would be quite an opportunity - NBoC is large enough and blessed with enough talent to do Bournonville well, at least by non Danish standards.

I'm still most intrigued by the possibilities for Bournonville ballets that Kobborg would be familiar with and that would be feasible for a company not steeped in the style. If I remember correctly Kobborg joined the RDB School at 16 and left the company by 22, so he hasn't had nearly the Bournonville experience of many Danish dancers, and I'm not sure how many of the non-regular (Napoli, La Sylphide etc.) ballets the company would have done during that time period - or done more than a few times for a Bournonville Festival. I assume (or would hope) that Kobborg would stick to staging what he is familiar with unless he has outside help...

I'd be fascinated to see what another company could do with "Napoli", or possibly the second act of "Konservatoriet", though that's pretty unforgiving in terms of exposing any weaknesses in the dancers' grasp of the Bournonville style. But, actually "La Ventana" would be a great ballet for another company to try - it's not too long, doesn't require overly elaborate sets and doesn't require too much mime - which is probably one of the hardest things for non-Bournonville companies to deal with outside of the style. "Abdallah" was revived outside of Denmark, so it's a good candidate, though it takes very elaborate sets and a large cast to pull it off.

I can't see "Far From Denmark" ever being done outside Denmark (too dated, too non-PC in it's dated portrayals of non-Danish cultures), and I think both "A Folktale" and "King's Guard in Amager" are too steeped in Danish folklore and history to be appealing to a wider audiences. Not sure about "Kermessen i Bruges" - hard to tell sometimes what will translate well to wider audiences...

If anyone sees an official mention - i.e. a press release or an article in a reliable newspaper - about Kobborg's plans, please post!


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