The Royal Danish Ballet

The Royal Danish Ballet

About The Royal Danish Ballet

The Royal Danish Ballet is one of world's best renowned ballet-companies. It was founded in 1748 at Kongens Nytorv where it is still located today. The company is led by artistic director, Nikolaj Hübbe. The core of the The Royal Danish Ballet is the Bournonville-tradition, named after August Bournonville who led the company in the 1830's.

Today The Royal Danish Ballet is a modern ballet-company with both Danish and international dancers


The Artistic Director
Nikolaj Hübbe has been the Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Ballet since July 2008.

Mr. Hübbe began his ballet studies at age 10 and is a graduate of the Royal Theatre Ballet School. Accepted into the Royal Danish Ballet in 1984 he was named a Principal Dancer in 1988. In 1986, he won the Silver Medal in the Paris Ballet Competition and the French Critics Prize. 

In 1992, he was invited to join New York City Ballet as a Principal Dancer and throughout the years was hailed for his virtuosity in the Bournonville, traditional and neo-classical repertory. During his career, Mr. Hübbe has performed, taught and staged works for companies the world over. He gave his last performance with NYCB in February 2008 and his farewell appearance as a dancer in Copenhagen that April.

Principal dancers


Character dancers

Corps de ballet

Corpus - A Dance Laboratory inside the Royal Danish Ballet

An experiment in which dance is explored, changed, renewed and pushed to challenge its audience.

The performances  ”I Føling - En Krigsballet”, “We're Not Waving We're Drowning” and “Interregnum”  has solidified Corpus' identity as an experimenting, creative initiative in Danish ballet.

Corpus is a dance company within the Royal Danish Ballet company and was started in 12/13. It is led by the Royal Danish Ballet dancers Esther Lee Wilkinson and Tim Matiakis. All dancers in Corpus shows and events are members of the Royal Danish Ballet and are specifically chosen for each individual production

Corpus perfomances take place on the big stages. On the small stages. In the foyers. In the city. 

You can read more about Corpus on

Bikubenfonden supports Eventministeriet & Corpus.

History of The Royal Danish Ballet

August Bournonville (1805-1879) is the calling card of The Royal Danish Ballet. He was born in Copenhagen and educated in the best French and Italian dancing traditions by his father, a French dancer, and the Italian, Vincenzo Galeotti, who was ballet master in Copenhagen from 1775 – 1816.

Bournonville became an elegant demi-caractére dancer, small and light with a beautiful jump and a great facility for mime. During the 1820’s he continued his training in Paris, the 19th century center for ballet, performed at the Paris Opera and later brought the refinement and grace of the French style back to Denmark. While this style later disappeared in France, it was preserved in Copenhagen.

Bournonville created a tradition for Danish male dancing of the highest virtuosity raising the Royal Danish Ballet to an international level of ability while giving it the unique national quality which remains to this day its distinctive characteristic.

With a few interruptions – in Vienna and Stockholm - Bournonville was ballet master in Copenhagen from 1830 – 1877. He staged nearly 50 ballets and numerous divertissements. Many of his works are still performed in a tradition that remains unbroken to this day. Thus, the Royal Danish Ballet possesses a greater number of ballets from the Romantic period than any other ballet company in the world. Among these are La Sylphide (1836), Napoli (1842), Le Conservatoire (1849), A Folk Tale (1854) and the pas de deux from The Flower Festival in Genzano (1854)

With a firm foundation in the Danish cultural tradition of the period – the Danish Romanticism – Bournonville maintained that art should be positive; its purpose was to elevate us and to make us into harmonious beings. This harmony is to be found not only in the stories and the happy endings of his ballets, but also in his style of beautiful proportions and delicate musical timing.

The Ballet School of The Royal Danish Ballet goes back to 1771 and is together with the School of the Paris Opera and the Ballet School in St. Petersburg among the oldest in the world.

From this school a great number of famous dancers have emerged. Many achieved international recognition like Lucile Grahn, who was the first to dance Bournovnille’s La Sylphide, Toni Lander, Erik Bruhn, Henning Kronstam, Flemming Flindt, Niels Kehlet, Peter Martins, Peter Schaufuss, Adam Lüders, Ib Andersen, Nilas Martins, Johan Kobborg, Nikolaj Hübbe, Kenneth Greve, Thomas Lund and many others.

The Royal Danish Ballet, however, does not dwell in the past. During the 20th Century, it evolved into a modern company performing the work of Danish choreographers Harald Lander (Etudes, 1948) and Flemming Flindt (The Lesson, 1963); but also important international choreographers. After the Paris Opera Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet has the greatest number of Balanchine ballets in its repertoire in Europe. In addition, ballets by important choreographers of the day are danced by the Royal Danish Ballet including Jiri Kylian and John Neumeier as well as the young choreographers Tim Rushton, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon. A speciality of the Royal Danish Ballet remains its highly prized story-telling ballets in continuation of the Bournonville tradition.

Adding to this the fact that the company also performs the great classics -- Giselle, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty - it goes without saying that few other companies in the world can meet as many stylistic demands as the Royal Danish Ballet.


Administrative Director - Søren Normann Hansen
PA to the Artistic Director - Annette Monrad
Financial Controller - Brendan Hayes
Producers - Susanne Ørskov, Jens Lange
Planning - Camilla Melander
Stage Managers - Ole Just, Michelle Steen Nielsen
Secretary - Boriana Nielsen
Programme Editor - Lise Kaiser
PR-Manager - Anna-Katarina (NaNa) Gravgaard | 61708494 |
Shoe Department - Henriette Brøndsholm
Physical therapists - Karen Bonnesen, Lærke Friis Hansen
Massage - Toni Tanil
Company Doctor - Henrik Aagaard
Sports Psychologist - Jørn Ravnholt
Pilates - Claire Ratcliffe

General contact for the ballet:

The Company Teachers 

Adam Lüders - Danish, Company Teacher: 1995
Anne Marie Vessel Schlüter - Danish, Ballet Master: 1989
Claire Still English, Ballet Master and Company Teacher: 2009
Jean-Lucien Massot - French, /Ballet Master and Company Teacher: 2012
Mogens Boesen - Danish, Company Teacher: 2008
Nikolaj Hübbe - Danish, Ballet Master and Company Teacher: 2008
Sorella Englund - Finnish, Ballet Master: 2008
Thomas Lund - Danish, Ballet Master and Company Teacher: 2008


At the moment the Royal Danish Ballet has no open auditions. All requests regarding auditions should be made to

An applicant would be required to submit the following material only:

  • a video with no introduction or fancy editing, consisting of the following performed in leotard and tights for women and  tight fitting dance attire for men:

    • a short classical variation drawn from the standard repertoire, danced in pointe shoes by female applicants
    • a short contemporary variation (that could consist of something drawn from repertoire, phrases from classwork or an applicant-created work) that illustrates the applicant’s command of a range of movement different from that demonstrated  in the classical variation
    • 3-5 minutes of barre work, incorporating both sides,  danced in soft shoes by male applicants and pointe shoes by  female applicants
    • 3-5 minutes of center work that includes adagio, pirouettes, petit and grand allegro, danced  in pointe shoes by female applicants
  • a CV
  • a head shot
  • 2-3 dance photos that reveal the dancer’s body proportions and line

We follow the IAP guidelines for auditions, see more at: