Education: The Royal Danish Ballet School
Career: Joined the Royal Danish Ballet as an apprentice in 2010, became a member of the corps de ballet in 2012 and was promoted to soloist in 2019 and to Principal Dancer i 2022.
Highlights from the repertoire with the Royal Danish Ballet: Teresina in August Bournonville’s Napoli, Red Lady in Jiří Kylián’s 27’52’’ and ensemble in Akram Khan’s Vertical Road
What was the first ballet you saw?
Why did you start dancing?
When I was in 3rd or 4th grade, I saw The Nutcracker in Tivoli. I was at Odense Ballet School at that time, and we had gone all the way to Copenhagen to watch the show. I remember that the Grand Pas de Deux moved me so much, that I thought that I wanted to do the same – move people emotionally from one place to another. From that day on I danced ballet! Before that it was just pastime.
What is so special about the Royal Danish Ballet?
The companionship in the company! A good example of this is when Kaledora Fontana (former member of the company)) during a performance of Etudes fell into the backdrop (butt up) in a fouetté. We were a few dancers on stage turning as well, so we did not see it, but we could hear the talking and hearty laughter in the wings. Once off stage, we were all just laughing our hearts out (her the most) and encouraging her. That incident really showed the company from its best side. We take our shows seriously, but we also know when to laugh at life!
What is your favorite step from class?
Waltz – I feel so free when I waltz.
Who is your favorite pointe shoe maker?
Freed of London: Q.
Who is your roomie at the theatre?
Isabella Rose Carroll.
What is your favorite food?
For some reason I just love cucumber.
What is your favorite holiday destination?
I love travelling. A few years ago I discovered that I really enjoy slow journeys with train. The Beijing-Lhasa train route was what peaked my interest, and since then I have inter-railed through Europe a lot. My biggest dream would be to do Central Asia with train. I am currently saving up, and doing research for that trip. The ultimate dream goal would be to take the trans-Siberian route east to China or Mongolia, and back again to Europe through China and Kazakhstan. Let us see what happens, but just thinking about it gets me all excited!
Do you have any hobbies?
I love taking care of my plants on my balcony.
Read more about Stephanie Chen Gundorph:
Productions in season 2022/23