Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Peter Schaufuss web site

Recommended Posts

It's in Danish, but hang on, look at the photos.


This company has gotten excellent reviews in Denmark -- all ballet should be like this, this is new, this is what the RDB should be doing, why don't we ever get anything neat like this in Copenhagen, etc. It's a tiny company, yet they do all three Tchaikovsky ballets -- big hits in Paris, I think. I don't think they've come to America yet.

Do click on Nyheder (news) and see a shot from his latest work, a ballet about Princess Diana.

The ballets seem to be, well, topical. "Midnight Express," "Elvis the King." If you click on the Forestillinger Link (repertory? something like that) you'll see a list down the left side of the ballets (all by Schaufuss).

NYCB fans might be interested in clicking on H.C. Andersen -- I think you'll recognize a dancer.

KATHARINE KANTER, ARE YOU READING THIS? You must, must, must click on Kermessen. But only if there are no sharp objects around, all windows are locked, and you are not eating or drinking anything that could choke you if you happened to swallow hastily. (It's the Kermesse en Bruges, redone for a new century. In an unpublished interview with Allan Ulrich, Schaufuss said he was preparing a "Kermesse in Bosnia." I can't see any indications of Bosnia, but it does look different.)

Link to comment

Great photos! Now, if only I could find a free translation source for Danish into English! I've been trying but haven't come up with anything yet.

I loved the movie "Midnight Express"... Don't you think it would be a boost to increasing a broader and newer audience base if this company came to the US and performed in places and ways that might cast a larger net... I would be very excited to see them.

Link to comment

Yup. Did you like the two red unitard-clad dancers of indeterminate sex grappling in what they bill as Kermessen (the Bournonville ballet "Kermesse in Bruges" rethought for our troubled times")? And the "Swan Lake"? One of the Danish critics wrote of his "Sleeping Beauty" "At last! A 'Sleeping Beauty' for adults!" (none of that bothersome kiddy stuff, like classical choreography or a fairy tale). "Sleeping Beauty" was described in one press release as "Tchaikovsky's wet dream."

Link to comment

I think the world needs more Elvis ballets.

And, let's redo all the classics so we're never bereft of The King.

Giselle could be reset to some trailer-park down South where Giselle captures The King's attention because she's the only girl he hasn't had his way with. Yet. And the Wilis would be made up entirely of gals The King has loved and left. Of course, by the end of the ballet they're all in love with him again, because, well, he's the King.

And I'm sure Peter Schaufuss in his heyday could've danced Theme and Variations while holding a guitar and wearing shades. In blue suede ballet shoes.

The Elvis Nutcracker would be set, of course, in Las Vegas. Drosselmeyer would be The Old Fat Elvis, reincarnated (see, Mel, this should make you happy!) as the Young Hip Elvis after the battle with mice. Instead of the Kingdom of Sweets, we'd have the Land of Greasy, Fried, Cholesterol-Laden Heart-Attack Food, which would start with dancing biscuits instead of angels. I'm sure I don't need to fill in all the rest of the blanks....

Dear God, that's enough for one morning.

Link to comment

And the fairies would have Big Hair and dance with the movement equivalent of a singsong nasal twang? I think Schaufuss was after something much deeper than that; hidden lusts and secret torments are big in Denmark.

From the photos -- I've only seen bits of "Hamlet," and that's on video -- Schaufuss looks as though he is a blend of Eifmanian ideas and Forsythian high energy aerobics. And he might be very, very popular. He's on record as saying that he wants to bring ballet to as large a crowd as possible, as in football stadiums. For that, you'd need a burping Elvis and lots and lots of simulated sex.

Link to comment

How about Elvis as Apollo? He could wear a white jump suit with

rhinestones. Some of his "women" can be the muses. I would cast Elvis as the Lilac Fairy and he could put the court to sleep with pills.

Alexandra, is that Adam Luders in H.C. Andersen?

A ballet about Princess Diana? Yick!

Link to comment

Dale, I think that is Luders, and I'd heard he was working with Schaufuss as a ballet master (as is Johnny Eliasen).

I think the poppers Sleeping Beauty might have a future. Unfortunately.

The Princess Diana and Elvis ballets are what made me think of Eifman -- the side of Eifman who has his finger on the popular pulse. The Princess Diana ballet may have been intended for a London audience, as Schaufuss was hugely popular in London both as a dancer and as director of English National Ballet (where he had an excellent artistic staff backing him up :) )

It just dawned on me -- Elvis and Diana: a Love Story Beyond Eternity. Now THAT would play in football stadiums on both side of the pond.

Link to comment

Schaufuss is an interesting case; I've never figured him out. The repertory of the Peter Schaufuss Ballet does seem to be Seriously Pop, but Schaufuss also is a big Ashton fan. I interviewed him about Ashton once, and he not only admired Ashton, but he understood him, or at least could discuss with enthusiasm all of Ashton's virtues. Yet I can think of few dancers who were less Ashtonian, and his own work has nothing of Ashton's sensibilities (much less craft).

Yet Schaufuss is the one who persuaded Ashton to revive his "Romeo and Juliet" (and now owns the rights and the costumes for it, yet has choreographed his own version) and who provided shelter for the Ashton choreography that Dowell threw out of the Royal Ballet production when he staged his own version.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...