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Everything dances, believe my word!

From March 16 to June 12, 2005

“Everything dances, believe my Word!”, wrote Hans Christian Andersen in Dance Song from 1832.

This was the time when Thorvaldsen was enjoying his period of greatness, August Bournonville was dancing across the stage of the Royal Danish Theatre, and the Copenhagen middle class was organising excursions for open-air dancing. People were interested in dancing as never before, and so Thorvaldsens Museum therefore mounted a special exhibition with its focus on dance as portrayed in Danish painting and sculpture from the period 1750-1850.

The occasion was the 200th anniversary of the birth of the ballet dancer and choreographer August Bournonville (1805-1879), and so ballet was a central feature of the exhibition. However, the dances for that time’s social occasions were also included: the polka, the waltz and the Roman folk dance the saltarello are all portrayed by artists like Thorvaldsen, Eckersberg, Marstrand etc. And Hans Christian Andersen, one of the others with a 200th birthday in 2005, added his contribution to the exhibition with selected collages.

With dance, painting and sculpture, the exhibition “Everything dances, believe my Word!” gave the public ample opportunity to go on a voyage of discovery in this region of the fascinating Danish Golden Age universe.

The exhibition was arranged by the Director of the Museum, Stig Miss, and the museum curator Torben Melander in collaboration with the ballet specialist Ole Nørlyng and it coincided with the 3rd Bournonville Festival at the Royal Danish Ballet.

The exhibition was shown in Fyns Kunstmuseum from 2 July to 31 October, 2005.

Alt dandser C.W. Eckersberg: Dancing Italian.
Belongs to Thomas le Claire, Hamburg.

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