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Flemming Flindt

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The Danish dancer, director and choreographer Flemming Flindt died today in Florida, after a short illness. He was 72.

What sad news Jane. I saw him dance on a number of occasions and met him in London in the early 1960's. I remember him as a sunny handsome man whose infectious smile blazed into the area around him.

It is not enough to say he was an outstanding dancer, he was a true star performer with an international reputation. His first ballet "The Lesson" has been produced right around the world. My condolences go to Vivi his ex-wife and his three daughters.

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How very sad. I have vivid memories of him when he was with London Festival Ballet. He did a magnificent Drummer in Graduation Ball. I have never seen Nicholas Orloff who was supposed to be formidable, but I am sure Flindt was equally good if not better. After the performance I went backstage and got his autographed photo and I spoke to him in Danish. Need I say that my friends who didnt understand a word were very jealous.

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I was sad to read in the newspaper that Flemming Flindt has died, only 72 years old. He has been a really important figure in Danish ballet history, both as a dancer, a choreographer and as balletmaster with the RDB. My condolences go to the family.

I met him once, on a very special occasion. His ballet "The Lesson" had been canonized as important cultural heritage by the Danish ministry of culture a couple of years ago, sharing the honour with 2 other Danish ballets, Bournonville's "La Sylphide" and Harald Lander's "Etudes". "The Lesson" was performed in the new operahouse of Copenhagen together with other works of art (operas, songs, theatrical pieces, you name it), that had been likewise canonized, and the evening's programme was broadcasted live on national television, and in the front seats sat people from government and royalty adn other VIPs.

I happened to sit right behind Flemming Flindt, and I couldn't resist the impulse to contact him during the interval and congratulate him on the great honour and tell him that I thought he and his ballet highly deserved the honour. He was very modest about it and seemed to appreciate the praise. Maybe he could see, that the praise came from the heart, as I really think he has created a masterpiece with this shocking one-acter. He has made many ballets since, some of them good and/or interesting, but he never surpassed the originality of this first opus.

And one thing he was really good at, right form the beginning: he could choose the right music, and he didn't just use existing music, he often collaborated with contemporary composers and asked them to create new music for his ballets, just like Harald Lander and Bournonville did. Therefore we owe him thanks for all that exellent music he has comissioned, and because his ballets were always very entertaining, mostly in the good meaning of the word, and had a big audience, he has made contemporary classical music accessible to many people.

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