Wednesday, June 1, 2011

La Sylphide

The Royal Danish Ballet opened a four-performance stay in the Bay Area last night at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall. The evening's centerpiece was La Sylphide, created for this company in 1836 by August Bournonville.

The spectacle on stage seemed closest in spirit to Joseph Cornell's boxes – the ones constructed as tributes to the Romantic ideal of dance.

Artistic director Nikolaj Hubbe grew up in this company. As a young dancer he was lured away to New York, but recently retired from American Ballet Theater and returned to Denmark with the mission of sustaining the special national tradition of "soft, clear, modest dancing."