It seems the Balanchine–Bournonville connection is alive and strong in the U.S. Not only did the Royal Danish Ballet recently complete a successful tour to NYC, and not only will New York City Ballet—helmed by Dane Peter Martins—present Martins' La Sylphide during its Spring Season, but on February 12 Ballet Arizona will be the first U.S. company to dance Bournonville's Napoli in its entirety.
A quintessential Bournonville piece, Flower Festival in Genzano was originally a one-act ballet choreographed in 1858 for the Royal Danish Ballet. Although the full ballet was inspired by an Alexandre Dumas tale, today only the pas de deux survives. Nevertheless, the charming love story is still apparent in this flirtatious duet, which includes an entrance, two variations and a coda.
American Ballet Theatre just announced an intriguing transatlantic dancer swap. Royal Ballet principal Steven McRae will come to New York to perform in ABT's Le Corsaire this June and Royal Danish Ballet principal Alban Lendorf will dance with the company in Sleeping Beauty this July. In exchange, ABT will lend principal Cory Stearns to The Royal Ballet in December and soloist Isabella Boylston to the Royal Danish Ballet for their Nutcracker.
Nikiya’s forbidden love is taken to a whole different level in the Royal Danish Ballet’s new production of La Bayadère. At the Guggenheim’s Works and Process showing, artistic director Nikolaj Hubbe spoke about RDB’s restaging, and his dancers performed excerpts wearing costumes by Richard Hudson (who also designed costumes for The Lion King).
Bournonville training creates some of the most elegant male dancers in the ballet world. Their upper bodies seem to move with poise, ease and a mix of strength and lightness, no matter what sort of footwork is going on underneath. This was especially evident last night at the Royal Danish Ballet's performance in Lincoln Center, when a couple dozen or so of the company's men danced Bournonville Variations, a mash-up of traditional classroom exercises created by the other Mr. B.