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Looking back on 2003 in Copenhagen?

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Copenhagen 2003

For me it has been a wonderful year with about 45 performances attended.

My highs:

- Silja Schandorff and Nicolas le Riche in Manon. Three great performances, guest star le Riche was a vitamin injection for Schandorff. Danced with high intensity.

- Fantastic sets and costumes by Mia Stensgaard in Manon. A convincing debut by a young scenographer. Fresh and colorful costumes and simple sets. Hope to see more of her soon.

- A solid, no-fuzz, staging of La Sylphide by Nikolai Hübbe.

- Gudrun Bojesen established herself as a great Sylph for years to come.

- Gitte Lindstrøm back in the autumn after a long injury absence.

- Diana Cuni and Amy Watson getting better and better.

- Christina L. Olsen, 19 years, the most promising young dancer.

- The three tall blond "princes" Kenneth Greve, Mads Blangstrup and Andrew Bowman.

- Guesting Maria Eichwald and Alen Bottaini in Manon in February.

- Saw NYCB for the first time at Tivoli. Loved Maria Kowroski.

- Fine guest tour by the Estonian National Ballet in Malmö, doing Swan Lake with high class ballerinas like Kaie Körb and Marina Chirkova.

My lows:

- Several last-minute schedule changes, with Etudes being cancelled a number of times.

- Boring December with only Nutcracker. Couldn't they do something like "A Folk Tale" instead? Good as a family ballet at Christmas.

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My 2003 hight are mostly similar with Jörgens

Manon, beautifull scenography beautiful dancing and acting by primarily Silja Schandorff and Kenneth Greve

Schandorff and Greve finally really performing together and not just dancing

The rise and rise of Gudrun Bojesen

La Sylphide, more good than bad)

an exellent Serenade

Mads Blangstrup as James and in Thaikowsky piano concerto

Kenneth Greve as leading man and an impressive Odyddeus in a not to impressive performance

Gitte Lindström back in business

Kristoffer Sakurai finally showing how good he is

A strong In the middle somewath elevated special mention Marie Pierre Greve

Christina Olsson returning for a fine Etudes

A motivated corps doing great in Serenade and new choreography

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Thanks for these Jorgen and Effy -- great lists!

Jorgen, I had a pang when I read your comment about "A Folk Tale." Earlier productions of this weren't children's ballets! (Kirsten Ralov's, especially, which went back to the original drawings of costumes for the trolls; they weren't cute but thuggish human-like creatures, exhibiting the worst of human behavior. And there was great dignity in all the roles, and the ballet generally.) I'm no fan of the current production, but I've heard a few people say that it's seen as a children's ballet there now, and I think that's a shame. According to theater lore, both Fokine and Balanchine, when they frst saw the company back in the late '20s, early '30s, immediately saw "Folk Tale" as a great ballet. If they can get "La Sylphide" back, maybe, some day.....

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Allthough the Ralov production certainly hads it flaws it was superior to the present production. The Queens contribution are not good but you may be able to live with them if the staging was otherwise good- but it is bad on all accounts. The comedy segments are drawn to low farce, the pas de sept is killed by making it longer and more "democratic" instead of star turns it it now an ensemble piece. Casting is downgraded, so major stars do not take part in the production (unless there are recovering from injuries and need light stage practise) the mimes are bad and/or cast in the wrong roles. But as it is the production of Frank Andersen himself I fear we may wait long for a production that can restore the full glory of the production.

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Thank you, Effy -- I'm glad you mentioned the casting. It's a problem with the Bournonville ballets generally -- stars continue to be stars, and often they'd take tiny parts -- like Aage Poulsen doing the drummer in Napoli or the Postman, for heavens sake, in Far From Denmark. And they make a role out of it. And that's what Bournonville ballets were made of. Viderik and Diderik had become corps parts the last time I saw it.

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Not exactly a year in review, but perhaps just the home-stretch highlights:

+finding up-and-comers coming into their own: Sakurai, Birkkjaer, Green, Kupinski (x2), Lambrette, Cuni, Haugland.

+Riggins, Boetcher and Gad lighting up an otherwise very dull Odesseen.

+Schandorff's mischevious Sylph, Boejesen's sweet one, Blangstrups brooding James

+Cavallo as a queen in TPC #2

+Yao Wei-enough said!

+MP Greve in the middle, TOTALLY elevated.

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