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Effy

Two books focus onRDB past

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In 1951 Lander got "fired" as ballet master and Vera Volkova arrived as teacher/coach. Those two event swas probably the most important event regarding RDBs history in never times and it is significant that Erik Aschengreens Mester and Alexander Meinertz Vera Volkova is published almost simultaniously. Without Vera Volkova RDB would not have received it status as a world class company and without Harald Lander it would definately have lost ground in Denmark. For better and for worst he dominated the company for twenty years, trying to modernise the company with a number of wanna-be Massine works and his master piece Etudes. A large group of dancers wanted to get rid of Lander, in whom they say a despot, a philanderer who used his position to get involved with young female dancers and who lacked understanding of their needs to explore other choreographers work. It was the moral issues that swayed the minister and Lander fled to Paris and to 12 hard years tying to be part of POB management. Back in Denmark a group of primarily politicians, dance critics and civil servants tried to reestablish Lander and the whole Lander issue more or less dominated the following 25 years of danish ballet. Erik Aschengreen gives a detailed account of Landers life and career, but you cannot help feel that he end up a bit disappointed re. Landers personality vision and "genius". Lander was no Balanchine (except in the ladies department) and Etudes a lucky shoot rather than the brilliant example of a brilliant choreographer.

I will say less re. the Volkova book as I have been too involved with the creation of the book to comment on it. rather than read it for yourself and find out what a gem RDB had and how important she was in keeping and recreating RDB as well as forming some of our greatest dancers, Kronstam, Simone, H√łnningen, Villumsen and Kirk not t mention Erik Bruhn, Nureyev and Fontayn. The book has a prolog by John Neumeier whose career also was influenced by Volkova

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