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 Post subject: Company Roster: 2011- 2012
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:25 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3394
Location: Canada
The DKT website has been updated, and only dancer has left. Which would suggest that the drugs scandal was summer press hot air, and not much grounded in reality. It certainly does not support the allegations that many dancers were going to leave.

The one departure is corps member Maria Stokholm, with the only currently listed new member Alexander Bozinoff, by way of the NBoC and a Stuttgart Ballet apprenticeship. All of the aspirants remain aspirants, with the addition of Louise Borsen and Sebastian Haynes. While in recent years, a number of apprentices have received corps contracts after their first years, historically most apprenticeships have lasted for at least least two years.

I suspect that Hübbe does not need any new corps dancers - there were no auditions this year and few departures - and is happy to let the current apprentices develop. RDB aspirants dance in most ballets anyway, and they get their own, smaller classes, on a fairly regular basis, so it makes sense not to rush them into the corps. Interestingly, the apprentices are starting to reflect the more diverse face of Denmark - Stephanie Chen Gundorph Møller appears to have Chinese ancestry, while I believe that one of Sebastian Haynes' parents is of African or Caribbean descent.

The roster confirms the departure of Yao Wei and Kristoffer Sakurai, both I believe due to long term battles with injury or injuries. The character dancer roster has also thinned, probably a sign both of the decreasing need for character dancers (though former dancers who take other roles in the company often perform character roles) and the loss of older dancers due to age. I'm sorry to see Erling Eliason off the roster - he was an intelligent and gracious person and dancer. He had spent some time in the drama world prior to returning as a character dance, so I suspect he may well have returned to the theatrical stage.

The roster suggests that Hübbe has a great deal of young talent, but big potential gaps at the upper levels. There are only 4 female principals, with Bojesen and Lindstrøm in the last 5-6 years of their careers. Among the men, Lund and Blangstrup have just a few years remaining, and I think, sadly, that 2011-2012 may be Massot's final season (depending on when he turns 40, and the pension situation with non-Danish dancers).

Among the soloists there is quite a lot of talent, but a number of experienced dancers who are probably unlikely to be promoted given their age. It's unusual for men to promoted past the age of thirty (or so), so I suspect Mora, Matiakis, Hansen and Eggert are career soloists. Among this quartet, Matiakis and Eggert both danced principal roles earlier in their careers, but I suspect Matiakis' rise was hampered by being among the shorter soloists. Eggert's career is developing more on the character side (not at ALL a bad thing, give that I think he is the outstanding character dancer of the current generation, and also very fine technical dancer. I hope that he will hang around as a character dancer!).

There is more youth among the women, though Culver and Højlund are also within a year or two of pension age. It's a real shame that neither Cuni or Højlund were ever promoted, and based on age alone Mølbach Slot, Crandall and Thomas are also unlikely promotion candidates. The strongest hopes, I think, are Michanek and Matiakis, along with Lo Sardo and Gruber.

Though in 4 or 5 years, the company may have a wealth of soloist-principal capable talent, I think they may need to look abroad to bridge the lean years. Lund, Massot and Blangstrup can all still sparkle brilliantly onstage, but are past the age when they can regularly dance the challenging lead roles. The good news is that with Birkkjær, Kupinski and Lendorf, they have many years of superb dancing waiting in the wings. If he continues to develop as a dancer & artist, the challenge may be in keeping Lendorf from being poached by foreign companies.

Among the corps dancers, the obvious candidates for promotion are among the men, Jon-Axel Fransson (the next big talent) and among the women, Hilary Guswiler and Shelby Elsbree. I thought both Christopher Rickert and Charles Andersen were on their way to promotion several years ago, but seem to gotten less attention during the Hübbe years. I count Rickert's Swan Lake jester and Andersen's Lensky among the highlights of my ballet-going years.

What is most exciting is the future - all the signs are that there is a bumper crop of new, Danish talent. Not too long ago, there were usually just a handful of aspirants, with few young men among their ranks. Now there are 13 aspirants, 7 of whom are men. They're all native Danes, and with the exception of Luke Schaufuss who was partially trained at his father's school (one of the branches of the RDB School), all are RDB School trained. It suggests that the efforts put into the school - including teacher training in collaboration with the NBS, opening of the boarding school, the formation of Company B, and improvements in the academic side - are really paying off for the company. While the company will undoubtedly always have plenty of foreign dancers, it now seems that that there will not be such a heavy need to look abroad and that the company can retain it's Danish uniqueness.

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