Royal Swedish Ballet - A History from 1592 to 1962


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Våren 2008 utkom ett stort internationellt, akademiskt upplagt, bokverk på engelska om baletten i Stockholm med tonvikt på Kungliga Operan. Den sydafrikafödda dansaren och författaren Marina Grut har arbetat med boken i omgångar från 1960 – en lång historia som har sina förklaringar.

Det är ett stort och betydelsefullt arbete (500 sidor plus 200 sidor appendix och ett register med omkring 600 personnamn och titlar) som nu finns att tillgå för dansforskare och andra intresserade som vill veta mer om vår svenska baletthistoria. Rikt illustrerat – i färg och svart/vitt – med många tidigare ej publicerade bilder.
Stor heder (...) till Marina Grut för ett välskrivet och faktaspäckat verk.

Anders Jörlén

Anders Jörléns recension som PDF
Carina Ari Medal 2008 for Dame Marina Grut

Carina Ari Library Publications, Publication No. 6.
By Marina Grut

Sweden's ballet has a fascinating and international history, having given the world a choreographer such as Charles Louis Didelot, whose talent was recognised and financially fostered by Sweden's "Theatre King", Gustav III.
Book: The Royal Swedish Ballet
Didelot's creative choreography and the theatrically innovative staging of his ballets were inspirational, and so was his insightful wisdom. Sweden was also the birthplace of the great Romantic ballerina Marie Taglioni.

More ballet productions have been staged uninterruptedly in Sweden than anywhere else in the world outside of France, Denmark and Russia, and these productions were staged at a very high artistic level with dancers of great calibre. Remarkable dancers performed there, e.g. Filippo Taglioni, Antoine Bournonville, his son August Bournonville, Giovanna Bassi, André Isidore Carey and Joséphine Sainte-Claire.

The great dancer and teacher who was to influence the Russian ballet came from Sweden: Per Christian Johansson who took the French influence from Bournonville's teaching to Russia and trained generations of Russian dancers.

Memorable visits by Michel Fokine, Antony Tudor and Leonide Masssine are dealt with, as well as Mary Skeaping's epoch-making directorship, and the Swedish choreographers Anders Selinder, Birgit Cullberg, Birgit Åkesson and Ivo Cramér and their ballets.

The book contains many illustrations which have never been published before, a table with detailed information about ballet performances in Sweden from 1638 to 1962, and biographies of the ballet masters and theatre directors.

The author of this book, Marina Grut, began the research for it in 1959 and 1960 when she lived in Sweden, and after Mary Skeaping had suggested that she should write the history of that company. In doing so she met some of the leading dancers at the time.

She also interviewed former principal dancers like Jenny Hasselquist, and the founder of Les Ballets Suédois, Rolf de Maré. In 1998 she decided to complete her research. Marina Grut, who is fluent in Swedish, then made many more visits to archives and museums in Sweden in search of additional facts and illustrations, and for further interviews with leading figures in the ballet world.

Grut trained as a dancer at the University of Cape Town (UCT) Ballet School, danced in their company, taught at the UCT and at the George Washington University, authored books on ballet history and on Spanish dance (see, made a DVD on the Bolero School dances (; contributed to international encyclopaedias, The Dancing Times, Ballet Today, Flamenco International and Danza Hoy; and staged performances in the Cape Town opera house; in the USA at the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic Society, the Juilliard School of Music, Theatre and Dance, and in Boston and New Orleans. In England she has been presented by the Royal Ballet and the Sadler's Wells Theatre.

In 1989 King Juan Carlos I invested her as Dame of the Order of Queen Isabel of Spain for her presentation and preservation of Spanish dance. She has also received other awards.

Title: Royal Swedish Ballet, History from 1592 to 1962.
Writers: Grut, Marina. Preface: Häger, Bengt
Publisher: Carina Ari Library Publications, Publication No. 6.
Vol.: ca. 752 p. 68 color images and 260 b/w images.
Publishing house: Olms, Germany,
ISBN 13: 978-3-487-13494-9
Price: 98.00 EUR