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A quick question about the 2003-04 Royal Danish Ballet roster. I noticed that Ask laCour is still listed as a member of the corps de ballet. Given the intense NYCB schedule (especially with the extra tours in 2004), it seems that it would be near impossible for laCour to dance with both NYCB and RDB.

Is the wishful thinking on the part of the RDB or might laCour be intending to make a guest appearance once in a while?



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i don't know of any dancer w/ NYCB from a company - that is, NOT a dancer joining directlyout of whatever school the individual trained in or one who was 'between jobs' at hiring time - who did not appear w/ the troupe as a 'guest artist' crediting the related company by means of an asterisk, tho' i think the way of listing the co. roster that we're now used to was only formulated in the 1970s.

that's how peter martins began, ditto a.luders, i.andersen, p.schaufuss, etc. (tho' i'm not sure w/ e.bruhn if he was listed as guest of ABT or somewhere else.)

in any case almost all such dancers end up full-fledged members w/out the 'guest' status.

in the case of ask lacour, i'd assume as a corps de ballet dancer he might not warrant an asterisk/guest indication on nycb's roster. this tratition would seem to allow both sides a trial part, i.e. the co. sees in the individual in question is workable and if said individ. likes the work, etc. etc.

re: danes, with the exception of bruhn and somewhat longer but not all that long 'lived' schaufuss in nycb, these danes have stayed and stayed.

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footnotes to joining nycb from another company.

i've checked my programs from 1970, the year h.tomasson joined nycb.

there is no asterisk or co. affiliation for his initial perfs in such ballets as 'swan lake' 'stars and stripes' 'the nutcracker' 'a midsummer night's dream' (divertissement)

in the case of martins' the asterisk seems to have been on his name thru mid-1970. for the fall/winter season of '70 the asterisk is gone.

the wording btw is not guest as i mistakenly noted above but goes as follows, with apt co. affiliation in the apt place - for example, this was how the asterisk next to jean-pierre bonnefous's name was spelled out in the winter 1970/71 season that he first(?) appeared at nycb:

'jean-pierre bonnefous appears through the courtesy of the paris opera ballet'


earlier, 'peter martins appears through the courtesy of the royal danish ballet'

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This is a different situation, however from dancers like Martins or Luders or Tomasson. Unlike the Danes previously mentioned, laCour's not a guest principal/ artist (a totally different situation contractually), just a member of the corps.

If a corps dancer is hired, he/she's hired for the period of weeks defined by the contract. (The NYCB contract can be seen on the AGMA website). The first year (or season) might unofficially be a trial period, but companies like NYCB are limited by fairly strict AGMA rules about hiring and firing dancers, and no corps dancer could join the company without signing a contract. So it really has nothing to do with the RDB that he's dancing with NYCB, thus no asterisk.

Guest principals are a different issue. However, when Vishneva and Cojocaru danced with ABT last season, no credit was given to either of their main companies. They were simply dancers who had signed a contract to dance with ABT for those performances, just as they'd obviously negotiated contracts with time off from their main companies.

I think Alexandra is probably correct, in that laCour is on leave from RDB - a leave that may or may not be long term or even permanent. Since he's been getting good roles and is on the roster for 2003-04, one would guess that he is settling in at NYCB (it can't hurt that both his mother and his half brother are also in the US).


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Due to the employment rules of the Royal Danish Ballet a dancer may obtain extended leave. As the employment and pension terms are better than most other companies a dancer leaving for say, NYCB, will normally extend the leave as long ad possible as a safeguard. Peter Martins, Ib Andersen and Nicolai Hubbe were all on official leave from the RDB for 4 or 5 years. Julien Ringdahl returned to the company last year. etc. Adam Luders had already keft RDB when joining NYCB and Helgi Thomasson was never a member. I believe that Ask la Cour has formally left RBD for NYCB following a 6 month leave.

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