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Anne

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About Anne

  • Rank
    Bronze Circle

Registration Profile Information

  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    amateur ballettraining as a child and a youth and now an enthusiastic balletgoer
  • City**
    Aarhus
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    Denmark
  1. New York Times had an obituary yesterday: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/21/obituaries/nini-theilade-dancer-in-reinhardts-dream-dies-at-102.html?emc=edit_th_180222&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=60038520
  2. In the Danish newspaper "Jyllands-Posten" an obituary was brought today. Unfortunately you cannot read the obituary if you are not a subscriber, but i link to it anyway, as you can see an absolutely lovely picture of the grand old lady with one of her colleagues at the school "Oure Sport & Performing Art", where she taught till she was 98: Obituary of Nini Theilade
  3. Nini Theilade, a Danish dancer, born in Indonesia in 1915 by a Danish father and a mother of German, French, Polish and Indian origin, has died peacefully on February 13, 102 years old. The family returned from Indonesia to Denmark when she was still a child, as her mother, herself a dancer, wished to develop Nini's obvious dance talent. However, Nini was rejected by the Royal Danish School of Ballet, but her ambitious mother didn't give up and brought her to Paris where she came to study with Lubov Egorova. Nini's natural talent and slightly exotic beauty made the way for her to the stage at a very early age. She was only 14 when she started touring all the big cities in Europe with the company of Carina Ari. In 1931, now 16 years old, she was engaged by Max Reinhardt who used her in various productions. Most spectacular was her appearance as fairy in his Hollywood production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1935. Back in Europe she toured from 1938-40 with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo where Massine created many of his choreographies directly for her. During WW2 she stranded in Brazil, where she also met her first husband, but in 1950 she returned to Denmark, invited by Harald Lander to make a couple of choreographies for the RDB, where he was ballet master at the time. After 1965 she stayed in Denmark more permantly, establishing herself as a teacher and choreographer, and in 1969 she founded her own dance company and ballet academy on Thurø, a small island south of Funen. After a period of financial problems, she closed the academy and in 1968 and went to Lyon, where she was invited to open a new ballet academy, which came to bear her name: "Academi de ballet Nini Theilade". 1990 she returned to Denmark where she stayed till her recent death. She remained a major source of inspiration for young dancers, actors and gymnastics both as a teacher and as a choreographer. She split her time between being a ballet pedagogue at the Stately Theatre School in Odense on Funen and being a beloved drama and movement teacher for young people at the famous Schools of Gymnastics in Oure (the official English name of the school is "Oure Sport & Performing Art"), also on Funen. Here she taught dance lessons till she was 98, still going strong, and only stopping because of a nasty fall in 2013. She has been portrayed lovinglyby Lone Falster in a documentary called "Nini" in 2009, and she was interviewed for a book by Lone Kühlmann in 2006 with the title "Dansen var det hele værd" - "The dance was worth it all" (my translation"). I found a short obituary in English here: Obituary in English by Rhett Bartlett
  4. On her blog, Eva Kistrup has just posted an interesting interview with dancer Emma Riis-Kofoed, the last apprentice having joined the company: Interview
  5. New York Times Online had an article last week on partnership: "How Dance Partners Create Chemistry Onstage". Three couples were portrayed, among them the two principals Alban Lendorf and Isabella Boylston on Amercian Ballet Theatre. It is interesting to read what makes a good partnership. Isabelle Boylston says: “I feel like Alban is a really gifted partner. And when you’re good at something, you get into a positive feedback loop. As your confidence grows, your partnering abilities grow along with it.” You can read the full article by Marina Harss here: How Dance Partners Create Chemistry Onstage
  6. ABT has showcased Alban Lendorf performing part of Rachmaninov's 'Prelude in C sharp minor - not as a dancer but as a pianoplayer: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanBalletTheatre/videos/10154964469601858/ He seems to be a really multitalented person!
  7. Anne

    RDB's new Giselle

    The transmission will be online until April 8.
  8. Almost everybody with a name in the world of arts frequented Bounonville's home, which was famous for its hospitality. His wife Helene kept an album amicorum (a blank book in which autographs, drawings, poems, etc. from visitors of the house were collected). The album contains contributions from among others Hans Christian Andersen, Bertel Thorvaldsen and the composers Niels W Gade (quoting the Bridal Walz from "A Folk Tale") and J.P.E. Hartmann (quoting "The Valkyrie"), The album was exhibited at the Bournonville Festival in 2005 in Bournonville's own home in Fredensborg, and the unique book was shortly after aquired by the Royal Danish Library. It has been made accessible online on the homepage of the Royal Danish Library: Helene Bournonville's Album (follow the link with the words "Se stambogen her"). Of special interest for ballet fans are also two drawings by Edvard Lehmann which illustrate scenes from the Bournonville ballets "The Conservatoire" and "La Ventana".
  9. Anne

    RDB's new Giselle

    I have to mention one thing more, concerning the transmission: The filming was fantastic this time! I was so frustrated after seing Napoli and Swan Lake, that I expected the worst. But this time the cameras followed the essential parts of the drama, and also respected that sometimes the dance has first priority and must be in focus. It wasn't cut to pieces so that you loose every sense of direction and space.
  10. Anne

    RDB's new Giselle

    Thank you, Syrene, for telling me who was the two sole willies (with the new homepage of the RDB it is impossibel to do detective "after-work", ifyou wish to identify a dancer whos hasn't been named in the programme: no pictures of the dancers, no biographies - and the picture galleries are, like Jane Simpson mentioned above, uncaptioned. Total anonymity!). It was the dark one I liked very much, too. She is at the same time precise, as you say, defining every movement with grace and claríty, and soft and expressive. I think she was nearly perfect for that specific dance style. She is a newcomer to the company I can see. I hope we will see more of her!
  11. Anne

    RDB's new Giselle

    I went, and I was happy I did! My expectations were rather low because I hadn't been too happy with the photographs I'd seen. I'm still not in love with the costumes in act 1. Giselle's dress looks more like the costume of a water nymph from 2nd act of "Napoli", and the attire of the aristocratic ladies makes them look like enormous, colourful beetles dressed up for a horse ride with their funny looking jockey caps. But apart from all that the overall aesthetic impression is very beautiful, though maybe a little too much on the gloomy side in the first half of act 1 where the music is still optimistic, simple and happy. But this sinister, artificial and slightly claustrophobic scenery harmonizes well with what happens later when everything, literally, falls apart and reveals a barren landscape: a world somewhere between cityscape and landscape, between indoor and outdoor. The willies are not far away in the forest - they are much closer, right behind you, maybe even in your own back yard: the black doors in the backdrop gauze are not doors through which you can escape, no, they are doors through which the willies enter your world, and from them there is no escape - except through forgiving and eternal love, as represented by Giselle. The barren landscape behind the stage is changing all the time, and I would love to see it again to be able to find out exactly why it changes at certain times. At one point what in the beginning looks like a battlefield from WW1 with naked trees on a blurred background suddenly lights up and reveals a breathtakingly beautiful mountain landscape bathed in a red-golden light. I cannot remember what exactly happened in this rather short moment where the claustrophobic room opened up to a wide, beautiful but still bleak mountain world. Maybe somebody can help? The willies of this production are the most scary ones I have experienced, and not because the look revengeful, many of them did, but more because they looked so completely frozen with grief. This was clearly visible in the expressive eyes of Kizzi Mattiakis' Myrtha. When I saw her in the former production of Giselle she was more the icy bitch, but her Myrtha here simply cannot do anything else than what she does: Torture and kill men, maybe to relieve herself from the pain that doesn't give her a moment's rest and kills any other feeling in her. Ida Praetorius was a very young Giselle, still a girl prone to giggles but in any other aspect an endearing creature with a healthy appetite for life. She is a wonderful dancer who moves with a charming ease and lightness and who has a refreshing artlessness to her manners. I'm sure she has potential to develop even further, and comes time she hopefully gets the boldness to play more with the steps, daring to either drag or fasten the phrases, to postpone the ending of a movement or a balance till the very last moment - all these things that give the dance light and shadow. I think she has it in her, this deep musicality, which allows for irregularities without being tasteless. Around her evolve other talented dancers: Sebastian Haynes as a very sympathetic Hilarion, who is very much like herself, and therefore stands no chance when Andreas Kaas' Albrecht turns up with his cunning manners and expert courtship. This Albrecht is not a villain but he knows what he does and has just not thought very much about the consequences. His grief and his remorse is true and one hopes for him that his nightly experience with the willies and the enduring and rescuing love of Giselle will give him the freedom to choose his own life - and hopefully another wife than Femke Mølbach's calculating and blasée Bathilde. Both Haynes and Kaas have an enormous capacity for bouncing and floating on the air, which is asked for in the 2nd act. They are lovely dancers, and so is Jonathan Chmelensky who partnered the equally delightful Caroline Baldwin in the peasant pas de deux in act 1. After the transmission I had hoped for a cast list but it ran over the screen so quickly that no one had a chance to read it: It is an insult to the dancers! I would very much like to know who danced the two solo willies. One of them was particularly good. Can anybody help?
  12. Anne

    RDB's new Giselle

    Yes, you are right - we are a bit off topic now. But thanks anyway for updating me on the pop-up by Rees! It sounds interesting.
  13. Anne

    RDB's new Giselle

    I think we agree totally on the point of view that both aspects deserve to be equally in focus. But I don't think it has necessarily anything to do with one's sympathies regarding traditional or experimental approach to the classics, as even a very modernized version has to be dramatically convincing. You mention Crandall's and Dorger's Kitri as an example where pyrotechnics were highly appreciated by the audience, and I believe you. In this case, however, bravura is the very raison d'être of the ballet, as the story in itself is so silly that you can only accept it if the steps are brillianly executed. Yet, wouldn't it be an even worse shortcoming, if the dancers performed the steps technically perfectly but without charm or spirits? Wouldn't that degrade it to something even closer to a not-art experience than it already is? (Please don't misunderstand me, I'm no puritan: I do enjoy a well performed Don Quixote immensely!) No, I'm afraid I didn't. I haven't seen any of the pop-ups by Corpus. It seems I have missed out on something important. I looked it up on the theatre's homepage, where it said something about playing with rules and conventions and discussing what actually makes out the art form dance.
  14. Anne

    RDB's new Giselle

    In the Danish online magazine POV (Point of View Internationally) they have posted an interesting and very detailed review of Hübbe and Schandorff's staging of Giselle by Alexander Meinertz (unfortunately in Danish) : http://pov.international/den-sidste-romantiker/
  15. Anne

    RDB's new Giselle

    You are right about this, KNA, and, I think, not just regarding Giselle. Danish reviews suffer in general from a lack of comment on the quality of the dancing, except on what is easy for the eye to see, namely whether the corps is in sync or not, like you said. There are probably more reasons for that, one being that the readership is not interested in or even able to understand a description of the dance. We are all much more expert in appreciating acting, and our vocabulary around acting is far more ready. This might also apply on the reviewer himself: It actually takes quite an expert to appreciate dancing AND to be able to put it into words. To get beyond vague appraisals like "beautiful" or "impressive" is where the true challenge lies. Other reasons lie, of course, in the very limited space left to art reviews nowadays. The main focus, therefore, will be on the staging and the direction (and with the many different casts, all with a very limited number of performances, it might also appear a bit futile to focus a lot on any particular dancer...). There is a last and maybe very Danish reason for focusing so much on the acting: RDB has a long and strong tradition for story-telling ballets, where mime and acting play a major role. The heritage of Bournonville has heavily influenced the choice of repertoire and the taste of the audience: The Danes love story ballets, and in a story ballet good acting is crucial. In this kind of repertoire it is indeed possible to become a beloved dancer without being a brilliant technician, whereas the opposite is, I dare to say, nearly impossible. If you can't move the heart of the audience (or make people laugh), a dancer shouldn't build on a career in the RDB. Erik Bruhn might be an exception - he was, however, for the very same reason, not popular with everybody, not until he became famous abroad, that is... (I haven't seen him live, though, so I might not be the right person to say so, but on film his acting looks a bit wooden, to me at least, who hasn't experienced his indisputable charisma on stage). Balanchine had an early encounter with the RDB where he found a sort of dancers, who could in many ways fulfil his technical demands of speed and swiftness. But he didn't like the overall impression. It was apparently too soft and too expressive, I suppose the dancers put too much "meaning" into the movements, and thus deprived the movements of their neutral quality, their "pure dance" quality.
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