Flemming Flindt


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(b Copenhagen, 30 Jun. 1936; d Sarasota, Florida 3 Mar. 2009)

Danish dancer, choreographer, and director. He studied at the Royal Danish Ballet and Paris Opera Schools, graduating into the RDB in 1955 as a soloist (principal). He rapidly developed a career as an international guest artist performing with many companies including London Festival Ballet (1955), Ballet Rambert (1960), Royal Ballet (1963), and Bolshoi Ballet (1968). In 1961 he was made an étoile at the Paris Opera. A dancer who excelled in the standard classics and Bournonville repertory he was also admired in modern works, for example those of Lander, Cullberg, and Petit, and when he was artistic director of RDB (1966–78) he brought in work by many modern choreographers including Taylor, Robbins, Tetley, and Field. He choreographed his first ballet, The Lesson (mus. Delerue), in 1963. This adaptation of Ionesco's La Leçon was specially made for Danish television and later adapted for the stage, premiered by RDB, Paris, 1964. His many other works for the company include The Miraculous Mandarin (mus. Bartók, 1967), The Triumph of Death, a television ballet in which the whole cast controversially danced naked (mus. Koppel, 1971, staged RDB, 1972), The Nutcracker (mus. Tchaikovsky, 1971), Jeux (mus. Debussy, 1973), and Dreamland (mus. Koppel, 1974). Flindt introduced a new public to dance although he was criticized for threatening the purity of the Danish style and for the flamboyance of his Bournonville stagings and in 1978 he resigned to form his own company, for which he choreographed Salome (mus. P. M. Davies, 1978). In 1981 he was appointed director of the Dallas Ballet and from 1989 worked freelance, reviving some of his past ballets as well as creating new ones. He additionally formed a close connection to Cleveland Ballet (now Ballet San Jose), for which he created several works including Phaedre (mus. Glass, 1987). He returned to RDB to create Caroline Mathilde (mus. P. M. Davies, 1991) and Legs of Fire (mus. E. Norby, 1998) and remained active, staging his ballets until shortly before his death. He was made Knight of Dannebrog in 1974 and awarded the Carina Ari Medal in 1975. He was married to the dancer Vivi Gelker (see Flindt, Vivi)

Subjects: Dance.

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