The RDB situation
Posted 05 October 2003 - 01:48 AM
Just a comment:
Living in Copenhagen and following the RDB through some years, I feel that the companys position is viewed differently abroad compared to how i see it... my view:
The companys base is Bournonville - its the most important style and identity of the RDB - BUT since we only have about 5 or so bournonville ballets its not enough to make a rep season after season - therefore the company have to and should do other stuff.... also the people in copenhagen have seen bournonville already - and as a government funded institution the rdb role is to be the dance/ballet center in Copenhagen - not just satisfying the 3 old ladies that see Napoli every night but also the new generation wich ofcourse can see la sylphide and get something out of that - but have to see modern ballet and other ways of expression in motion. I mean when La sylphide was made it was not about the past or a fairy tale - it was a new piece educating the audience and telling them something about the life that they live! we should do that today aswell....
SO I think its OK how bournonville is treated now - ballet should not be a museum or a retelling of the past.. ballet is motion and the fascination of control and bodys showing emotions or even saying stuff...
but ofcourse as long as la sylphide still "tuch" people it should be alive... and perfectly danced true to the tradition...
Another thing is the dancers.... :party:
The RDB have a great line of famed male dancers - both due to the many male bournonville parts but also that when the RDB "qonquered" the world it was the "only" company with dancers that were really fit and challenged as dancers.. so ofcourse they hit instant fame because they were on a new high level - but today the same can be said about the hole south american group of dancers - they are reaching new levels of control and bravour that are new to people.... soo the danish dancers are not getting worse and worse they are just somewhat left behind on some issues in ballet (technic)
So i think that its always gonna be a problem because we have a audience at home thinking differently of the company then the internatinal dance world - its a balance act thats very hard to keep - even harder then any balance in Don Q
Uhh that was kinda long - whats your view???
Posted 05 October 2003 - 06:53 AM
Many of us are great fans and followers of the company, and of dancers who come from it. One of the most frequent-encountered concerns is in regard to the ability of the company responsibly to continue to dance in the time-honored Bournonville tradition, and produce the ballets faithfully, while reaching out to the International style to dance other ballets. I don't know if Bournonville himself ever had an absolute monopoly on choreography for the RDB, but the way of handling other choreographers' works was always distinctive.
I don't think that there's ever a danger that the company will become dipped in amber and fossilize. There's the better metaphor for a company which merely freezes productions rather than a "museum company". There's nothing wrong with being a "museum company", in fact I wish somebody would form one and say, "We ARE a museum company, ya wanna make somethin' of it? :angry: " But fossils are another story. Just the remains of something, while a specialized interest of some, are not more than a curiosity to most. I don't think that the Danes, any more than any other audience, would let that happen to their company.
Posted 10 October 2003 - 09:39 AM
One thing I'll say is that no one says they should dance ONLY Bournonville, at least no one I know. Somehow that's how the American-British interest in Bournonville is often heard by people there, both in and outside the Theatre. I thought Edvard Brandes put it very well -- a very long time ago now. He's like a huge stone monument that, because of the growth fo the city, is now in the middle of the road. It can't be moved. It could be destroyed, but you can't do that, becuase it's so damned good. (I realize that's a paraphrase.)
Posted 10 October 2003 - 01:33 PM
im very well aware that this forum is extremely RDB friendly - and im not saying that you cant critisice (you should) but I think that the role of the RDB is broader then many people see it....
And yes the standard of bournonville hasnt been top noch B) the last couple of years - its a way of doing things that needs to be changest but its very hard to change things overnight "there" (rdb) - it take ages aswell as a good boss that have the power [small snip] and a good way of doing things!
i know that extremely few people would want bournonville to be the only context of the rep - ... just trying to make a point about the difference in the way that people see the rdb...
Posted 10 October 2003 - 02:41 PM
Nikolai, I edited your post slightly for its language. We stick to words that can be used on American network TV
Posted 10 October 2003 - 04:44 PM
Posted 11 October 2003 - 10:54 AM
Thre strenght of the company is primarily in dramatic works even though the current crop may be better in Martins ballets than in Bournonville. At present Frank Andersen is building a repetoire of trying to repeat proven succes formulas. We have had succesfull Neumeier ballets before. Lets try a few? We had a hit with Martins, Lets bring him on, and so forth
Posted 11 October 2003 - 11:03 AM
Yes. I would say that, too. And one of the things I learned from studying the history of the company is that -- things can get better! Sticking to a tried and true formula for choosing repertory may not be the most exciting thing in the world, I agree, but it may not do as much harm as trying anything new, just for the sake of trying it. The dancers gain from working with Neumeier and Martins and they'll feed off that in the future. I'm saddened that some of the living great Danish artists -- Ib Andersen and Arne Villumsen -- aren't there to work with the dancers.
I agree, too, that the worry is for 2005+ With the international focus off of Bourononville, he'll be dumped (as happened in 1993-94) and 2079 is a long time to wait for another resurgence of interest. NOT that the rep should be all-Bournonville, but if you want to keep the company's identity, the dancers have to speak his language, and I think Kronstam's solution of having 3 Bournonville ballets in the rep each season-- but rotating -- was a good one. That way the dancers were in touch with them without over-dancing them.
As for new rep -- join the waiting line!
Posted 11 October 2003 - 08:23 PM
I think you undervalue the institution a bit here. I know I'm not over there to watch, but it really does seem to me that the institution created those dancers. They didn't spring from the head of Zeus.
Posted 11 October 2003 - 08:38 PM
Posted 12 October 2003 - 10:17 PM
Posted 12 October 2003 - 10:24 PM
Posted 12 October 2003 - 10:43 PM
Posted 13 October 2003 - 02:00 AM
Posted 13 October 2003 - 03:04 AM
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