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Repertoire 2003/2004

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The Royal Danish Ballet reportoire for next season is now official. The most interesting:

"La Sylphide" - new staging by Nikolaj Hübbe.

Premiere September 20, 2003.

"Ballet Evening". One new ballet by Peter Martins. Also two Balanchine ballets: "Serenade" and "Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no.2".

Premiere November 14, 2003

"Anna Karenina" - choreography by Alexei Ratmansky.

Premiere April 2, 2004.

"Abdallah" - the Bournonville ballet that was reconstructed in 1986. Staged by Sorella Englund, Flemming Ryberg and Bruce Marks.

Repremiere May 7, 2004.

Among the rest are repremieres of this season's Manon, Etudes, Oddysey, Napoli, A Folk Tale and Nutcracker.

Read more;


(only published in the Danish language section)

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They use "Abdallah" for school education programs, I was told by one of its producers. There are a lot of Turkish families in Copenhagen, and there were field trips for Turkish children to see the ballet. "So that they know there is a place for them, too, in our society," as the producer said.

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Flemming Ryberg -- it was in an interview, so it's okay to say :(

That's a good question, and I can't answer it, I'm afraid. I thought it was an interesting point of view, though, because the Bournonville ballets are controversial with many foreigners who find them "racist" (I don't; I think you have to view them in their time, but I think most people would disagree with me).

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I agree that "racism" wasn't a "crime" 150 years ago, but I also think that they weren't consciously acting with racist motives. In his description of "Far From Denmark" (in My Theatre Life) Bournonville was quite proud of the fact that the "Negro servants" in the Danish colonies were NOT slaves, but free servants. And the impetus for the ballet was from Gottschalk's "Negro Dance;" he was interested in its rhythms, and had to work to create a ballet -- a Danish ballet! -- that could use that tune. But it wasn't his intention to denigrate anyone, so I would argue that it wasn't, and isn't, racist. I have seen Africans -- or African-Danes :( -- in the audience at "Far From Denmark" performances, and those I remember were with a Danish friend. I thought that was interesting, too -- and something that wouldn't be possible here. I think it's possible to view those works within their own contexts, and hope very much that they stay alive until a day when we DON'T see them as "racist" because that very concept will be passe. Perhaps a vain hope....

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It could be said that it is eaiser for the average audience, who know little of ballet history, to comperhend the approved Sleeping B story, that the historical context of a littleused ballet. It just goes full circle: theatre think audience woun't accept- so is lhardly used- which mens no one knows about it- which means audience find it hard to accept........

I find myself constanly defending Bournonville ballets. But it's probably a good thibk as it makes me go and read up to make my defence better each time. I feel I have to defend my heratige (dispite being only half danish)- a strange obligation to my motherland!:(

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