HCA NEWS Eight British HC Ambassadors appointed

HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark appoints eight British Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors at a major presentation in London of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 bicentennial celebrations.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 15 September 2004

Today, the world-wide celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen in 2005 was presented at a major press conference at the British Library. The press conference was presided over by HRH Crown Prince Frederik and HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. The conference was hosted by the Royal Danish Embassy in London and the British Library in association with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

At the press conference, HRH Crown Prince Frederik appointed eight British public figures as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors.

The Ambassadors are: actress and model Elizabeth Hurley, TV host Sir David Frost, actor Sir Derek Jacobi, children's book author Michael Morpurgo, author Dame Antonia S. Byatt, TV host and comedian Sandi Toksvig, writer Jackie Wullschlager, and actor Sir Roger Moore.

They are all to contribute to the wider appreciation and awareness of Hans Christian Andersen in Britain and the rest of the world. Furthermore, the Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors will represent the humanitarian foundation, the HCA-abc Foundation, which has been established in the name of Hans Christian Andersen to address illiteracy world-wide.

Secretary General Lars Seeberg, of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, states:
"In 2005, Hans Christian Andersen's native country, Denmark, will celebrate its national poet - Andersen - with a wide variety of events within the arts and culture, education and tourism. Yet we regard Andersen as more than a son of Denmark. Therefore, we have invited the world to contribute with new artistic renditions of the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen, and our invitation has been well received, also in Britain. It is my hope that many in Britain will rediscover the Andersen they thought they knew so well."

British Hans Christian Andersen projects endorsed by the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation

The British Library
The British Library presents a special Hans Christian Andersen exhibition entitled: "Fairytale Childhoods - Hans Christian Andersen in Victorian Britain". Apart from celebrating Hans Christian Andersen's contribution to children's literature, the exhibition focuses on the British reception of Hans Christian Andersen and his influence on the Victorian notion of childhood.

Tiger Lilies
In 2005, the successful British cabaret trio Tiger Lilies will stage Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale The Little Girl with the Matches. The aim of the show is to create a visual guide, where the little match girl leads the audience through the story. The show will be set within a Victorian atmosphere, with a cast consisting of dancers, a brass band and the Tiger Lillies.

Arc Dance
Inspired by three of Hans Christian Andersen's stories, the Danish-British choreographer Kim Brandstup and his dance company, Arc Dance, will present a modern dance performance, The Anatomy of a Storyteller. The performance will revolve around themes that are central to Andersen's oeuvre and feature a virtual landscape of textual and rhythmic transformations represented by a series of projections that have been created and filmed by the esteemed animators the Quay Brothers.

Deborah Warner and Fiona Shaw
Deborah Warner belongs to the absolute first division of theatre directors with her numerous and highly acclaimed interpretations of classical plays as well as her more experimental theatre projects. Often in collaboration with the outstanding Irish actress, Fiona Shaw, holder of four Laurence Olivier Awards. By presenting a selection of Andersen's tales, Warner and Shaw seek to create a more contemporary and experimental theatre experience for children.

The Penguin Press
During the autumn of 2004, the Penguin Press will in association with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation publish a new translation of 30 of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales. The fairytales have been selected by Jackie Wullschlager and translated from Danish by Tiina Nunnally. Hans Christian Andersen's own paper cuts will illustrate the publication.

Symphonic Fairytales
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra participates in the world-wide Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary project "Symphonic Fairytales". Leading symphony orchestras around the world will perform 10 new compositions by Danish composers who all draw inspiration from a fairytale or poem by Hans Christian Andersen. On April 2nd and 3rd 2005, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will perform Danish composer Per Nørgaard's "The Will-o'-the-Wisps are in Town" based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale by the same title.

The Barbican
One of today's most celebrated theatre directors and actors, the Canadian Robert Lepage, will present a solo performance inspired by the life of Hans Christian Andersen and his fairytale The Dryad. The performance will take place in February 2006 at the Barbican, who is co-producing the performance in collaboration with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

The Flying Trunk
In association with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, the Danish Tourist Board in London presents The Flying Trunk, a Hans Christian Andersen educational resource to be presented to all school classes of 11-year-old children in Britain and the Republic of Ireland. The trunk will contain fairytale books, films, paper cuts, and general information on Denmark. The trunk will also feature a competition hosted in association with The Guardian.

Hans Christian Andersen in Schools
In association with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, the Danish Centre for Children's Literature has produced inspiring educational resources on Hans Christian Andersen for schoolteachers educating children in the age group of 6-16 years. The resource material is available in numerous languages, of which the English version is already published on the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 official website hca2005.com. All resources are available free of charge.