Pour la « Soirée de Ballet » organisée pour ses danseurs et leur public, Nikolaj Hübbe avait invité un de ses anciens collègues au Ballet royal du Danemark: Johan Kobborg, danseur étoile au Ballet Royal de Londres. Johan Kobborg, qui est aussi chorégraphe, a présenté une de ses anciennes œuvres, Les Lutins, et en a créé une nouvelle, Salute. Les Lutins et Salute, deux œuvres ludiques et gaies, d’une tonalité très bournonvillienne, faisaient compagnie à deux autres ballets: Le Conservatoire d’Auguste Bournonville et Etudes d’Harald Lander.
Shelby Elsbree, membre du corps de ballet, parle de sa propre expérience avec Johan Kobborg et Alumnus, en salle et sur scène.
Creating Characters… A dancer’s journey through ‘Alumnus’
by Shelby Elsbree
This Spring I had the privilege of working with Royal Danish Ballet alumni and current Principal with the Royal Ballet of London, Johan Kobborg. Johan choreographed two ballets that would be part of our final program of the season here in Copenhagen, An Evening of Ballet. Together entitled Alumnus, his works included Les Lutins, a tour-de force pas de trois accompanied by a violin virtuoso, and a brand new ballet called Salute. Both pieces, however original, were a brilliant collaboration of traditional Bournonville style, influenced by the evolution of ballet at its best.
Les Lutins, previously choreographed on dancers from the Royal Ballet of London, is perhaps the most fun experience I’ve ever had on stage—A short but powerful exposition of technical mastery by two male dancers, encouraged by the brilliant accompaniment of a violinist, who shares the stage. The female lead in this ballet is awe-struck by the timing and talent of her suitors, but to their dismay, is won over in the end by the charming musician.
Salute tells an entertaining story of helplessly flirty women and their pursuit of war-distressed soldiers. What I love about this ballet, besides the comical choreography and engaging music, are the personalities that each dancer originates and evolves. It is so fun to see the roles being interpreted by different dancers, and to play off of the energy and atmosphere created by each cast.
Working with Johan on these ballets was completely humbling. His particular eye for details, wit and subtle humor helped us to develop the roles he created, and encouraged us to make them our own. I feel honored to have been a part of this creative experience from start to finish…After months of hard work and amusement, I am relishing in the opportunity to express my gratitude and appreciation with each performance.