LAST EDITED ON 16-05-02 AT 10:38 PM (GMT)
One or two people have asked if I would give some more information on the Royal Danish Ballet so here are some quick notes on their recent Gala, attended, of course, by Queen Margarethe. They like to take their time over things in Copenhagen and starting at 2000 and coming down at 2330 it was, as with most Galas, too long.
The first work, Jiri Kylian's Stepping Stones seemed too abstract for the occasion and with music by Cage and Webern did not make for a lively start. It was followed by Tim Rushton's Bela which had a more interesting Bartok score and some exhilerating and varied choreography for the full company.
After the interval came the sweetmeats. Flower Festival at Genzano, perfectly danced by Gudrun Bojesen and Thomas Lund (what a joy to see them finally dancing together) in what seemed to me to be a perfect demonstration of Bournonville style. The Aurora Pas de Deux I prefer to draw a veil over but this was followed by the Mirror Scene from Onegin, rapturously danced by Gitta Lindstrom and Kenneth Greve (with a lovely cameo from Kirsten Simone as the Nurse) and the Pas de Trois from Le Corsaire in which Johann Kobborg's elegant return was slightly overshadowed by the incredible pyrotechnics of Andrey Batalov. In both this and the Beauty the lack of a true classsical ballerina was very apparent, both Bojesen amd Lindstrom being lighter and more delicate in style.
Finally, the last act of Napoli, a joyous celebration of life and laughter in a riot of colour with the whole range of ages from children to senior artists having a whale of a time. Alexei Ratmansky danced a vigorous Tarantella, Gitte Lindstrom sparkled in a completely different way to her Tatyana and Thomas Lund again stood out for the sheer perfection of his style.
It was good to have an evening which built towards a more sustained outpouring and for all my lack of partiality to the Kylian it was also good to have a Gala which paid more than token gesture to choreography from the present as well as the past.