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Elsa-Marianne Von Rosen

(b. 1924)


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(b Stockholm, 21 Apr. 1924)

Swedish dancer, choreographer, teacher, and ballet director. She studied with various teachers and at the Royal Danish Ballet School, making her debut in independent dance recitals. She was a soloist at the Oscarteatern, Stockholm, between 1947 and 1950 and also danced with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1948. A dancer of wide-ranging style, she was a charmingly girlish Aurora as well as an interpreter of complex psychological characters (she created the title roles in Cullberg's Miss Julie (1950) and Medea (1951). She was principal with the Royal Swedish Ballet (1951–9) where she danced some of the standard ballerina roles as well as creating roles in several ballets including Skeaping's Cupid Out of his Humour (1956). In 1960 she and her husband, the Danish ballet critic, designer, and director Allan Fridericia (1921–91), founded the Scandinavian Ballet which featured a number of Rosen's own ballets as well as her stagings of Bournonville works, such as La Sylphide (1960), which she revived for several other companies including Ballet Rambert (1960), Washington Ballet (1969), and Kirov Ballet (1975). During the 1960s she also worked around the world as a freelance ballerina, choreographer, and, with Fridericia, producer of Bournonville. Her own works from this period include Teenagers (mus. Bach, Scandinavian Ballet, Kalmar, 1961), Jenny von Westphalen (mus. Bentzon, Scandinavian Ballet, Århus, 1965), Don Juan (mus. Gluck, Royal Danish Ballet, Copenhagen, 1967), and Romeo and Juliet (mus. Prokofiev, Gothenburg Ballet, Gothenburg, 1972). She was appointed director of the Gothenburg Ballet (1970–6), and subsequently of the Malmö Ballet (1980–7), after which she continued to stage productions of the classic repertory around the world. Most have been ballets by Bournonville, including Napoli (Act III) for Berlin Opera Ballet (1987) and The Lay of Thrym for Royal Danish Ballet, Copenhagen (1990) but she has also staged productions of Galeotti's The Whims of Cupid and the Ballet Master and of Swan Lake. She opened her own school in Copenhagen where she taught. She was recipient of the Carina Ari Medal in 1962.


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