The Royal Danish Ballet Foundation founded in 1994

Om Balletfonden –

Est. oktober 1994

About the Foundation

Promoting the art of ballet

The Royal Danish Ballet Foundation, an independent and private foundation, was established in 1994 by dancers in The Royal Danish Ballet at the intiative of Troels Rørbæk Askerud and Principal dancer of the Royal Danish Ballet, Peter Bo Bendixen. While seeking to promote the art of ballet, both at home and abroad, The Royal Danish Ballet Foundation aids professional ballet dancers in their careers and supports former dancers in pursuing new endeavours and further education inside or outside the world of ballet.

The Royal Danish Theatre has a long history of bringing classical ballet to center stage, dating back to its opening in 1748 at Kongens Nytorv, Copenhagen. Since then, many talented dancers have graced the stage. In 1771, The Royal Danish Ballet School was established as an institution in its own right, and became the third-oldest ballet company in Europa, only behind The Ballet School of the Opéra de Paris and The Ballet School at Mariinskij Theatre, St. Petersburg.

Although The Royal Danish Ballet has had different Artistic Directors throughout the years, tradition has always provided continuity to the generations of ballet dancers that have grown up on stage, and made their mark as professional dancers, at The Royal Danish Theatre.

In 1992, the retirement age for Danish ballet dancers was reduced from 48 to 40. This was a welcomed change as the reduced retirement age brought about a better alignment of a dancer’s physical capacity.  But however welcome, it left highly competent dancers with an all too familiar problem: a shortage of job possibilities within the ballet community.

Despite being seasoned dancers with potential to become great ballet teachers, instructors, or choreographs, job options were limited. Subsequently many found careers outside the world of ballet, never to return again.

It became painfully obvious that in order to secure job possibilities, something had to be done and that such effort should be championed by insiders in the know of the workings and need of the international ballet world. That became the jumping-off point for The Royal Danish Ballet Foundation.

On-going Projects

The Royal Danish Ballet Foundation supports innovative projects.

Besides ensuring further education and job possibilities for retired dancers, The Royal Danish Ballet Foundation is engaged in several projects, most notably ’Danish Wounded Warriors’ (DWW), a ground breaking initiative that supports wounded Danish war veterans in their rehabilitation training. Other projects include ’Cross Connections,’ a renowned choreography competition, and ’Positions,’ a series of performances created and performed by dancers from the Royal Danish Ballet. ‘Positions’ seeks to introduce ballet to a wider audience, while making way for fresh ideas and new choreography.

During the last two decades, The Royal Danish corps de ballet has grown significantly. However, in order to maintain its current position as one of the leading ballet companies in the world, it is crucial to promote The Royal Danish Ballet to a wider audience, both nationally and abroad, while making the most of resources at hand, and expanding the circle of children that are given an opportunity to become ballet dancers.

Ballet dancers retire at the age of 40, making it essential to secure job possibilities, which allow their talents to shine, at every stage in life.

// The Royal Danish Ballet Foundation

Members of the Board

Maintaining the high quality level of The Royal Danish Ballet

The Royal Danish Ballet Foundation seeks to provide continuity and maintain the high quality level of The Royal Danish Ballet – and Danish dance community, in general – by keeping professional dancers up-to-date with trends abroad, and encouraging them to take part in choreography, in the early stages of their career.

The foundation is governed by members of the board, which are elected every four years.

Troels Askerud
Lawyer, Chairman and Co-founder of The Royal Danish Ballet Foundation.

Fritz Schur
CEO. Consul General (Finland). Member of the Board.

Peter Bo Bendixen
Artistic Director, The Pantomime Theatre, Tivoli. Member of the Board.

Christian Hammeken
Royal Danish Ballet dancer. Chairman, Foreningen Den Kongelige Ballet. Member of the Board.

Ulrik Birkkjaer
Royal Danish Ballet dancer. Member of the Board.

Sebastian Kloborg
Choreographer and former dancer at the Royal Danish Ballet. Member of the Board.

The Royal Danish Ballet Foundation aims to bring the art of ballet to a wider audience. Promoting and strengthening the industry is the bedrock of our foundation, so please feel free to contact us at anytime, whether you have questions, press inquires, or simply want to collaborate on initiatives that create improved job opportunities for former dancers.

//The Royal Danish Ballet Foundation