ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, American ballet, tradition


In an age that saw almost the total eclipse of the male in ballet, August Bournonville (1806-1879), a first-rate dancer, was determined to keep his equality with the ballerina. But he went beyond equality. At the Royal Danish Ballet, where he became a dancer-ballet master-choreographer in 1829, he created an amazing number of works that established the male position in Danish ballet. On the whole, there are now more good roles for male dancers in the Danish repertory than in any other. And the Danish male dancer has moved on from his position of ascendancy at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen to prominence throughout the world. Except for Soviet defectors like Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Alexander Godounov, no stars are more in demand internationally.