Theatre Trips

An Inside Look: Tivoli Ballet Theatre in Copenhagen

Last week, Theatre Trip got the chance to experience the beautiful Tivoli Ballet Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark! The ballet theatre at Tivoli Gardens is a family-friendly experience and features dancers of all backgrounds. And the experience of enjoying the ballet shows at Tivoli goes way beyond the simple act of sitting in darkness as a quiet spectator.

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Our Experience at the Tivoli Ballet Theatre:

The ballets are performed at the Tivoli Pantomime Theatre, which is an open-air stage with options of traditional seating and cozy lawn lounging. This Chinese-style theatre is home to daily shows and is located directly in the middle of the gardens. A peacock curtain shrouds the stage in an air of mystery. And at the show’s opening, the feathers unfold like a peacock’s tail, revealing a sneak peak of what’s to come.

Tivoli Ballet Theatre from a distance.
Photo by Anders Bøggild

The first of the two performances that Theatre Trip got a chance to see on the last sunny Thursday evening was The Steadfast Tin Soldier, an exciting fairy tale ballet by Hans Christian Anderson. Upon the show’s start, the characters took to the stage in bold and colorful costumes, just as if a bright and cheery coloring book were coming to life. This immediately set the mood for an epic adventure. Children and adults alike were glued to the stage, as they watched the one-legged tin soldier fight through his journey of survival.

The ballet itself was especially exciting in that it constantly flipped back and forth between the “toy world” and the “real world”. With this constant shifting of perspectives, the ballet enchants the audience with the magic of it all.

La Sylphide dancing. Production still from Tivoli Ballet Theatre.
Photo (and featured image) by Annett Ahrends
And what followed was La Sylphide – a strong contrast to the childlike joy of the first piece. In La Sylphide, the audience gets sucked into an adventure of lust, temptation, and the deep dark woods.

The protagonist in this story is James, a young man who has already promised himself to Effie. But upon an encounter with a beautiful and alluring Sylph, everything changes. This ballet moved little girls to dance while bringing the adults to the edges of their seats. It was a elegant display of beauty, grace, and magic, in addition to a pressing life lesson.

Related Topic: An Inside Look at BLAM! The Show

Here at Theatre Trip, we love getting to know inspiring people in the theatre industry!

We are believers in the idea that we can learn something from everyone. Because of that, it is a delight to share with you a wonderful chat we had with Jennifer Wagstaffe, one of the talented dancers at Tivoli Ballet Theatre!

Theatre Trip’s Chat With Jennifer Wagstaffe:
Jennifer Wagstaffe performing at the theatre.
Photo by Agnete Schlitchkrull. Costumes by the Queen of Denmark.

Jennifer joined the Tivoli Ballet Theater in 2010. She has played “Effy” in La Sylphide, an evil stepsister in Cinderella, and “Columbine” in the traditional Danish pantomimes. She has also danced with the Royal Danish Opera and played the role of “Meg Giry” in The Phantom of the Opera. Additionally, she was also a member of the ballet chorus on The Phantom of the Opera World Tour.

Theatre Trip: What inspired you to become a dancer?

Jennifer: I started dancing at the age of three. And although I enjoyed other activities like playing the violin and doing gymnastics, my dream was always to become a ballet dancer. What inspired me the most then, and still today, was getting the chance to move and express myself to beautiful music, whether it be in ballet class or on stage.

Theatre Trip: What advice would you give those who are aspiring to become a professional dancer?

Jennifer: I would say not to restrict yourself to one thing. Try out different dance styles – ballet, jazz, modern, and also singing and drama. It makes you more versatile and employable in the dance world. It also gives you the chance to meet inspiring people and find your own style and personality as a performer.

Theatre Trip: Do you have a dream role that you would love to dance one day?

Jennifer: My favourite role to play at Tivoli Ballet Theater is Columbine in the traditional Danish pantomimes. There are currently 16 pantomimes in the repertoire and so far I’ve performed in 15 of them. So it’s a big dream of mine to get to dance Columbine in the last one.

Theatre Trip: What’s your favorite thing about being a Tivoli dancer?

Jennifer: I love the fact that we get the chance to do so many different shows and styles each season. A summer can include Bournonville ballets such as La Sylphide and Napoli, fairytale ballets wearing costumes designed by the Queen of Denmark, new modern works, and traditional pantomimes. We also get the chance to perform every night. And isn’t getting the chance to perform why we become professional dancers in the first place?

So if you’re ever in Copenhagen, you’ll have to experience the Tivoli Ballet Theatre for yourself! Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or all on your own, you’ll be sure to enjoy this magical atmosphere. The shows at the Pantomime Theatre are even included in the Tivoli admission price.

Have you ever been to the Tivoli Ballet Theatre?

If so, what show did you see? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below! And in the meantime, you can always check out our blog post archive of past theatre visits for some insight on what’s going on in theaters around the world!

Learn More:

Jennifer Wagstaffe’s Instagram➝

The Ballet Theatre at Tivoli➝

* A special thanks to Tivoli for inviting Theatre Trip to the gardens!

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Stacy Karyn, Author of Tivoli Ballet Theatre Review.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She holds a BA in theatre, a TESOL drama certificate, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


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