The Australian Ballet
PROJEKT MANAGER: David McAllister, Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet.

The Australian Ballet will take the stage at the Royal Theatre in 2005 with a guest performance of Wild Swans. Its creators - Meryl Tankard and Elena Kats-Chernin - are among the most innovative of Australian artists and have jointly interpreted Hans Christian Andersen's fascinating and heroic fairytale about Elisa and her eleven brothers.

The sets and costumes are inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's famous paper cut, and Elisa and her eleven brothers are by far not the only Hans Christian Andersen characters brought to life in the performance by the Australian Ballet. In Wild Swans talented actors and dancers alike make the characters come to life.

The performance is the result of a unique collaboration between the Australian Ballet and the Sydney Opera House where the performance has already proved a box-office hit.

Arc Dance Company
PROJECT MANAGER: Artistic Director Kim Brandstrup, Producer Katy Spicer, Arc Dance Company.

Kim Brandstrup has throughout his career worked along different narrative strategies with his dance performances. The dance performance titled The Anatomy of a Storyteller, to be performed at the Royal Theatre in 2005, will investigate the narrative mechanisms of the traditional folktale and demonstrate how Hans Christian Andersen reshaped the genres to create an ambiguous universe where irony, caricature and naivety are juxtaposed with Andersen's unique understanding of resignation, suffering and self-sacrifice.

The performance will be staged in a visual landscape of artificial, animated models constantly undergoing transformation both textually and rhythmically. The cinematically inspired sets will be designed by the brothers Quay. The performance will premiere in Devon in March 2004 and tour Britain before the international staging.

Flying Andersen
Performance in dialogue with artistic cultures of Chinese minority groups
Producers: China Central National Ethnic Singing and Dancing Group in collaboration with China Academy of Arts

Throughout the Chinese Mainland, various minority legends and old Chinese stories present an approach to human nature and the importance of poetry that are close to Andersen's universe.

"Flying Andersen" will stage a performance which reflects the similarities and distinct approaches of these two worlds and times by articulating them as dialogues between cultures. The performance will use the expressions of traditional minority arts, yet updated to a contemporary form so as to build a bridge that transcends regional characteristics onto a modern language.

The Little Mermaid. The Royal Danish Theatre / John Neumeier

One of the most eminent storytellers of dance, John Neumeier, will pay tribute to the Andersen bicentenary with a modern rendition of the classic fairytale about the Little Mermaid. The entire company of the Copenhagen-based Royal Danish Ballet will stage a full ballet production in Aarhus of The Little Mermaid created especially for the company by John Neumeier, who will not only direct and choreograph the ballet but also create the set and costume design. Such a performance has been the dream of the Royal Danish Ballet for years. The music will be composed by Linda Auerbach.

The performance has been created on a scale suited to the Copenhagen Opera House, where it will premiere on 15 April 2005.

In 1973, the American-born choreographer John Neumeier (born 1942) became Artistic Director of the Hamburg Ballet, which soon became one of the principal companies in Germany with international recognition to match. Prior to this, he was Artistic Director of Ballett Frankfurt where he caused sensation with his new renditions of classics such as The Nut Cracker and Romeo and Juliet.

Life is no Fairytale. Johann Kresnik
The title is a critical paraphrase of Hans Christian Andersen's own biography, The Fairy Tale of my Life. Was his life really a fairytale? What about the nightmares that haunted the storyteller? What about the anxiety which almost had the better of him?

Johann Kresnik is one of the leading choreographers in Germany. Among his famous dance performances, which all portray great personalities, Kresnik now turns to the dark side of Hans Christian Andersen's life. The style he adopts is 'choreographic theatre', which interprets Andersen and his recurrent attacks of phobia as abstract figments of mind.

Johan Kresnik was born in Austria in 1939. Following an extensive career as dancer he started to choreograph in the late 1960s. Up though the 1990s he was the Artistic Director of the Academy of Dance at the prestigious Volksbühne in Berlin. He has formerly created choreographic portraits of as different artists as Frida Kahlo, Leni Riefenstahl, Goya, and Picasso and of Rote Arme Fraktion member Ulrike Meinhof. His Francis Bacon performance was staged during the Aarhus Festival in 1994.

Kresnik and his company have been the resident company at the theatre in Bonn since 2003 where the Andersen performance will premiere in November 2005.

History of Tears. Jan Fabre
The Belgian multi-talented artist Jan Fabre has created a performance entitled History of Tears, which is the second part of Fabre's trilogy that seeks to uncover the mystery of man and his body. The modern dance performance centres on the many tears that feature in Andersen's fairytales. The performance will be staged in Aarhus shortly after it has premiered at the prestigious Cour d'Honneur at the Papal Palace in Avignon where it will feature as one of the highlights of the city's annual festival, which is the most prestigious festival in France.

Jan Fabre was born in Antwerp in 1958 and was one of the major stars of the performing arts during the 1990s. Although he chooses not to define himself as a choreographer his performances focus on the body as an expressive media. His performances draw on a wide range of artistic genres - among them dance, spoken drama, and visual art. The result is choreographed and highly visual and dynamic performances.