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Dancing Across the Atlantic: USA-Denmark 1900-2014 Erik Aschengreen

Dancing Across the Atlantic: USA-Denmark 1900-2014

Erik Aschengreen

Published January 2015
ISBN : 9780990438601
Hardcover
302 pages
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 About the Book 

DANCING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC USA - DENMARK 1900-2014 Waves of movement inspiration and dance currents have flowed between America and Denmark- Nikolaj Hubbe, from his introduction to Dancing Across the Atlantic Nikolaj Hubbe and The American FriendsMoreDANCING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC USA - DENMARK 1900-2014 Waves of movement inspiration and dance currents have flowed between America and Denmark- Nikolaj Hubbe, from his introduction to Dancing Across the Atlantic Nikolaj Hubbe and The American Friends of the Royal Danish Ballet, in cooperation with the Royal Danish Theatre, announce a magnificent new book Dancing Across the Atlantic, USA - Denmark 1900-2014, a history in words and hundreds of photos of the Royal Danish Ballet at home and the U.S. Author Erik Aschengreen, referred to as The Grand Old Man of Danish ballet history and dance journalism, has written a comprehensive history of the renowned company which he has watched for over sixty years, and its close and longstanding relationship to the U.S. dance world. Dr. Aschengreen was persuaded to write the book by Nikolaj Hubbe, former principal with the Royal Danish Ballet and New York City Ballet and current Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Ballet, who remarked that the book is the curious story of a small country and a very large one, countries which actually stand far apart culturally and historically, but - to everyones great joy - were able to meet in dance. Following Hubbes charming introduction, the book begins at the beginning, with a brief history of the Company, followed by its longstanding relationship with the USA. The first dancer to come to America was the Danish ballets great hope Elna Hansen, who came to New York in 1921 at the invitation of her teacher Mikhail Fokine, who had just opened a school at 4 Riverside Drive. Harald Lander arrived in 1927, followed by Paul Haakon, Nina Stroganova (born Rigmor Strom), and Nini Theilade, famous names in ballet history. While Danish dancers sought inspiration and innovation in America in the 1920s, American dancers traveled in the opposite direction to Europe, some passing through Copenhagen. Loie Fuller and Josephine Baker, wearing her infamous banana skirt and later the companies of Alvin Ailey, Talley Beatty, and Katherine Dunham, enjoyed tremendous success in Copenhagen. George Balanchine was invited to Denmark for the 1930/31 season and staged two ballet programs with a total of six works: Legend of Joseph and Scheherazade by Fokine- The Three-Cornered Hat and La Boutique fantasque by Massine- and his own Barabau and Apollo, Leader of the Muses. They were not a success, wrote Aschengreen, not with the critics and not with the audience. In 1947, Vida Brown staged Balanchines Symphony in C, which was a tremendous success and has remained in the Companys repertory since then, joined by many other Balanchine ballets. The U.S. love affair with the Royal Danish Ballet began in 1954, with an invitation from Ted Shawn to perform at Jacobs Pillow. Inge Sand was the first dancer to burst onto the stage, performing solos from works by great choreographer August Bournonville, Emilie Walbom, and a duet with Vladimir Dokoudovsky, who created the choreography. The full Company has so far enjoyed eleven USA tours, starting in 1956. Several of their dancers, including Erik Bruhn, Toni Lander and Peter Martins, had brilliant careers dancing with American companies in the U.S. and around the world. In addition to the Companys authoritative performances of ballets by the renowned August Bournonville and its native choreographers, the Royal Danish Ballet boasts a bold repertory of works by choreographers from the U.S. From Jerome Robbins to Twyla Tharp, they have been lauded for their performances of Robbins Dances at a Gathering, Jose Limons The Moors Pavane, Alvin Aileys Memoria, Twyla Tharps Come Fly Away, many Balanchine ballets, and Paul Taylors Aureole