Mission Statement // Introduction // Recent and Upcoming RDB Highlights // AFRDB Patron Benefits
The mission of The American Friends of the Royal Danish Ballet is to ensure the Royal Danish Ballet’s unique combination of classical technique and expressive mime, established by August Bournonville, is continually refreshed and shared with audiences worldwide.
Heralded for its storytelling tradition, support from AFRDB enables the Royal Danish Ballet’s quest for original choreographic talent to extend this centuries-long commitment while challenging it to push out the borders of classical dance in a way that captivates contemporary theatre-goers. AFRDB is the key to making possible the artistic residencies, important restorations, new works, scholarships, media ventures and international tours to guarantee the future of this pre-eminent legacy that changed ballet forever.
AFRDB NEAR-TERM GOALS
The American Friends of The Royal Danish Ballet is a non-profit "public charity" exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
By Artistic Director, Nikolaj Hübbe
Ever since leaving Denmark and throughout my years in America, I always kept a strong connection and bond to the Royal Danish Ballet because of the unique education I enjoyed here from a very early age. The Royal Danish Ballet opened my eyes to the fantastic art form we know as ballet and the historical impact that the Royal Danish Ballet has made on dance. To me it is truly remarkable and that has never changed. The independent spirit that this company embodies constitutes the very reason I did not think twice when, in 2007, I was offered the position as Artistic Director to the company.
I spent the majority of my career in America, a young country that has been pioneering contemporary dance and new choreography for less than a century. To me, this modern orientation combined with the 250-year-old Danish heritage defines the best that dance has to offer: An unwavering, precise academic style beautifully refined over the centuries harmoniously integrated with physical abandon and free movement. It is this dynamic that I wish to inject into the core of the Royal Danish Ballet, thereby creating a constant tension between the possible and the unattainable.
As the third oldest ballet company in the world, the Royal Danish Ballet has been setting precedents since its earliest days. And new precedents lie just ahead if the future is approached with openness and fresh eyes. The available talent and the possibilities within the company are both stunning and limitless. This is equally true within the cultural environment which surrounds us and upon which we draw for inspiration. The variety and levels of artistic outpouring promise a very fruitful future. In light of this, it is my belief that the virtuosity of August Bournonville and his Romantic ballets, the wellspring of the Royal Danish Ballet, will continue to enrich the artistic community, nationally as well as internationally.
Since the early 30s, when George Balanchine was working as ballet master at the Royal Danish Ballet, a wide array of Danish-American artistic exchanges have contributed hugely to the dance scene in both countries. In the 50s and 60s, “Mr. B” and Jerome Robbins frequently visited the Royal Danish Ballet and were followed by choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor and many more up through the present. Likewise, a great migration of leading Danish dancers built major careers with such esteemed American companies as the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, among others. Stanley Williams, the unsurpassed Danish teacher, who taught at the School of American Ballet, profoundly influenced most of America’s male dancers in the period from 1960 until his death in 1997. Owing to all these connections, most Danish dancers consider America their second artistic home.
In the 50s and 60s, the Royal Danish Ballet conducted three major U.S. tours that put the company on the international ballet map and cemented its worldwide reputation. Thanks to American audiences and critics, the company enjoyed overwhelming success as a distinguished, essential classical ballet company with a unique repertory. Their passion and enthusiasm proclaimed the Royal Danish Ballet to be among the finest ensembles in the world. It is my dream to re-establish this intimate relationship between the Royal Danish Ballet and today’s American audiences.
I believe that AFRDB will be instrumental in deepening the Danish-American partnership that history already has proven to be of enormous artistic value and consequence. Thus, for all these reasons, a robust, dedicated and thriving American Friends of the Royal Danish Ballet is of immense importance to me. I invite you to join with me and the dancers in this exciting endeavor. Together, we can write a brilliant next chapter. We can’t do it without you.
Recent and Upcoming RDB Highlights:
- Renowned choreographer Alexei Ratmansky will be in Copenhagen to stage The Golden Cockerel – premieres September 15, 2012.
- Principal Dancer Thomas Lund will retire as a dancer to become the head of The Royal Danish School of Ballet. His farewell performance will be The Lesson/La Sylphide on September 29, 2012.
- Dancers from the RDBallet will perform at Works & Process at Guggenheim, October 21 and 22, 2012.
- Artistic manager Nikolaj Hübbe will stage the Danish premiere of one of the jewels of classical ballet; La Bayadère – premieres November 10, 2012.
- Royal Danish Ballet Oman Tour, January 2013.
- For the first time in 50 years The New York City Ballet will pay a guest visit to The Royal Danish Theatre. Nikolaj Hübbe looks very much forward to welcome Peter Martins and the company back in Copenhagen. A Balanchine-program will premiere April 4, 2013, and a Modern-program will premiere April 5, 2013.
- Experience two Bournonville gems in one evening, when former RDBallet Principal Dancer Ib Andersen returns from Ballet Arizona to Copenhagen to restage The Kermesse in Bruges. Same evening Principal Dancer, Gudrun Bojesen, will restage La Ventana. Premieres April 30, 2013.
AFRDB PATRON BENEFITS
BALLET MASTER CIRCLE
- Ticket Hotline for performances in Copenhagen, the U.S. and on tour worldwide
- Access to premium tickets always
- Invitations to join the Royal Danish Ballet on tour
- Invitations to premieres and special occasions in Copenhagen, the U.S. and on tour
- When in Copenhagen:
- Opportunity to observe company class & rehearsals
- Opportunity to observe Royal Theatre Ballet School class
- Personal tour of Det Kongelige Teater and Operaen
- Visit to Royal Danish Ballet production facilities
- Intermission refreshments during performances
- For Premieres: Night-Prior Dinner with Director General of the Royal Danish Theatre
- Premiere Night: Dinner with Danish VIPs and special guests
- Private Intermission Refreshments with Director General, Artistic Director and Production Team
- Post-performance reception
- Seminar or Workshop with Cultural Expert or Critic on upcoming production/ performance
- Periodic AFRDB Dedicated Tours
- Airport pick-up
- Welcome Package
- Guided tours in English of Copenhagen including royal heritage sites
- VIP Hotel arrangements
- Visit with RDB Artistic Director and Executive Director
- Visit with Royal Danish Ballet School Director
- Dinner Arrangements at Copenhagen’s hottest restaurants
- Guided Tours of world famous Danish companies and production facilities
- Access to cultural exhibitions and programs in progress at time of tour
- Personal shopping assistance
- Advance Invitations to AFRDB U.S. events
- Receipt of annual souvenir book and new production catalogues
- Annual written recap of the Royal Danish Ballet artistic and administrative highlights
- Broadcast Email Alerts of Royal Danish Ballet appearances, productions and news
- Receipt of updated Royal Danish Ballet headshot book
- Unique AFRDB apparel item
- Access to AFRDB-dedicated website
American Friends of the Royal Danish Ballet is a 501(c)3 organization. For more information on giving opportunities, please call Carol Landers at 201-489-7472.
Copyright © 2011, The American Friends of the Royal Danish Ballet. All rights reserved.