A Brief History of a Remarkable Relationship
In January 2007, Ballet Chicago Artistic Director Daniel Duell began guest teaching at his alma mater, The School of American Ballet. Having attended the school under the great Danish teacher Stanley Williams, and then having danced with the New York City Ballet for fifteen years (under the direction of Balanchine himself for ten of those years), it was a natural fit for Mr. Duell to share his knowledge with SAB’s aspiring advanced dancers. As was tradition, NYCB company dancers often took advanced school classes, and it was after one of
Duell’s Advanced Men’s classes that, Nikolaj Hübbe, an exceptional principal artist with the company, expressed to Duell quite emotionally that the class had “made his year.”
An already deep respect between the two men became a stronger bond.
In 2008, Mr. Hübbe returned to his native Denmark to become the Royal Danish Ballet’s Artistic Director. In 2011, he invited Duell to come to Copenhagen to teach company classes and to assist with the adjudication of advanced dancers from the school, and invited him back in 2012 to teach the company in advance of Royal Danish Ballet’s United States tour performing a Balanchine/Stravinsky Program.
Soon after, an Exchange Program between Ballet Chicago and the Royal Danish Ballet School was born. Students from both schools engaged in intensive training for 6-8 weeks at a time, providing a true exchange of experiences artistically and culturally.
Fast forward to today!
In June, an exciting new facet of this artistic relationship will take place. Ballet Chicago Studio Company members and dancers from the Royal Danish Ballet School’s Kompagni B will join together for 10 days of rehearsals, performances, and Master Classes throughout
Chicago. Planning for the project began in June 2018, and we are deeply thrilled to share this wonderful collaboration with the City of Chicago and the full Chicago dance community.