Tue Apr 3 2007
It's not exactly typical, especially in classical ballet, that the right person gets the job. Nikokaj Hbbe, the excellent principal of New York City Ballet, will return to Copenhagen to take over as artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet from Frank Andersen in the summer of 2008. For Hbbe, who was up for the job a few years ago, but didn't get it—a documentary by Ulrik Wivel records the scene in which he learns of the rejection via his answering machine—this is excellent news (and probably a relief—he can finally quit dancing). But the daring Hbbe will be missed onstage, where his incredible performances, whether he was out of shape or not, transformed ballets with vibrancy and force. As Prince Desir in NYCB's The Sleeping Beauty last winter, he was usually more riveting than Aurora.