Emma Riis-Kofoed

Emma Riis-Kofoed

Principal Dancer

Born: 1998


Education: The Royal Danish Ballet School, 2006-14

Career: Joined the Royal Danish Ballet as an apprentice in 2014, became a member of the corps de ballet in 2017 and was promoted to soloist in 2020 and principal dancer in 2022.

Highlights from the repertoire of the Royal Danish Ballet: The pas de deux from The Flower Festival in Genzano, the pas de six from Napoli and the pas de sept from A Folk Tale (August Bournonville). Myrtha in Giselle (Silja Schandorff and Nikolaj Hübbe), ant the ballerina in Etudes and Dvorak Pas de Deux (Harald Lander). The main couple in Ballo della Regina and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker (George Balanchine). Prudence in Lady of the Camellias (John Neumeier), Symphony of Psalms (Jiří Kylián) and Autumn Fairy in Cinderella (Gregory Dean) 

Creations: Songs Without Words and Code (Nathan Compiano), corps de ballet in Queen of Spades (Liam Scarlett), Autumn Fairy in i Cinderella (Gregory Dean), and The Rest of the Best (Sebastian Kloborg). Works created for the apprentices by Adam Lüders, Sebastian Kloborg, Alessandro Sousa Pereira, Tim Rushton and Lotte Sigh

Other: Tour withSoloists and Principals of the Royal Danish Ballet” in Mongolia, 2019, ”The Bournonville Legacy”, Joyce Theatre, New York, 2019, Erik Bruhn Prize Competition, 2019, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, 2018,Abdallah, Gala des Ècoles du XXIe siècle à l’Opéra de Paris, 2017, Assemblée Internationale, Toronto, 2017 and 2013, and Youth American Grand Prix Finals, New York, 2016. On the Front Row, documentary,DR3, 2017 

Awards and grants: Albert Gaubier’s Travel Grant, 2019, Ole Nørlyng’s Talent Prize, 2019, Roager’s Foundation’s Talent Prize, 2017, and Nationalbanken’s Talent Prize, 2015


What was the first ballet you saw?
It was The Nutcracker at the Old Stage, and I was probably 6 years old. Actually, it was what made me start dancing ballet! I wanted to be on the stage, and I kept asking my mom: “How did those kids get on stage?”

Why do you dance?
I dance, because I have to. It is a part of me and has always been a part of me for as long as I remember. Whenever I have time off I get grumpy, restless and bored and I just simply miss dancing.

Why do you think that ballet is relevant today?
I think that like any other art form you can express something in ballet in a way that you are not able to in words. The body language is underestimated and interesting. And as much as I get to express myself through ballet, it allows people watching it to interpret it in their own way.

Read more about Emma Riis-Kofoed: 
Instagram: @emmariiskofoed
Facebook: @emma.riiskofoed