CriticalDance Forum

2007-2008 Season: General News
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Author:  ksneds [ Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:26 pm ]
Post subject:  2007-2008 Season: General News

The 2007-08 season starts on August 31, and the website has been updated to reflect the 2007-08 roster:

Character dancers - Peter Bo Bendixen is no longer listed, likely because he is now the director of the dance company at the Tivoli Pantomime Theatre.

Principals: Christina Olsson's name is gone - she is now a an instructor

Soloists: David Kupinski has departed from the company to join the Bejart Ballet (as per his bio here)

Mads Eriksen has left the company to join Ballet San Jose
Martin Stauning is no longer listed
Nadia Dahl and Birgitta Lawrence have gotten corps contracts

Apprentices (new):
1st year - Benjamin Buza and Jon Axel Fransson
2nd year - Eliza Mulholland

Mulholland is Australian and was a finalist in the 2006 Genee International Ballet Competition at the age of 16. She came to the RDB school in 2006 on a Prix de Lausanne scholarship, as per a recent PdL press release.

Author:  ksneds [ Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:21 pm ]
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Newsletter from the Royal Danish Ballet, October and November 2007

A sensation – nothing less
“There is no doubt that an extraordinaire event lies in waiting when Jirí Kylián
will stage a full evening of his ballets in Copenhagen. He has now decided to pre-
sent a total of six works out of which two is going to be world premieres. Add to
this that Kylián and his team invite audiences on an evocative journey into a
sensuous dream world of art installations, which are featured in the dark nooks
and crannies of the back and under stage environment. This is truely an event for
all your senses to experience and something, I promise, that you have never seen
Frank Andersen, artistic director


This newsletter features:
• World premiere: Silk & Knife – Kylián Unlimited (27 October
• Revival: The Red Balloon (6 October 2007)
• Flemming Ryberg’s 50th jubilee (9 November 2007)
• Sneak preview: The Nutcracker (5 December 2007)

World premiere: Silk & Knife – Kylián Unlimited
Czech master choreographer and former artistic director of the Nederlands Dans
Theater Jirí Kylián invites audiences on a tour of back stage facilities at the Old
Stage where they will experience strange happenings that are set to challenge our
perceptions of the old theatre. Following the backstage prelude audiences will take
their seats in the theatre auditorium where Kylián will present a program consisting
of no less than four of his most celebrated works. As if this was not enough, two
world premieres commissioned by The Royal Danish Ballet will embrace the eve-
ning as well. Never before in the theatre’s more than 250 years of existence have
audiences been invited to such a close-up experience that almost allows them to
become part of the performance itself.
Choreography: Jirí Kylián. Installation: Karine Guizzo. Music: Mozart,
Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Schubert and others.
Old Stage October 2007 |27|28|31|
November 2007 |03|07|10|13|15|16|20|21|22|24||27|

Revival: The Red Balloon

For a number of years the Royal Danish Ballet has nurtured a tradition during the
autumn school break of performing children’s ballets that feature students from the
Royal Danish Theatre Ballet School. This year is no exception and sees the revival of
one of the most cherished children’s ballets, namely Tim Rushton’s The Red Balloon. Frederik finds a playmate in a lively red balloon and forgets time and place –
not least school. Together the two friends dodge the grumpy ballet instructor to
explore the magical world of the theatre.
Choreography: Tim Rushton Music: Verdi, Mascagni and Tchaikovsky Set de-
sign: Tim Rushton and Søren Frandsen
Old Stage, October 2007 |06*|07*|11|13*|14*|15*|16*|
* Two performances these dates

Flemming Ryberg’s 50th jubilee

Just under two years ago we celebrated the 60th jubilee of Flemming Rybergs sister,
Kirsten Simone. Now we pay tribute to Flemming Ryberg, who along with his
sister secured Denmark a leading position within the world of ballet in the 1960s.
For 50 years, Ryberg has been one of the principal exponents of the Bournonville
tradition. Even today he is still an active Bournonville director, teacher and charac-
ter dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet. It was, indeed, in the capacity of character
dancer that Ryberg made his indelible mark on the 3rd Bournonville Festival in
2005. Here he performed among others the role as the lovestruck ballet instructor,
Monsieur Dufour, in Le Conservatoire.
On 9 November, the entire Royal Danish Theatre will celebrate one of its greatest
names with onstage tributes and festivities following Flemming Ryberg’s perform-
ance as Peppo in Napoli.
Napoli, Old Stage, 9 November 2007

Sneak preview: The Nutcracker
The countdown has only just begun for the season’s greatest highlight, The Nut-
cracker. Sneak previews have so far all pointed to a performance brimming with
theatrical magic, entertaining drama and Danish “hygge”. All this set to elegant and
high-flying choreography. Read more about this repertoire highlight in the next
issue of the Royal Danish Ballet Newsletter.
Choreography: Kenneth Greve Stage direction: Peter Langdal Music: Piotr
Tchaikovsky Set design: Karin Betz
Old Stage, December 2007 |05|07|08|09*|12|13|14|15*|16*|18|22*|26|
januar 2008 |05|08|09|
* Two performances these dates

Author:  ksneds [ Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:32 pm ]
Post subject: 

An article about Nikolaj Hübbe's plans for the company on Reuters: ... geNumber=1

Author:  ksneds [ Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:55 am ]
Post subject: 

Another new company member: Jonathan Chmelensky

No bio yet, but a google search indicates that he competed for France in the junior part of th3 2006 USAIBC. He was 18 then, from Paris and trained at the Conservatoire Nationale Superieur de Paris.

You can read comments on the USAIBC here

Author:  ksneds [ Sat Oct 27, 2007 2:37 pm ]
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Newsletter from the Royal Danish Ballet, December 2007
The Nutcracker is back!

"The Nutcracker is back! The Royal Danish Ballet is a ballet for the people. That’s no exaggeration, which will become evident to all when we stage the grandest of family events at the Royal Danish Theatre. The Nutcracker epitomes the Danish Christmas with all its traditional trimmings and treats, which are set to embrace not only the Old Stage but the entire Kongens Nytorv Square to offer a total thea-tre experience. Peter Langdal, Kenneth Greve and Karin Betz have created a new universe and set out a new parameter for Danish yuletide celebration. And magic and storytelling is very much part of it all."
Frank Andersen, artistic director

World premiere: The Nutcracker

All great companies have their own special version of The Nutcracker. In earlyDecember, the Royal Danish Ballet will stage an entirely new version of one of the greatest classics in the world of ballet. The Danish version of the classic Christmas fairytale offers a unique opportunity for ballet audiences to share an exceptional dance experience and for families to enjoy an entertaining and dramatic tale. Prin-cipal dancer Kenneth Greve is currently choreographing the step design and according to reports from the rehearsals this new staging promises the most demanding choreography Kenneth has ever created; one that reflects a personal, neo-classical style. To further instil the ballet with drama and humour the Royal Danish Ballet has commissioned one of the greatest dramatic talents of Danish theatre, Peter Langdal.

Choreographer: Kenneth Greve
Stage direction: Peter Langdal. Music: Piotr Tchaikovsky
Set design: Karin Betz.
Old Stage, December 2007 |05|07|08|09|09|12|13|14|15|15|
January 2008 |05|08|09|

Christmas at the Royal Danish Theatre

No Danish Nutcracker without true Christmas spirit. Audiences, who are about to enter the fairytale world of Clara and her prince, can add extra yuletide spice to their experience in and around the old theatre itself. For the very first time the Royal Danish Theatre will open its doors in daytime during the Christmas month. The Old Stage will play host to Danish yuletide traditions and treats and on Kongens Nytorv Square theatregoers can skate on the open-air ice rink hand in hand with their sweetheart as they circle round the more than 300-year-old equestrian statue of King Christian V. Here they can enjoy the city’s splendid seasonal décor and the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping.

Audition for the Royal Danish Ballet

Professional dancers from international classical ballet companies and students from classical and professional ballet schools are invited to send their CV along with a photographic head shot and dance shot to be considered for audition at the Royal Danish Theatre on 13 January 2008 at 12:00 noon.
Applicants must be dancers on an advanced level and must master classical ballet techniques. For female applicants the audition will include pointe work. Applicants must be between 16 and 24 years of age. Dancers on soloist/principal dancer levels may in special circumstances be granted exemption from the age limit. Your application must have been registered with the theatre no later than 18 December 2007. Send your CV, e-mail address, postal address and photos to: The Royal Dan-ish Ballet, Att. Boriana Nielsen, P.O. Box 2185, DK-1017 Copenhagen K, Denmark, or e-mail to:

Author:  ksneds [ Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:35 pm ]
Post subject: 

This newsletter features:

* Silk & Knife gets an amazing reception
* Frank Andersen is guest of honour at the Christmas Ball
* Premiere: Don Quixote (20 January)
* Guest performance: Thumbelina (6 February)
* Kenneth Greve appointed artistic director in Finland

Silk & Knife gets an amazing reception

One of the biggest success’s in many years for the Royal Danish Ballet. Throughout November the company has performed sold-out performances of Jirí Kylián’s concept ballet Silk & Knife, which was commissioned by the company’s artistic director Frank Andersen. Critics and audiences alike have been unequivocal in their praise of this performance that bridges tradition and innovation, poetry and humour, fun and gravity. The ballet will be performed until 27 November but four of the first performances scheduled for next season are already on sale.

Artistic Director Frank Andersen:
“We are very pleased with the great interest Silk & Knife has garnered. After all, it’s nice when great art and audience appeal go hand in hand. The collaboration our dancers have experienced with Jirí Kylián has been unique. He has really demanded the best from everyone - whether old or young, man or woman, principal dancer or member of the corps de ballet. And it’s an even greater pleasure for everyone that the result is so exceptional”

Frank Andersen is guest of honour at the Christmas Ball

The annual Christmas Ball hosted by the American Scandinavian Society has invited Frank Andersen as guest of honour. Here the President of the American Scandina-vian Society, Vibeke Steineger, will hold a speech in recognition of his long-standing dedication to bringing Scandinavian talent and culture to the USA. Last year Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Co-ordinator, The United Nations Jan Egelund was invited as the guest of honour.
To begin with the society planned to invite guest of honours from all the different art forms from the four Scandinavian countries, but they ended up pointing at only one: The artistic director of The Royal Danish Ballet. Frank Andersen will be cele-brated by all the big international Scandinavian companies and the consul generals from the Scandinavian countries.
The Metropolitan Club | Friday 7 December at 7 pm.

World premiere: Don Quixote
The Cuban ballet legend Alicia Alonso is the creative force behind one of this sea-son’s greatest classics. The hot-headed tale of antihero Don Quixote and the young lovebirds Kitri and Basil unfolds in a grand stage setting designed by Jens-Jacob Worsaae.
Don Quixote is the story of one of the greatest antiheros of all time. The perform-ance has enjoyed worldwide success and every ballet company with respect for itself has staged its own rendition of this ballet, which is set to enticing music by Minkus. The ballet offers an extravaganza of Russian bravura ballet and fiery Spanish and Cuban dance.
Choreography: Alicia Alonso after Petipa Music: Ludwig Minkus Set design: Jens-Jacob Worsaae Conductor: Pavel Sorokin
Premiere | Old Stage | 20 Jan. – 24 Apr. 2008 | Admission: DKK 70 – 480
Read more here

Guest performance: Thumbelina
The world’s smallest girl dances at the Old Stage. The ballet, based on Hans Chris-tian Andersen’s eponymous fairytale, tells the story of a girl so small she can sleep in a walnut shell. The Tivoli Pantomime Theatre stages this enchanted performance with costumes and set designs by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
Choreography and stage direction: Dinna Bjørn.
Guest performance | Old Stage | 6 – 9 February
Read more here

Kenneth Greve appointed artistic director
On 14 November, the dancers of the Finnish National Ballet approved Kenneth Greve as their next artistic director. The Royal Danish Ballet therefore bids farewell to two of its principal dancers when Marie-Pierre Greve, Kenneth Greve’s wife, re-tires from her active career as a dancer to join her husband in Helsinki. In its cita-tion the Board of Directors of the Finnish National Ballet motivated its choice of candidate with the following wording: “…the strength of (Kenneth Greve’s) solid expertise and knowledge in the area of classical ballet in particular, although he also has competence in contemporary dance. He has excellent international con-tacts.” Kenneth Greve will assume his new position on 1 August 2008.
Frank Andersen:
“The Royal Danish Ballet and the Finnish National Ballet will no doubt benefit im-mensely from Kenneth Greve’s new appointment. Finland will gain an artistic direc-tor with one foot in the classical tradition and the other in the modern tradition. They will also gain a person with a strong personal drive who nurtures high ambitions on behalf of the company and choreography as such. Denmark, on the other hand, will develop even closer ties with Finland than we already enjoy under the leadership of Dinna Bjørn, which no doubt will be a tremendous asset to our dancers and ballet tradition.”

Author:  ksneds [ Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:32 am ]
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Dates for various special performances:

Nikolaj Hubbe's final performance (in his own Sylfiden): April 2nd

Kenneth Greve's final performance (in Onegin): May 17

(one assumes that Marie-Pierre will also be honored the same evening)

Frank Andersen's farewell (Sylfiden double bill followed by Napoli Act 3): May 20 ... eArchive=o

Author:  ksneds [ Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:57 am ]
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Frank Andersen appointed Knight Commander
On 3 December 2007, Frank Andersen received news that he was to be appointed Knight Commander of the Order of Dannebrog – an honour he shares with only one living person associated with the Royal Danish Theatre, former artistic director Flemming Flindt. During her 35-year reign, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has only granted 500 people such a high-ranking royal honour. As one of Denmark’s most influential exponents of the Bournonville tradition and having served more than 15 years as artistic director of the Royal Danish ballet, Frank Andersen is today one of the nation’s most pre-eminent personages within Danish ballet. Frank Andersen received his Knight Commander order at a royal audience on 14 January 2008.

Premiere: Lost on SLOW in program with La Sylphide (7 March)
Last year, Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo appeared at the Royal Danish Ballet with an accomplished pas de deux as part of the homage program to Mozart presented at Takkelloftet, the studio stage at the Opera. Now we have invited him back for a somewhat scaled up performance: An entire team of company dancers will stage the ballet in program with Nikolaj Hübbe’s upcoming production of La Sylphide. The program will be featured at the Old Stage, which seats an audience of 1,300.
Lost on SLOW: Choreographer: Jorma Elo Music: Vivaldi Costume designer: Annette Nørgaard La Sylphide: Choreographer: August Bournonville Director: Nikolaj Hübbe Music: H.S. Løvenskiold Set designer: Mikael Melbye Conductor: Peter Ernst Lassen
Premiere | Old Stage | 7 March – 23 May

Guest performance: Three by the Batsheva Dance Company (15 March)
The Batsheva Dance Company’s artistic integrity and innovation have earned its reputation as one of the most inspirational and sought-after companies in the world. So naturally, we take great pride in presenting their critically acclaimed performance Three at the Royal Danish Theatre. As the title indicates, Ohad Naharin’s ballet consists of three individual pieces, entitled Bellus (beauty) Humus (earth) and Secus, which according to Naharin is best translated as ‘this’ and ‘not this’.
Three: Choreographer: Ohad Naharin Music: Bach, Brian Eno, Kid 606 +Rayon, Kaho Naa Pyar Hai, Seefeel, The Beach Boys and others. Costume designer: Rakefet Levy Lighting designer: Avi Yona Bueno
Guest performance | Old Stage | 15 – 17 March

Presentation of next season’s repertoire (3 March)
The coming artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet, Nikolaj Hübbe, is to present his choice of repertoire for the upcoming season at the Royal Danish Ballet. The program will be presented on Monday 3 March, 11:00 – 12:30. Please get in touch with the Royal Danish Theatre using the contact information below if you wish to take part in the presentation.

Farewell performances for Nikolaj Hübbe, Kenneth Greve and Frank Andersen
This spring the Royal Danish Theatre bids farewell to three influential people: On 2 April, Nikolaj Hübbe will perform for the last time for a Danish audience in La Sylphide. On 17 May, principal dancer Kenneth Greve will appear for the last time for a Danish audience in Onegin. And on 20 May, we pay tribute to artistic director Frank Andersen – naturally with a Bournonville repertoire, namely La Sylphide and the third act of Napoli.

Author:  ksneds [ Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:23 pm ]
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April and May 2008

This newsletter features:
• Three major farewell performance this spring
• Revival: Onegin (9 April)
• Premiere: Choreographic Lab (7 May)
• Premiere: Hot Hot Hot (8 May)

“Imagine opening a playhouse – it’s fantastic!!! We have created an inaugural program of great variety to show just how widely embracing our repertoire of dance and drama is to be... Nacho Duato, one of the greatest European choreographers, and Christopher Wheeldon – probably the hottest name within neo-classical ballet today – and finally, Ohad Naharin, Artistic Director of the Batsheva Dance Company, Israel’s largest company. Three choreographers with very different styles will highlight the artistic scope of the new playhouse.”
Frank Andersen, Artistic Director

Three major farewell performances this spring
This spring promises to be an emotional season for the Royal Danish Ballet as the company hosts three farewell performances. However, the first also marks a new beginning when Nikolaj Hübbe assumes the position as the Artistic Director of the company. But first Danish audiences are to celebrate his dancing career with a farewell performance. Then we are to bid farewell to Principal Dancer Kenneth Greve, who this summer will relocate to Helsinki to become the Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet. And finally, we are to pay homage to Frank Andersen, who after more than 15 years as Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Ballet bids us farewell for now.

Nikolaj Hübbe’s farewell performance: La Sylphide and Lost on SLOW on 2 April at 8 pm
Kenneth Greve’s farewell performance: Onegin on 17 May at 8 pm
Frank Andersen’s farewell performance: La Sylphide and Act III of Napoli on 20 May at 8 pm

Revival: Onegin
John Cranko’s immortal masterpiece from 1965 is perfectly suited to the Royal Danish Ballet. Here the principal dancers and soloists are given wide scope to present their storytelling talent. The duration of the ballet allows dancers to display both youthful and more mature emotions – from naive and pure sentiments to a sense of melancholy and despair. Onegin is one of the great box office successes of the Royal Danish Ballet and has been a repertoire fixture for six years. So new dancers will appear in the principal parts when the ballet is revived at the Old Stage.

Choreography: John Cranko Music: Piotr Tchaikovsky Set design: Jürgen Rose
Conductor: Graham Bond
Revival | Old Stage | 9 April – 17 May

Premiere: Choreographic Lab
The Royal Danish Ballet has joined forces with the Danish National School of Contemporary Dance to allow choreographers newly graduated from the school to test their talent with the company. Choreographic Lab presents three new performances created by three promising choreographers – two from the contemporary dance school in addition to one of the company’s own dancers, Constantine Baecher. As an added feature, the music for Baecher’s ballet has been composed by a former member of the corps de ballet.

Distance: Choreography: Jóhann Lindell Music: Helgi Hrafn Jónsson
Zero Zero: Choreography: Sascha Malmquist Bauer Music: Ryoji Ikeda
The Ungentle: Choreography: Constantine Baecher Music: Martin Stauning
Costumes: Annette Nørgaard Set and lighting design: Anders Poll
Premiere| The Opera, Takkelloftet| 7 – 13 May

Premiere: Hot Hot Hot
The temperature is bound to sore when three of today’s absolutely hottest choreographers stage the Royal Danish Ballet’s inaugural performance at the Royal Danish Playhouse, which is the principal venue of the Drama Department of the Royal Danish Theatre. The Royal Danish Playhouse was inaugurated on 16 February and comprises three new stages with a total seating capacity of approx. 1,000. In early May, the largest of the auditoriums, the Main Stage, will host ballets by Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin and Christopher Wheeldon, which will feature the entire company of the Royal Danish Ballet. With just seven scheduled performances these will be very exclusive events at the new playhouse.

Coming Together: Choreography, costumes and set design: Nacho Duato Music: Frederic Rzewski Lighting design: Nicholás Fischtel
Minus 7: Choreography: Ohad Naharin
New Ballet: Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Premiere | The Royal Danish Playhouse, Main Stage | 8 – 16 May

Author:  ksneds [ Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:56 am ]
Post subject: 

The PDF for the 2008-09 program is available online, and several current dancers are not listed. It should be noted that this does NOT mean they are leaving for sure - I can think of two instances in the past few years where a dancer was not listed in the program and/or the website, but had not left. Mistakes happen...

Also, given the change in artistic leadership, it's not unexpected that some dancers may be leaving for new pastures.

Not listed for soloists:

Sebastian Michanek (confirmed)
Isabella Sokolowska (see next post)
Claire Still (pension age?)

Not listed for corps:
Vincent Van Webber (pension age?)
Mie Fjelstrup (confirmed)
Nadia Dahl

Looking at the roster, one of Hübbe's challenges as balletmaster is going to be to rejuvenate the principal ranks. Not that any of the current principals aren't very talented, but Schandorff, Cavallo and Gad are all within a few years of pension age, Massot is in his mid thirties and Thomas Lund and Mads Blangstrup are approaching their mid-thirties.

There is talent in the soloist ranks, but new talent is needed to fill the soloist ranks after promotions.


Author:  ksneds [ Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:42 pm ]
Post subject: 

A few notes...

Apparently the website is not completely updated - Izabela Sokolowska left the company prior to the 07-08 season. She's now attending to matters of marriage and maternity - congratulations to her!!

Two new corps members listed, for the Nutcracker season:

** Carrie Dianne Walsh (
- her website indicates that she danced at the Tivoli Pantomime Theatre,and with RDB for 'The Nutcracker' in 2007/2008 and is now part of Angel Corella's new company. Which suggests that she's no longer with company, and they've just not updated the programs (these were published in January).

** Marie-Claire Newton (on a guest basis)
- trained at the Royal Ballet, was a 3rd year student as of June 2005

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