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Your favourite female RDB dancers?

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I know that the Bournonville school has raised some renowned male dancers over time and that it's often the male dancers that make it to the top of this field on the international scene, Alban Lendorf being the most recent proof.

However, I'm much more interested in hearing about who ranks among your favourite current dancers when it comes to the RDB ballerinas!

Personally, I am a Susanne Grinder fan through and through. She was the face that originally made me take an interest in ballet as a whole and the RDB in particular and over the past five years, I've consistently enjoyed everything I've seen her in - with Marguerite from Lady of the Camellias and the Sylph from La Sylphide being the parts that she's truly defined for me. Other than that, she's the sweetest and most sympathetic person. I love her strong acting and sensitivity especially and would love to see her as Tatiana in Onegin and maybe, finally, get the chance to see her as Odette/Odile.

Stephanie Chen Gundorph is still only a corps member, but I've seen her in several supporting roles, my favourite being Olympia from Lady of the Camellias and the Russian Princess in the new Swan Lake, although her Effie was also great. I've really taken a shine to this girl. She has such a strong stage presence and has so far embodied all her roles equally well, despite how different they were which makes me think that she might just be able to do everything! I really hope she'll be promoted to soloist soon, so I can get to see her in larger and main roles. I'd love to see her dance something more classical, like Emma from Hübbe's La Bayadere, if not Nikiya... Actually, on second thought - I'd love to see her as Nikiya. But really, she's one of the few dancers in the RDB that I can really imagine in any role.

Additional shout-outs to Holly Jean Dorger who I'm hoping will make principal now that both Gitte Lindstrøm and Gudrun Bojesen are (one officially and the other unofficially) off the board. She is so technically secure and has a wonderful, warm presence on stage. Of the three Odiles I saw this spring (one of whom was J'aime Crandall who's also a technically strong dancer), Dorger was definitely the one who had the best fouettes. She killed them! It looked like no effort at all. She was a charming Prudence in Lady of the Camellias. I think I'd love to see her in the "really" classical roles like Aurora and Sugar Plum, princess-types.

Last but not least, I need to mention both J'aime Crandall and Ida Praetorius who are both delightful, although it's taken me some time to really warm up to them for different reasons. Crandall is such a strong technician, but always left me somewhat cold emotionally (her Manon from Lady of the Camellias being the one exception), until I saw her as Odette/Odile where she completely discarded her shell. Her Odile remains my favourite interpretation of the role I've seen. Now I regret not seeing her as Aurora and Nikiya, roles where her strong technique can shine and her gentle demeanour fit the mould of the character. Ida Praetorius sort of represented the opposite problem for me. She had so much stage presence that I really wanted to like her, but after The Lesson where I loved her as the Student, her roles always seemed to fall through for me. And in Swan Lake, her technique simply didn't measure up either. However, seeing her in Lolita made me realise that maybe, like J'aime, Praetorius needs specific kind of roles to truly shine. Something a bit different and more quirky than the average Russian princess Prima. I think she would have done better as Prudence in Lady of the Camellias than as Marguerite. With her spirit, I'd love to see her as Teresina in Napoli or any of the three female leads in Neumeier's A Midsummer Night's Dream (maybe particularly Hermia or Helena) and in due time, I know she'll make the perfect Sylph. Other than that, I really think Praetorius should do more contemporary and modern ballets, I'd love to see her in anything by Jiri Kylian.

(Sorry about early post, my fingers slipped...)

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I was looking forward to reading some responses to this one -- I hope there will be some. I haven't seen the current generation of dancers often enough to contribute. To me, Gudrun Bojesen is still one of the new young ones :) as the dancers I saw most often were Lis Jeppesen, Silja Schandorff, Rose Gad and Heidi Ryom, each of whom I admired greatly.

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Unfortunately I don't know the current generation at all, but have enjoyed reading about them and would also be interested in hearing people's responses. From RDB tours from way back my very favorite dancer was male (Arne Villumsen)--but among ballerinas Linda Hindberg--great in Bournonville and Glen Tetley!--and, though I saw her less, as Alexandra mentioned above, Lis Jeppesen; I also loved Ryom's Swanilda. On still earlier tours I loved Dina Bjørn.

At the very beginning of THIS century I saw a single performance of a group of soloists on tour and especially liked Tina Højlund--actually thought she was the only one of the woman whose "Bournonville style" was like the style I remembered from earlier tours and dancers like Jeppesen. But I never saw her dance again. I would love to see today's RDB soon (and live), but don't think I have much of a chance.

By the by, the first Odette-Odile I ever saw was RDB ballerina Toni Lander, but she was dancing then with ABT.

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In January we saw a small touring group in London that included Diana Cuni (now retired) and Gudren Bojeson, on the point of retirement. An end of an era, both were so good. I would go so far as to say that in fifty plus years of ballet going Ms Cuni was one of the finest dancers I've ever seen.

The first Danish dancer I saw was Toni Lander too, dancing Etudes with ABT.

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