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Anne

RDB at Guggenheim - live stream

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Before their US tour in May 12 dancers from the RDB presented a sort of preview of their tour programme on the 20th and 21st of March in the little theater of the Guggenheim Museum in NY. Nikolaj Hübbe presents the programme and is interviewed about him self and about the history, style and present state of the Royal Danish Ballet. The programme takes 90 minutes, and you will se excerpts from following ballets:

Bournonville Variations (adapted by Thomas Lund)

Jorma Elo: Lost on slow

Bournonville: Jockey Dance

Bournonville: Pas de sept from A Folk Tale

Bournonville: Scenes from La Sylphide

Bournonville: Pas de deux from 1st act of Napoli and the Tarantella from 3rd act

Have a look at all these "goodies" here:

RDB at Guggenheim

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... and real addicts can also watch the second transmission here. The dance programme is the same but the interview questions are rather different. And Hubbe has a different shirt.

Interesting to see Thomas Lund in the Bournonville Variations - he didn't dance it in Copenhagen last year.

Also, if you don't have time to watch either version, Hubbe announces that next season the RDB will be doing Balanchine's Nutcracker and that the year after there will be a 'big' ballet by a choreographer he avoided naming but who was clearly the one who once danced with the RDB and made Anna Karenina for them.

If you don't know the company, here is Anne's programme listing with the names of the dancers:

Bournonville Variations (adapted by Thomas Lund)

In order of appearance:

Thomas Lund

Alexander Stæger and Alban Lendorf (Stæger is the one in front most of the time)

Nikolaj Hansen

Ulrik Birkkjær

Jorma Elo: Lost on slow - Amy Watson and Jean-Lucien Massot

Bournonville: Jockey Dance - Lund and Lendorf

Bournonville: Pas de sept from A Folk Tale

From left to right as they come on:

Kizzy Matiakis, Susanne Grinder, Watson, Alba Nadal

Stæger, Hansen, Birkkjær

Bournonville: Scenes from La Sylphide - Grinder and Birkkjær

Bournonville: Pas de deux from 1st act of Napoli and the Tarantella from 3rd act - Watson and Stæger, then entire company

(Gudrun Bojesen was originally announced for the programme but didn't make it - Alba Nadal replaces her)

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Thank you for the tip about a second transmission and for taking your time to give this accurate account of who is dancing what!

It was interesting to hear about some of Hübbe's plans for the future seasons. I'm looking especially forward to seeing the Jerome Robbins programme, and also the neo-classic ballets he talked about less specifically. We are not used to see so many ballets from that era over here, and I think it is one of Hübbe's great merits that he has made us - and the company - more familiar with this kind of repertoire. (Though Aage Thordahl did a lot of this too in his short period as ballet master). I'm less keen on his plan to bring Balanchine's Nutcracker to Denmark. When I saw it with the NYCB some years ago, I was very disappointed, as I had expected something more fresh and stylish and not this sugary thing.

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I thought both programs were delightful and am immensely grateful that the Guggenheim/Works & Process streams these evenings. I was not able to get a ticket but thankfully didn't have to miss a preview of this wonderful company. John Meehan asked astute and interesting questions and seemed as captivated by the dancers as was the audience. Nikolaj was full of personality - I especially enjoyed his description of the unique class taught by Stanley Williams who, they said was a man of few words but created an almost sacred or mystical atmosphere. Some of his few words were said to be "Big toe, big toe. Point your knee. I turn, you up, up, up." This probably loses a lot in translation (I hope I have quoted accurately) but it was simply charming. Bravo, RDB, Nikolaj Hubbe and John Meehan!

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