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Meet The Artists

Biography

Erik Bruhn

premier danseur noble / guest artist / National Ballet of Canada

(1928-1986)

Erik Bruhn was a rare premier danseur noble (a leading male dancer). Born in Denmark, he studied the style of ballet developed by August Bournonville and joined the Royal Danish Ballet in 1947.

Early in his career, Bruhn was in demand as a guest artist with ballet companies around the world. He was particularly noted for his refined, stellar technique and his perceptive interpretations of roles such as Albrecht in Giselle and James in La Sylphide. He was also a gifted actor and later in his career he performed character roles, including Dr. Coppelius in Coppélia .

In addition to his success as a dancer, Bruhn directed the Royal Swedish Ballet from 1967 until 1971. He also had a long association with the National Ballet of Canada. For three years beginning in 1973, he was the resident producer for the company, staging several ballets from the classical repertoire. In 1983, he was appointed artistic director and held the position until his death in 1986.

Throughout his life, Bruhn received many prestigious awards, including a Diplôme d'Honneur from the Canadian Conference of the Arts in 1964.

Websites:

National Ballet of Canada

Learn more:

Bruhn, Erik and Lillian Moore. Bournonville and Ballet Technique. [1961] Brooklyn, NY: Dance Horizons, 1973.

Gruen, John. Erik Bruhn, Danseur Noble. New York: Viking Press, 1979.

Gruen, John. Erik Bruhn, Danseur Noble. New York: Viking Press, 1979.