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Another new RDB article


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4 hours ago, Alexandra said:

About the current Festival, with a special word about "Etudes." 

NOTE: The article is in  Danish BUT if you scroll down, you'll find an English version.

HÜBBE’S COMPANY

Thank you Alexandra. Do you think a sizable portion of the audience in Denmark feels as Meinertz does? or is much of the audience on board with more internationalization (assuming people more or less agree with his analysis)? Having typed that question, I realize there probably is no simple answer--presumably the audience is as varied as any major theater's ...but I guess I'm curious if he is a voice crying in the wilderness or one of many voices? Or even just what your thoughts are? (I suppose I can hazard a guess as to the last... :wink: . )

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Thanks for the question, Drew. I really can't say. I haven't been over there since 2000. (I spent a lot of time in Copenhagen in the '90s, but after I finished my biography of Kronstam I stopped going.)  I'm only in touch with a few people -- very knowledgeable and devoted balletomanes -- and when the new "Napoli" first came out I was surprised to learn that they liked it. "It's so good to see something new," as one put it. Hubbe's "Folk Tale" was really loved, I was told. 

I've been told, and have read, that many Danish ballet fans have been sick of "Bournonville" for some time now, and resent him for being "cute and charming".

We do have some Danish readers of this forum, and a few regular visitors to the company, and I'd love to know what they think.

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This caught my eye (from the article):

"The RDB looks much like Het Nationale Ballet in Amsterdam or The San Francisco Ballet, excellent but not artistically distinct, regional ensembles."

We so often think of the Royal Danish Ballet (RDB) as being one of the Big 7 - ABT, Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet, Royal Ballet - that we may have failed to notice the RDB moving into another peer group.

And:

"Choosing technique over content, foreign-trained over Danish-trained dancers, and an international standard repertory over national heritage is not visionary or a sign of particularly inspired outlook."

I've often complained on this board about the "international standard repertory" and the herd mentality of the people running these companies. But one thing I will say in Nikolaj Hubbe's defense is that there only so many Bournonville surviving pieces to go around. In the absence of a choreographer trained in Bournonville's method and making new pieces derived from said method, the non-Bournonville repertory has to come from somewhere.

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19 hours ago, miliosr said:

I've often complained on this board about the "international standard repertory" and the herd mentality of the people running these companies. But one thing I will say in Nikolaj Hubbe's defense is that there only so many Bournonville surviving pieces to go around. In the absence of a choreographer trained in Bournonville's method and making new pieces derived from said method, the non-Bournonville repertory has to come from somewhere.

In this, the RDB finds themselves in the same pickle juice with many modern dance companies that were named for or focused on their founder.  Bournonville, Balanchine, Limon, Brown, and many more -- none of them are making any more new work.

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20 hours ago, sandik said:

In this, the RDB finds themselves in the same pickle juice with many modern dance companies that were named for or focused on their founder.  Bournonville, Balanchine, Limon, Brown, and many more -- none of them are making any more new work.

New York City ballet has had some real success with substantial new works, some now danced by other companies —of course they dance a lot of new work including a lot that is pretty ephemeral. Also, Balanchine (for now) offers a much wider base repertory to work from than Bournonville.... 

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2 minutes ago, Drew said:

New York City ballet has had some real success with substantial new works, some now danced by other companies —of course they dance a lot of new work including a lot that is pretty ephemeral. Also, Balanchine (for now) offers a much wider base repertory to work from than Bournonville.... 

Very true -- the creation of new work is baked into the DNA of NYCB, and is part of the draw for their audience.  Balanchine made his share of duds (as my sister says about her home life, "Not every dinner is a winner") but the sheer size of his output meant that you would still wind up with a substantial amount of great work. 

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