242 Years in Leotard:
Anne Marie Vessel:
Staffan Valdemar Holm and the Dancers:
Dance2Go 2. cast
"Stravinsky Symphony in Three Movements"
"Grand Pas Classique"
Company B in Rødovre Center
The Royal Danish Ballet
The Royal Danish Ballet continue their season of small scall productions by Corpus, the company within the company's "242 years in Leotards", showcasing the character dancers.
The official employ Character Dancer is a fairly new category on the RDB rooster. Not that the company did not employ characters dancers before, the dancers in question just kept their original position whether it was First Principal Dancer Kirsten Simone or Member of the Corps Lillian Jensen. During Frank Andersen reign the category emerged as did the category Soloists and the primary older dancers doing character part was transferred to the new emploi. The major difference on the outside was that the emploi Principal Dancer became synonymous with dancers dancing the leading roles.
Today there are five dancers in the category: former Principal Dancer Lis Jeppesen and former members of the corps Eva Kloborg, Mette Bødtcher, Mogens Boesen and Poul Erik Hesselkilde. Still things appeared somewhat blurred as several meaty characters parts are performed by younger dramatically gifted dancers like Morten Eggert and Maria Bernholdt. The group of character dancers tend to be casts in smaller roles save the odd outing as Madge by the three female character dancers. Following Flemming Ryberg's retirement two years ago the male wing has lost it most original mime. The Corpus focus on the group may therefore be a welcome path on the shoulder for the group and they have gone all in to showcase the stuff.
Anne Marie Vessel has made "Petit Mort" based on a 1952 monologue about a woman's life by Finn Methling for Lis Jeppesen. The work mirrors a woman's life from birth to death, and although Lis Jeppesen have all the expressions, Anne Marie Vessel do not have all the movements.
The second and meatier part of the programme was "Recollect" where drama director Staffan Valdemar Holm have worked with the four artists to harvest their memories and condensed it in a theatrical format within the frame of a studio complete with barres and the Bournonville bust.
Each artist have chosen a solo which is danced following a video summery of career highligths. By coincidence the soli covers a classical, a Ballet Russe, a Neoclassical and a modern work. First out Mogens Boesen dances a classical Pas de Deux (Black Swan) without a partner in a dead pan style. Precise and funny. Poul Erik Hesselkilde's is an almost full rendering of Petruskja. Neither dancer has done these part in the career, whereas Mette Bødcher had chosen on of her career highlights Bejart's "Bolero". Unfortunately it does not really work in this framework.
Finally Eva Kloborg, who is performing a variation of her roles (Balanchine, Neumeier and Bournonville) focusing and hand movements, creates an impressive segment, which should be mandatory viewing for the younger dancers in how to use arms and epaulement. Kloborg was taught by Vera Volkova and was one of the best dancers in the company. She embodies the tradition and although her solo breaks the character theme, it makes a more important statement on the core values in ballet.
In the second cast of the Dance2Go programme, Holly Jean Dorger impress with her technical power in "Pas de Classique". Her partner Marcïn Kupinski is equally strong technically, but would he please stop hiding behind his partner's gigantic tutu?
At a "Ballet & Brunch" arrangement, yet another reach out project, where company school is done on stage, while the audience downs coffee and croissants, Nikolaj Hübbe showed lot of attentions to the three apprentice girls, Louise Brorson (3 year), Madeleine Carstensen and Benedikte Boyer( 1 year). I was therefore good how well Brorson and Carstensen managed in the corps of "Strawinsky Symphony in 3 Movements". However is was a little disappointing that the second cast soloists remained so anonymous in an otherwise fine production. In Nahadin's "Minus 7", Tim Matiakis was placed in the Urias position of handling the intro improvisation, a role owned by Morten Eggert. Where Eggert contrast very small non balletic movements with surprise burst outs in the cha cha cha, Matiakis cannot abandon his classical base and thereby fails to connect the impro solo to the rest of the ballet.
Bournonville goes Shopping
The children's company "Company B" visited the suburb shopping center in Rødovre to make four performances with snippets of their "Breakfast with Bournonville". What is this current craze of RDB mixing ballet with food? The programme was, I beleive, edited to the shopping experience by several spoken intros targetting the audience, which was delivered with charm and professionalsm by the ballet children, who also presented a nice mix of Bournonville, bullying and high fashion. it look like another strong generation is emerging and who nows maybe the next Alban Lendorf is found through these events?
Photo of Lis Jeppesen by Signe Roderik. Copyright (c) Royal Danish Ballet