Royal Danish Ballet

Article excerpt

Royal Danish Ballet

Operaen, Main Stage

Copenhagen, Denmark

March 14-April 1, 2009

A revitalized Royal Danish Ballet--ponytails whiplashing and limbs gobbling space--blazed specta cularly through the company premiere of Balanchine's thrillingly complex, almost anarchic Symphony in Three Movements. Driven by a propulsive rendering of Stravinsky's score, played by the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the dancers attacked shifting patterns and jazz-tinged jutting with precision and unflagging energy, as if the ballet were freshly made. It was a rousing start to the all-Balanchine evening conceived by the RDB's new artistic director, former New York City Ballet star Nikolaj Hubbe.

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While principals Yao Wei and Thomas Lund shone with predictable authority in the orientalist inflections of the second-movement pas de deux, depth of talent throughout the ranks was equally impressive. Corps members Christopher Rickert and Constantine Baecher and soloist Sebastian Kloborg underscored the RDB's reputation for distinguished male dancing.

Copenhagen is familiar with Balanchine through NYCB's many visits, and the RDB has its own long history with his work. But it had been many years since the company presented his spookily enigmatic melodrama, La Sonnambula, revived in a new production by Kim Witzel (sets) and Annette Norgaard (costumes) with notably atmospheric lighting by Mark Stanley. …