From early on in his career, Kim Brandstrup's combination of musical and visual sensibilities and instinctive feel for story led to commissions from leading ballet companies. He has created a number of short and full length ballets, all taking advantage of the physical potential of the classical technique, of the dancers’ virtuosity and inherent musicality, and their ability to inhabit living characters in narrative landscapes.
Kim Brandstrup works with some of the foremost ballet dancers of his generation, including Leanne Benjamin, Alina Cojocaru, Zenaida Yanowsky, Tamara Rojo, Carlos Acosta, Johan Kobborg, Irek Mukhamedov and Edward Watson. Close collaboration and sensitivity to each dancer's individuality have led to performances of physical power and dramatic focus, in pieces where subtle intimacy and emotional presence pervade.
Kim Brandstrup’s work has been commissioned by The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden; the Royal Danish Ballet; Les Grands Ballets Canadiens; and English National Ballet, among others.
The Royal Danish Ballet
The Royal Danish Theatre, København, 28th May 2016
''It is an enchanting, beautiful and evocative intersection between dance, text and music choreographer Kim Brandstrup has created in his new and very original staged work''
Vibele Wern, Berlingske Tidende
Rambert Dance Company
Sadlers Wells Theatre, 3 November 2015
"Brandstrup romps away with full honours. His Transfigured Night is a haunting, emotionally piercing masterpiece, one of the finest that this outstanding choreographer has ever made, the reward of maturity".
Ismene Brown, The Spectator
New York City Ballet
David H Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC, Thursday, October 8 2015
'If you could imagine a Bergman film turned into a ballet, or a story ballet that does not have to choose between being literal and being musical, or a ballet that brings you inside the mind of a confused, lost young woman, Brandstrup’s Jeux would be it.'
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden , 5 September 2014
"Kim Brandstrup’s masterly Leda and The Swan, which mingles Yeats’s poetry (read by Fiona Shaw) has the texture and heft of proper film-making. Zenaida Yanowsky and Tommy Franzen are transfixing."
The Danish Dance Theatre
Rhapsody - The Danish Dance Theatre creates a moving picture of todays lonelyness, dreams and desires. The use of music as sources are in common for both works. A free, floading and contrast rhapsody about beeing a human being. The danse performance “Rhapsody” is like a symphonic poem, where dancing and classic operas describe the price of passion. As modern human beings we search for perfection. We want to be respected, liked and desired – beautiful and active persons with succes in all facets of life.
Film Release, 2013
Crystal Ballet’s Genesis is a new work split into four movements danced by four amazing couples and choreographed by two leading choreographers. The first movement Spring represents the start of life and the initial interactions between two young lovers. This has been choreographed by the award winning Kim Brandstrup and is danced by the ballet stars Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae.
"Kim Brandstrup’s new Ceremony of Innocence is the highlight of the Aldeburgh Festival’s danced celebration of composer Benjamin Britten. Set to theVariations on a Theme by Frank Bridge, it echoes the ambiguities of Britten’s operas in fresh, musical dance, with strong video design by Leo Warner."
Royal Opera House
Royal Opera House, July 2012
Kim Brandstrup and Wayne McGregor's choreography is at once miraculously sensual and, intermittently, mechanical. Carlos Acosta is at his sensational best, conveying ecstasy and sorrow, dancing with a galvanising Edward Watson against a background of fog, and alone with the machine as it turns against him. Nico Muhly's music is a beautiful mixture of trance and foreboding.
The three giants of 20th-century dance overshadow most, but not Kim Brandstrup, the Danish choreographer whose new piece for The Royal Ballet held its own in a mixed bill that featured canonical work by all three of the mighty trio." ****
Royal Danish Ballet Den Kongelige Ballet
Operaen, May 2010
" Eidolon is a playful, aesthetic and poetic series of beautiful images solidly rooted in a contemporary physical language"
Ann Jonsson, Danstidningen
Royal Opera House, September 2009
“an ingeniously organised, frequently humorous, gently enigmatic and wholly luminous hour and a quarter – a mini-masterpiece, in short.”
Jenny Gilbert, Independent on Sunday *****
Queen Elizabeth Hall, May 2008
" - a solo specially made for Cojocaru by Kim Brandstrup, Bird as Prophet, set to wistful Schumann piano music, caught the very essence of this ballerina's quail-boned delicacy, as well as her heart-stopping spirituality. Bird as prophet? This birdwoman aims for the sky."
Jenny Gilbert, Independent on Sunday
The Royal Ballet
The Royal Opera House, 23 April 2008
“One of the richest and most dramatic new ballets seen on the stage of the Royal Opera House for a good long time. A sensual, fluid creation.”
Sarah Crompton, Daily Telegraph
Greek National Opera
Olympia Theatre, Athens , 25 November 2007
The narrative is thrust forward at a cinematic pace akin to a documentary or a newsreel - at times even a cartoon short.
Den Kongelige Ballet | The Royal Danish Ballet
Operaen, Copenhagen, 20 April 2007
“The greatest revelation of the evening was Ghosts by Kim Brandstrup... Brandstrup’s seductive choreography carves its own niche between narrative and absrtraction, as does Steven Scotts lighting design. The dancers are dancing in the light, and the audience are transported straight to heaven.”
Anne Middelboe Christensen, Information A
Bregenz Festspielhaus , August 7 2006
“A unique and bewitching experiment…Lloyd and Brandstrup work seamlessly with a superb cast of singers and dancers”
Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph
Birmingham Royal Ballet
Birmingham Hippodrome, 3 May 2006
“Brandstrup’s shows a master storyteller’s touch in his characterisations and the way he shows the relationship between Parker and Ambra Vallo’s superb Pimpinella. Highlight of the piece is undoubtedly a duet between the two, both acrobatic with lots of inventive lifting, and tender and lyrical. "
David Mead, Criticaldance.com
Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, London , June 16 2005
“Kim Brandstrup’s playful pas de deux (danced to a Gluck aria) was the unrivalled hit of the evening….It was an instant classic, the kind of work you want to see again immediately. Whatever happened to encores?”
Louise Levene, The Sunday Telegraph
Les Grandes Ballets Canadiennes
Theatre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts, Montreal, October 2001
“A royal flush!" "The Queen of Spades: The choreographer has played his cards very well by artfully blending modernity and classicism." "... the clarity of action, the delicacy of movement, the lovely music, and, most of all, the understated aestheticism leave you breathless throughout the ballet."
- Linda Boutin, Voir,
Den Norske Opera, Oslo, March 2001
“Place of Stone, set in the dramatic/erotic universe of Tennesee Williams, is a rare and unique experience of dance theatre. Intensely dramatic, wonderfully danced, it challenges the audiences with lasting effect – see for yourself”
Annette Mürer, Dagbladet 25 March 2001
Royal New Zealand Ballet
St James Theatre, Wellington,New Zealand, May 1998
This beautiful new production is traditional at heart, pays homage to Petipa at all the right moments and is packed full of brilliant dancing, it is one of the company’s finest acheivements."
Rod Bliss , Sunday Star Times
Royal Danish Ballet
Det Kongelige Teater, Copenhagen, May 1997
"The format is indisputable , with his first great full-length ballet, Kim Brandstrup demonstrated his ability to handle the big dramatic structure . With a cinematic drive in the editing and a swell of emotion in the form"
- Monna Dithmer, Politiken
The Royal Danish Ballet
The Royal Theatre , Copenhagen, 12 October 1994
"Like a magician he transforms the stage into a magnetic forcefield . His 'Mysterier' creates a cool atmosphere of anticipation . This is modern ballet with a classical sensability - a condensed dance drama created for the Royal's dancers per excellence. God save Brandstrup"
Monna Dithmer, Politiken
English National Ballet
London Coliseum, July 1992
“I find the resultant work allusive, haunting. Brandstrup’s ability to fix emotion with gesture is wonderfully exact; his choreographic language is fluent, clear and true.”
Clement Crisp, Financial Times
Grand Ballet de Geneva
Le Grand Theatre De Geneve, October 1991