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Dinna Bjørn


Dinna Bjørn is one of the few distinguished Bournonville specialists in the ballet world of today.

After private studies with Edite Frandsen, former ballerina of The Riga Opera Ballet, she joined Royal Danish Ballet in 1964. In 1966 she had her soloist debut in the role of the young girl in Afternoon of a Faun by Jerome Robbins, and two years later she won the bronze medal and a special prize for artistic interpretation at The International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria, where she danced Bournonville´s Flower Festival in Genzano pas de deux, for the first time shown at a Ballet Competition.

Already in 1975 she started teaching Bournonville classes and giving lectures on Bournonville, and together with Frank Andersen she took the initiative, in 1976, to create the touring Bournonville Group Soloists of The Royal Danish Ballet. The group toured under their directorship worldwide with a Bournonville repertoire every summer until 1989.

In 1987 she left The Royal Danish Ballet to pursue a freelance career as Bournonville teacher ad producer, but accepted in 1990 to become artistic director of The Norwegian National Ballet in Oslo, a position she held for twelve years. From 1997 to 2000 she was also the Bournonville Consultant to The Royal Danish Ballet. In 2001 she was offered to become artistic director of The Finnish National Ballet in Helsinki, and stayed with that company until 2008.

Through the years, since 1987, Dinna Bjørn has been active staging Bournonville productions, arranging seminars and teaching Bournonville courses worldwide. She has staged La Sylphide for Bavarian State Ballet (Munich), Boston Ballet (Boston), Norwegian National Ballet (Oslo), Hong Kong Ballet (Hong Kong), Capitole Ballet (Toulouse), Universal Ballet (Seoul), Bulgarian State Ballet (Sofia), Het Nationale Ballet (Amsterdam), Paris Opera Ballet School (Paris), Grazer Landestheater Ballet (Graz), Royal Danish Ballet (Copenhagen), Ballet du Rhin (Mulhouse/Strasbourg), West Australian Ballet (Perth) and Ballet Nice Mediterrané (Nice). For the second Bournonville Festival in Copenhagen in 1992 she reproduced the whole second act of Napoli, and this version stayed in the repertoire of The Royal Danish Ballet until 2010.

In 1995 she collaborated with her father Niels Bjørn Larsen and Kirsten Ralov on the revival of the whole ballet Konservatoriet eller Et Avisfrieri, and in 2000 she directed a new production of Kermes in Bruges together with Anne Marie Vessel Schlüter. She also collaborated with Frank Andersen on the productions of Napoli in Helsinki and Moscow, and with the reconstruction of From Siberia to Moscow in Tbilisi in 2009. Lately she has been staging Le Conservatoire for The Ural Ballet in Yekaterinburg and for The Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, and she is now the Bournonville Consultant for the Vaganova Academy. Dinna Bjørn is also a choreographer, and she has created three works for the Royal Danish Ballet, and a very popular version of Nutcracker for the Norwegian National Ballet, still in the repertoire after 21 years.

Together with Her Majesty, the Danish Queen Margrethe II (as designer) Dinna Bjørn has created five Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale ballets at The Pantomime Theatre in Tivoli, in Copenhagen. Dinna Bjørn is the recipient of the Danish Order of Dannebrog, the Norwegian Order of Merit by King Harald and the Finnish Order of The White Rose.

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