The dancers at the Royal Danish Ballet do morning rehearsals six times a week, including Saturdays, and sometimes they open the doors to this sacred practise and let us have a look behind the scenes. It’s really interesting to get a tiny little glimpse of what goes into being in the shape they are in, and how they get ready for performing. They call it Brunch ‘n’ Ballet, and serve lunch boxes with sandwiches and croissants to accompany your morning coffee. Who doesn’t love that?
Photographing them from the side of the stage, in between their bags, ballet shoes and half eaten croissants was such a treat. I love to get as close as possible so I can really study how their muscles work, how incredibly focused they are, and all the little elements giving away how exhausting the exercises are. I remember hearing someone say that ballet dancers are the only athletes that have to make the incredible effort they put in look elegant and absolutely effortless. Imagine swimmers, runners or tennis players doing the same. Seeing them in a more relaxed setting, taking bites of their croissants in between exercises, and having a laugh is simply wonderful.
To see the rehearsal, with Nikolaj Hübbe’s instructions and corrections, is something quite different from the perfect image they paint when they are on stage. You get to see how hard they actually work, how they completely release after the tension of an exercise and how they respond to the corrections and the work that goes into the precision that is demanded of them.
After having started this photo series of the Royal Danish Ballet, a lot of the dancers have found themselves in my pictures on instagram, and I feel so grateful that they take an interest in my work. This whole ballet photography genre is so new to me, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to practice it in this wonderful environment with these incredibly talented dancers. I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming this whole thing. I hope you’re all having inspiring mornings, I almost can’t believe that I’m spending my Monday mornings editing pictures of gorgeous dancers. I have never had a busier schedule, but I feel happy, not stressed. Incredibly wonderful things seem to constantly draw me in, and I’m trying to just relax and go with it. My inner control freak is screaming, but constantly pushing my boundaries and letting go of control seems to lead me to where I’m supposed to be.
Ps: They're presenting Brunch 'n' Ballet two more times this season and you can get all the information you need right here.