Royal Danish Ballet
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Royal Danish Ballet,one of the oldest major ballet companies, established at the opening of Denmark's Royal Theater in Copenhagen in 1748. Its ballet school, which trains the group's dancers, has also operated since the 18th cent. The company was developed over the centuries by three great masters. The first, Vincenzo Galeotti (1733–1816), who brought an international repertoire from Italy and France, led the company from 1775 until his death. One of his works, Amors og Balletmastererns Luner [the whims of Cupid and the ballet master] (1786), is the world's oldest ballet retaining its original choreography. The next great leader was Auguste BournonvilleBournonville, Auguste
, 1805–79, Danish dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Bournonville studied in Copenhagen with his father Antoine, the ballet master, and in Paris with Auguste Vestris. He joined the Royal Danish Ballet in 1828.
..... Click the link for more information. , who directed the company for 51 years (1828–79). The more than 50 ballets he created included many parts intended to show off his own brilliant dancing, and these later became vehicles to establish and display the excellence of Danish male dancing in general. The works of Bournonville remain the backbone of the group and a number of his ballets continue to be performed by today's company. After his death the Danish Ballet declined until 1932, when Harald Lander returned from studying dance in the Soviet Union and the United States to become the company's artistic director (1932–51). He trained many fine dancers, including Erik BruhnBruhn, Erik
, 1929–86, Danish ballet dancer, b. Copenhagen. Bruhn joined the Royal Danish Ballet in 1947 and became a soloist there in 1949. He was widely regarded as one of the world's foremost dancers, combining dramatic flair with a subtle precision of style.
..... Click the link for more information. . Lander also choreographed many ballets for the company, adapted others that reflected contemporary trends, and promoted the group's tours abroad. Since the end of World War II the troupe has performed many more works by internationally known choreographers, e.g., Balanchine, Ashton and Cranko, and since the 1960s it has toured widely.
See studies by S. Kragh-Jacobsen (1955 and 1965).