Jane Simpson

Hubbe's Danish farewell

17 posts in this topic

Nikolaj Hubbe gave his last performance as a dancer in Denmark last night, as James in his own production of La Sylphide (with Silja Schandorff as the Sylph and Sorella Englund as the witch). The first report in the Danish press talks of 'sublime dramatic trio' - you don't need to read Danish to love the must-see photographs: scroll down to the little picture of James and click on 'Hubbe danser af'.

Another, equally ecstatic review also reveals the sad news that this was Schandorff's last Sylphide.

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Another, equally ecstatic review also reveals the sad news that this was Schandorff's last Sylphide.

Oh, that is sad news. I was lucky enough to see her Sylphide when the RDB was in Washington DC a few years ago. I found her mesmerizing, and was hoping for the opportunity to see her in it again someday.

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What Susan said, but I wasn't lucky enough to see Schandorf's Sylph.

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Thank you Jane! What a wonderful picture.

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Just found this small film on youtube made by Alexander Kølpin about Nikolaj Hübbe's last performance in La Sylphide April 2:

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Thank you for posting that, Anne -- it's a beautiful slice-of-career tribute. (You don't need Danish to watch it. They talk, but the photos say nearly everything.)

Bravo til Xander :wink:

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I add my thanks to Anne and Jane. A pleasure to see.

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Many thanks, Ann. I love the sense of closeness to the subject. Intimacy without invasion of privacy. At first the language gap seemed a problem. But, as Alexandra says, the problem quickly disappears.

It would be nice, however, to know what he was saying in the taxi and while preparing, apprently rather nervously, for the performance.

A small point: that was one classy entrance by Queen Margrethe, slender and elegant in red. Not to mention the way she descended swiftly but gracefully into her chair.

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I've seen Nicolaj at the NYSTheatre a couple of times since his retirement (in the audience, not just doing "Watermill") which has been a treat.

However, I got all choked up again (as we all did at his farewell performance) watching this.

I know this makes me sound like a stick-in-the-mud but I wish ballet dancers (and everyone else!) would stop smoking.

Before they started the Lincoln Plaza reconstruction I would regularly see some NYCB dancers smoke outside (before they went down the stairs and into the theatre).

I've been told that some of them do it to keep their weight down, but I'd rather have more robust dancers than having them risk their health by smoking.

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I'll add my thanks too. I enjoyed it and loved that it was in Danish.

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I don't usually quick-cuts, and there many in this video. However, these were not jarring, and showing Hubbe as James through the yearsit had a narrative purpose. The editing was incredibly fine.

A wonderful, little video for many reasons. Thank you, Anne.

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I too think it's a beautiful little video, telling a lot without words. Bart asks, what he's actually saying in the taxi on his way to his last performance. It's not much of significans, but here's a summary:

The taxidriver recognises him and asks how old he is, since he has to retire. Hübbe answers, that he is forty and then makes a Danish joke with three f's: forty, fat and finished. Then he changes the joke and makes up three other f-words, this time with a positive value, something like: forty, fastgoing and fiery.

In the theatre he says, fiddling with the waterbottle, that one's biggest worry is to get safe through the solos, meaning not getting injured. Then he asks for some time on his own to be able to concentrate.

Later we see him dressing, and he's annoyed because he's sweating a lot, from nerves I guess, his clothes are all wet. In the meantime you see people fill up the theatre (including myself and my husband! :) ).

I think, that's all that needs to be translated. If some of you want more translations, don't hesitate to ask.

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Thank you, Anne. I'm delighted that you could translate for us -- and that you and your husband had the chance to be their in the theater.

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Forgot to say how happy I am that you noticed our queen, Bart! She is really classy, and a true ballet lover too, I'm happy to say. As an example she attended all the performances in the Bournonville Festival some years ago. After the farewell performance of La Sylphide this year she gave a standing ovation to Nikolaj Hübbe, which is most unusual for a royalty (normally it's the other way round). You see her very often in the theatre, not only ballet, but I think ballet has a special place in her heart (she has trained ballet on an amateur base all her life, maybe that's why she has this natural grace, despite her hight).

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Just found this small film on youtube made by Alexander Kølpin about Nikolaj Hübbe's last performance in La Sylphide April 2:

I just found it in a much better quality:

Final Curtain by Alexander Kølpin

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You're turning up some treasures -- thank you, Anne.

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