Jane Simpson

RDB season 2014/15

15 posts in this topic

Next season's programme was announced today.

Main stage performances:

The Lady of the Camellias (Neumeier)

Sept 14 - Oct 31 (14 performances)

3 casts announced (Grinder/Lendorf, Bojesen/Birkkjær, Praetorius/Kaas)

La Sylphide/Etudes

Oct 25 - Feb 27 (9 performances)

A new production of La Sylphide by Hubbe, using a simpler decor

Come Fly Away (Twyla Tharp)

Nov 8 - 29 (8 performances)

A Folk Tale

Dec 6 - 21 (15 performances)

Swan Lake

Mar 13 - May 1 (17 performances)

A new production by Hubbe and Silja Schandorff, replacing the Peter Martins version

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Also Dans2Go, the children's ballet Kom Bamse, and various productions on the smaller stages: all details now online at

http://kglteater.dk/det-sker/ballet

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There are 8 new dancers in the corps de ballet:

Katerina Placha

Calista Ruat

Beila Ungar

Matteo di Loreto

Ariel Merkuri

Drew Nelson

Liam Redhead

Samuel Rees

as well as any aspirants promoted into the corps de ballet.

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Also guest appearances by the Hamburg Ballet (Neumeier's Death in Venice, Sept 9 -12) and the Paris Opera Ballet (Paquita, May 29 - 31 2015)

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Eva Kistrup already has her take on the new season online, at

http://danceviewtimes.typepad.com/eva_kistrup/2014/04/sylphs-and-swans-fly-over-the-royal-danish-ballet-next-season.html#more

And if you want an intensive ballet week in Copenhagen, the Royal Ballet (the London one) is appearing at the Tivoli Gardens from Sept 15 to 17, so you could see them and the Hamburg Ballet and the RDB's Camellias all in the same trip .

And one more thing: I'm very pleased to see that Mads Blangstrup, who gives his last performance as a solodanser in a couple of weeks, is listed for next season as a Character Dancer.

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Swan Lake

Mar 13 - May 1 (17 performances)

A new production by Hubbe and Silja Schandorff, replacing the Peter Martins version

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Now if we in New York could replace that same Peter Martins production of SL at NYCB, that would be great. No such luck, though.

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Thanks so much for the link -- I loved this comment about the to-be-replaced production of Sylphide:

"It was a very romantisced look which also included bigger fireplaces, higher ceiling and making James' home in a very grand scale. It was also very big on the tartan side.

This time around Nicolaj Hübbe and designer Bente Lykke Møller will try to work with a more austere, downplayed look of the Scottish environment. Think Presbytanian values."

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Ida Praetorius and Andreas Kaas in Lady of the Camellias, wow that's a big step for both of them.

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With Hübbe's new production of La Sylphide we'll now have three of Bournonville's greater ballets (Napoli and A Folk Tale are the other two) in his own staging, all modernized versions. In the national paper Jyllands Posten Hübbe tells, that he is going to give this new La Sylphide a homo-erotic touch: "In that way the story makes more sense to me. Some people say that James is confronted with the choice between reason and art, but if the choice were also about gender identity, it would add another layer to the story." And he continues: "Some of the prim theater goers will probably get a little chock".

I can't help getting a bit tired of stagers, who always feel an urge to read their own ideas into non-contemporary works of art, either by transferring the setting to another era or by changing the fundamental ideas of the piece. Of the greater Bournonville ballets in a staging true to the original (as far as this is possible) we now have only Ib Andersen's version of The Kermes of Bruges left, but strangely enogh this version hasn't reappeared since its premiere in 2012 and will not in the next season either, so it looks.

They don't all have to be presented in a traditional way, but I think it is a pity to eliminate the originals totally from the repertoire in Bournonville's own house.

As it is now, it is too much Hübbe and too little Bournonville.

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I didn't like Mia Steensgaard's designs for Manon so do not have high hopes for what she will do to Swan Lake.

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I am not very familiar with this company and am wondering if any of you can help me with the following question: I am thinking of checking out their new Swan Lake. I'd like to see a few performances, ideally with different casts. Does anyone have insight into whether the casting would be likely to alternate night to night (or week to week)? Or would there more likely be one primary cast? Normally I'd judge by the company's current calendar (to see how they are varying casting in current performances), but of course there aren't any right now. Does anyone know how many casts they typically feature for any given work?

Also, does anyone know where on the site they usually announce the casting? Would it be in the calendar view, or on the page that lists all the dates for a particular work? I realize that I'm asking quite a long way in advance, but I'd just like to find out how it works.

thanks a lot,

Sasha

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Sasha, this is a real problem for people visiting the RDB from abroad! They generally announce casting very late - a couple of weeks in advance or even less (once, after it had actually happened!). Usually they alternate casts but you can't bet on the sequence especially when there's a week or two between performances. I'd guess they'll have 3 or 4 casts for Swan Lake but the only certainty is that Alban Lendorf will be in there somewhere. (It's not that they do the casting and keep it secret - the dancers themselves don't usually know when they're going to be on till quite near the dates.)

When they do announce the casting it's put up on the page about the piece, not on the calendar - not sure if it always makes it to the English version, though.

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Jane, thank you for the information! Looks like I'll be rolling the dice! That's OK, though -- I'm sure it will be great. : )

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With Hübbe's new production of La Sylphide we'll now have three of Bournonville's greater ballets (Napoli and A Folk Tale are the other two) in his own staging, all modernized versions. In the national paper Jyllands Posten Hübbe tells, that he is going to give this new La Sylphide a homo-erotic touch: "In that way the story makes more sense to me. Some people say that James is confronted with the choice between reason and art, but if the choice were also about gender identity, it would add another layer to the story." And he continues: "Some of the prim theater goers will probably get a little chock".

I can't help getting a bit tired of stagers, who always feel an urge to read their own ideas into non-contemporary works of art, either by transferring the setting to another era or by changing the fundamental ideas of the piece. Of the greater Bournonville ballets in a staging true to the original (as far as this is possible) we now have only Ib Andersen's version of The Kermes of Bruges left, but strangely enogh this version hasn't reappeared since its premiere in 2012 and will not in the next season either, so it looks.

They don't all have to be presented in a traditional way, but I think it is a pity to eliminate the originals totally from the repertoire in Bournonville's own house.

As it is now, it is too much Hübbe and too little Bournonville.

I can totally understand anyone feeling aversion to someone tampering with a classic. For me, though, I dislike James very much in the classic telling of the story. Of course, I don't know what Hübbe is planning, but if James were struggling with his sexual identity, that could actually encourage me to feel some sympathy for the character. Otherwise, it is hard for me to muster any. I also think a twist like that could make the story more relevant and painful. (The idea of a gay man thinking that a woman beautiful enough could make him straight -- I've met people in real life who have expressed that hope.) Again, I have no idea what's being planned, but I think the changes could work.

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Ida Praetorius and Andreas Kaas in Lady of the Camellias, wow that's a big step for both of them.

Yesterday an audience in Aarhus had a little sneak-preview of the two young dancers performing a pas de deux from the ballet. They had chosen the first one, where Armand declares his love for Marguerite.

I had been a bit sceptic how two so young dancers would cope with such a challenge, but especially Praetorius made a statement of herself as a rapidly maturing artist, who masters a wide range of expressions – from cynical and disillusioned coquetry over bewilderment to awakening passion – and who also has the technique and athletic power needed for this part with its many complicated lifts. Andreas Kaas is a less obvious choice. He is still very young, and looks very young, though he seems to have an intelligent approach to what he is doing and he also seems to have the readiness to express himself and give himself up to the role.

All in all it was a highly promising "peep" into the future, in more than one way. In a fortnight those two have their first night as Armand and Marguerite, and I wish them good luck!

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Good to hear that Praetorius is looking good as (a) I'm going to see her and (b) she's just today been promoted to soloist, after only 2 years in the corps de ballet. That's FAST!

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There are 8 new dancers in the corps de ballet:

Katerina Placha

Calista Ruat

Beila Ungar

Matteo di Loreto

Ariel Merkuri

Drew Nelson

Liam Redhead

Samuel Rees

as well as any aspirants promoted into the corps de ballet.

The company list on the RDB's website still hasn't been updated from last season, but the current programme book shows three more new hires in the corps de ballet:

Coralie Grand

Ji Min Hong

Silvia Selvini

(but not Calista Ruat, from the earlier list)

Tobias Praetorius and Oliver Starpov have been promoted from aspirants to corps de ballet, and there are 6 new aspirants - all female.

Several dancers have retired from the company and Jodie Thomas has also disappeared from the company list; Charles Andersen is away on leave, dancing with the Hong Kong Ballet.

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