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Royal Danish Ballet will live stream and tweet weekend's Guggenheim performances

March 18, 2011 |  9:00 am

Sylfiden_8_prt.ashx Can’t wait for the Royal Danish Ballet’s return to Southern California after a 16-year absence? This weekend you can watch a 90-minute preview online.

Before the company embarks on a cross-country tour that includes six performances at Segerstrom Center for the Arts (May 24–29), the company is offering a repertory sampler in New York on Sunday and Monday. Seats at the snug little theater where the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process event takes place sold out quickly, but both evenings will be livestreamed at www.ustream.tv/channel/worksandprocess (or on the link below).

Ten RDB principals and soloists will perform excerpts from ballets by August Bournonville, the celebrated 19th century Danish choreographer whose works have given the company its singular profile and continue to anchor its repertory –- and dominate the tour programming. The dancers will also venture into contemporary territory in “Lost on Slow” by Jorma Elo, the Finnish choreographer whose works are hot properties among ballet companies these days. (The full work is part of the Nordic Choreographers program scheduled for Segerstrom.)

Artistic Director Nikolaj Hubbe will discuss the ballets during the evening, in conversation with John Meehan (former American Ballet Theatre principal and director of several companies, now professor of dance at Vassar College). Having trained at the RDB School and emerged as a stellar Bournonville dancer with the company, Hubbe is familiar with the distinctive charms and challenges of the choreographer’s works, which juxtapose mime with buoyant, intricate steps. After 16 years as a leading dancer with New York City Ballet, Hubbe returned to his home company in 2008, and has already staged several new productions of Bournonville ballets, including “Napoli,” which will be seen in Orange County.

The Works & Process evening includes excerpts from “Napoli” and “La Sylphide” -– the one Bournonville work that has entered the international repertory -– and the celebratory Pas de Sept from “Folk Tale.” The dancers will also perform  “Jockey Dance,” a witty character sketch for two men, and a portion of “Bournonville Variations,” which theatricalizes the codified classes through which the choreographer developed his dancers' technique and will be seen in full on the Nordic Choreographers program.

Online viewers can join the conversation on Twitter @worksandprocess and #RDB. On Sunday Ashley Bouder, New York City Ballet principal dancer, will host the livestream Twitter chat on @ashleybouder; on Monday, Candice Thompson of the Winger and DIY Dancer will chat via @diydancer.

---Susan Reiter

Photo: Gudrun Bojesen in “La Sylphide.” Credit: Martin Mydtskov Rønne

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