Danish male ballet dancers
Posted 28 May 2003 - 05:49 AM
Also would like to know if the same happens to female dancers.
I would welcome comments of you learned people at Ballet talk!!! .
Posted 28 May 2003 - 06:19 AM
Perhaps, long ago, the training, and the repertory, prevented injuries -- Bournonville technique is a balanced style, permitting no extremes. But they dance everything now. Aside from the fact that they have a few Bournonville ballets every year, they're like every other company in the world now -- many dancers not trained in the school, a repertory from all over the place, etc.
Posted 29 May 2003 - 11:28 AM
Posted 29 May 2003 - 11:37 AM
As an aside, odd that in our enlightened, modern times, there's MORE of everything except steps. It seems that the vocabulary has been reduced to a fraction of its possibilities.
Posted 29 May 2003 - 12:21 PM
Posted 29 May 2003 - 01:31 PM
Posted 16 June 2003 - 01:23 AM
I was just wondering if anyone out there has any opinions of what in the training system in denmark creates such amazing (and internationally renouned) male dancers- but less strong female dancers??
Posted 16 June 2003 - 03:03 AM
Posted 16 June 2003 - 05:12 AM
The difference between the women and the men has as much to do with repertory -- it's not a ballerina repertory. There weren't ballets in the rep that developed pointe technique and the aesthetic is more of an ensemble aesthetic. The men of the Danish school stood out because they were never pushed to the side and had lots to dance, and so compared to much of the rest of the world, they seemed more developed.
To show you how "through the looking-glass" their system was, I offer you this. "Boys have to start at 8 or 9, because their bodies aren't as flexible as girls. Girls can start as late as 18." That's the exact opposite of how we look at it.
As for Danish ballerinas, some say they haven't had one since Lucille Grahn - -not a really truly international ballerina. Or, if you look at it through Danish eyes, they have about a dozen a generation -- star performers, fine actresses, women who catch your eye in a role like the Countess in Sleeping Beauty -- a role you might not notice in a production by another company.
Posted 17 June 2003 - 01:51 AM
How has Denmark produced (over the years) such technically brilliant male dancers (who are internationally recognised), considering the size and population of the country?
This is with particular reference to dancers such as:
Johan Kobborg (Royal Ballet, London)
Ib Anderson (NYCB)
Peter Martins (NYCB- dancer then dir.)
Nikolaj Hubbe (NYCB)
Adan Luders (NYCB)
Helgi Tomasson (San Fran)
Flemming Flint (dancer then choregrapher)
Henning Kronstam (although he never left he was still well known esp. in USA- but you know alot more about that than I do.
Posted 24 August 2003 - 07:30 PM
They represent the technique (though there are other combinations, such as a set of entrechats called "the dark steps" which seem to a regular part of weekly class, that I've seen on another RDB video concentrating on the rehearsal-to-stage process, which are not among those on the "50-enchainements" tape)
The technique looks designed to protect the dancer's body -- there is a lot of attention to educating the standing leg, reminding it to fondu correctly (though the whole body is used, notably the head). The more you look at these dances, the more you see -- I'm sure you will see things that I haven't, the combinations are so detailed, and a dancer will see things the public does not. The sort of thing I'm thinking of is, for example, in one combination a saut de basque leads directly into detournee, in another it leads into grand jete ( i.e., the first one must come straight down, the second falling forward); again, an entrechat-quatre is preparation for a single pirouette in coupe, which should probably be thought of as a sissonne-simple-releve that turns, for the emphasis (slight as it is) is on the finish in coupe-back. It's, as Gertrude Stein said of Paris, "peaceful and exciting." (Rose Gad actually BEATS a grand jete -- so does Kobborg -- without making it look like a stunt.) If you can do these combinations, you will have developed a quiet center.
The combinations are all of them charming dances. Over and over, you see beautifully modulated use of small and large steps to create marvelous patterns that direct the eye in surprising but not startling patterns across the dancer's body.
It is strangely charming to see that Kobborg has trouble landing a double tour without having to bounce out of some position into a fifth, since everything else he does he does SO perfectly -- and no mater what, both of the m are unfailingly musical
The combinations were notated by Hans Beck in 1893, and have been selected by Vivi Flindt and Knut Arne Jurgensen; there's a book that goes with them which I don't have (yet). Bot hare available from Dance Horizons Video/ Princeton Book Company, POBox 57, Pennington, NJ 08534.
I should add, the dancers are among the loveliest creatures you will ever see in your life.
Posted 24 August 2003 - 08:04 PM
I must say I think it would be hard to get at that question now. Those generations are gone and the situation has changed -- the country, the company, the school. It's much more international now. Kobborg was actually trained outside of the RDB. He was in the school for a very brief time. He worked intensely with Peter Schaufuss when Schaufuss was director.
In the 1940s and 50s there was a long list of world-class Danish dancers. Some of them didn't get out at all, but still had a world-class technique. And they were born about two years apart. From memory, in age order, they were: Frank Schaufuss, Poul Gnatt, Stanley Williams, Erik Bruhn, Fredbjorn Bjornsson, Henning Kronstam, Flemming Flindt, Niels Kehlet, Anker Orskov (died in his 20s). They were all produced under the old system -- only two classes in the school (you'd posted elsewhere that you'd read my biography of Kronstam and nearly all I know about the schooling system is in those early chapters).
Of these people, only Flindt and Kehlet are still alive.
The next generation was trained by Vera Volkova and Stanley Williams, as well as Hans Brenaa and Henning Kronstam: Flemming Ryberg, Jorn Madsen, Peter Martins, Adam Luders, Peter Schaufuss, Aage Poulsen. Then there's Arne Villumsen, Ib Andersen, and then there's a big gap until Alexander Kolpin (now retired; injuries), Nikolaj Hubbe. There are still good dancers -- very good dancers -- but not at quite the same rate as in the 40s, 50s and 60s. (Tomasson was trained by Danish teachers, but not at the RDB.)
I don't know how much material there is in English OR Danish that would make up a dissertation -- I share your question It was one of the impetuses behind my own research. I think a great deal of it was that there were always great male dancers around -- good role models. And there were good men's parts to dance.
Posted 26 August 2003 - 08:51 AM
I have already seen parts of bournonville's 50 enchainements, and it is as you say, Paul, very useful!! And Kobborg shows NO signs of having trouble with double tours any more!! I'm a devoute Kobborg fan...........
Does anyone have any ideas for thesis topics (at degree level) which involve anything to do with danish ballet- I'd be greatul for any and all ideas....... as the summer is coming to an end and im running dry of ideas myself :shrug: i've got to get started on it ASAP!
Posted 26 August 2003 - 09:04 AM
Posted 26 August 2003 - 09:15 AM
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