Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

Tommy Franzén, Lizzie Gough and Teneisha Bonner. Photo Ed Miller/Sadler's Wells

Tommy Franzén, Lizzie Gough & Teneisha Bonner. Photo Ed Miller/Sadler's Wells Theatre

Tommy Franzén, Rewarded for Versatility Without Bounds!

LONDON: At the National Dance Awards, Swedish dynamo, Tommy Franzén, fought off tough competition from lead dancers in major contemporary companies to win the Dancers Pro Award for Outstanding Modern Performance.

Best known for his performance in ZooNation’s Some Like it Hip Hop, he was also nominated for his work in Russell Maliphant’s Rodin Project and commended for his work in Kim Brandstrup’s Goldberg Variations at the Royal Opera House. His versatility is seemingly without bounds!

It was a great day for hip-hop. Teneisha Bonner, Tommy’s co-star won the Outstanding Modern Performance female category and Kate Prince, choreographer for Some Like it Hip Hop was nominated for Best Modern Choreographer.

Also up for this award was another Swede, Alexander Ekman. He was nominated for Cacti, the riotously funny work created for NDT2 and presented in their Sadler’s Wells season.

It was a great year for dance with 40-50 names up for nominations in each category and a stellar line-up of stars representing all dance styles. It was a great day out, both for the winners and also for those of us who just went along for the fun.

Tommy Franzén at the Prize ceremony. Photographer Maggie Foyer

Tommy Franzén at the Prize ceremony. Photographer Maggie Foyer

When Tommy Franzén won Outstanding Modern Performer at the National Dance Awards 2013, it was a first for hip-hop and a first for Sweden. Two previous nominations had this time brought him to the winner’s podium and the applause proved it a popular choice.

The performances that won him this accolade were in very diverse roles: Simeon Sun in ZooNation’s Some Like it Hip Hop and his part in Russell Maliphant’s Rodin Project.

In 2010, he was also runner-up in BBC TV series, So You Think You Can Dance, a series watched by millions. ‘It was amazing fun, so surreal - one of those once in a lifetime experiences’. It proved a major boost to his career raising his profile and putting him on the map.

Also on the list of nominees for the National Dance Awards was Kate Prince choreographer of Some Like it Hip Hop. Tommy had worked with her previously, notably at the handover ceremony at the close of the Beijing Olympics.
However he felt that it was the TV exposure that gave her the confidence to cast him in the lead role and to hand over responsibility for a significant part of the choreography - and Some Like it Hip Hop proved a runaway success.

On the street dance scene dominated by tall hunky black guys, pint-size Tommy is something of an anomaly. As Simeon Sun, he wears a woolly sweater and glasses but his geekish looks are miraculously transformed as he leaps and spins into action winning adoring fans in a trice.

The critics who decide on the nominations for the Dance Awards have often been accused of concentrating on the Royal Opera House to the detriment of the wider dance scene.

Indeed it was when Tommy appeared in Kim Brandstrup’s Goldberg that he first came to the critics’ notice.  He came to this prestigious job by a circuitous route. He’d auditioned for a show at the Linbury, the studio theatre at the Opera House. He didn’t get that one but he was asked to return to audition for Kim Brandstrup who chose him for a future project.

He filled the gap by dancing an opera, The Faerie Queen, also choreographed by Brandstrup and it was during rehearsals that he was asked if he would do Goldberg. This award winning production brought together classical, contemporary and street dance in an intriguing mix and presented Tommy with the opportunity to work alongside ballet stars, Tamara Rojo and Steven McRae.

Tommy Franzén. Photo Mindstudio.co.uk

Tommy Franzén. Photo Mindstudio.co.uk

Tommy, born in Lund, had a slow start to his dance career.  ‘I began taking hip hop classes, just once a week for a few years. I got into the musical, Joseph, when I was 14 and then went from one musical to the next.’  

He was awarded a three year scholarship and came to London to train at the Urdang Academy. ‘This was my first introduction to formal ballet. Fortunately there were a whole group of us boys who had never done ballet before so we had a sort of ballet/ gymnastics training to give us the basics.’

Here his training also included jazz, tap and singing. Tommy admitted ‘I’d love to be an amazing singer – but I didn’t quite have the knack’. However this certainly hasn’t held back his career.

In his second year at the Urdang he took a three month break from studies to work with the Swedish group Bounce who were touring the UK including performances at Sadler’s Wells.

‘From then on I started building a network of choreographers and it helped in getting onto agency books. In the commercial world you really need an agent.’

Probably because Tommy came to theatre through street dance rather than a hothouse conservatoire, he is more media savvy than most dancers. His website is both entertaining and user friendly and his social media skills are pretty impressive.

Tommy Franzén. Photo Mindstudio.co.uk

Tommy Franzén. Photo Mindstudio.co.uk

I asked Tommy why he felt the need to train outside of Sweden. ‘Well, there aren’t that many dance colleges in Sweden; I’d worked with a lot of people who had studied there and I was scared of being trained in a way that I would become like everyone else. I obviously had a different background and I naturally moved differently.

Looking back, the training probably wouldn’t have changed me but I just wanted to be different. So my plan was to come to London, return to Sweden and stand out!’ In the event Tommy stayed in London becoming a very individual performer who always stood out from the crowd.

Next month he will be one of the judges for the prestigious ‘Emerging Dancer’ awards held each year by the English National Ballet to indentify rising stars in their ranks. Yonah Acosta was last year’s winner.

Tommy will be on a panel of six that includes director Tamara Rojo and former ballerina Darcey Bussell. ‘It’s my first time judging a dance competition that is not hip hop – and with such an amazing panel.’

I asked if the ‘serious’ contemporary dance was a diversion or something that he would like to pursue.  ‘I’d like to do a bit of both really. It’s like two avenues that I want to enjoy – the contemporary and the hip hop. For me it’s a great combination and if I can keep it that way I’ll be happy.

Tommy Franzén in Some Like it Hip Hop. Photo Sadler's Wells Theatre

Tommy Franzén in Some Like it Hip Hop. Photo Ed Miller/SWT

As hip hop moves into narrative theatre rather than simply entertainment it is attracting huge audiences. Some Like it Hip Hop will return to the Peacock Theatre for a further 9 weeks and The Rodin Project still has further dates. But hip hop is tough on the body and he accepts that it is the side of dance he will probably have to give up first.  

Tommy said he was keen to work in Sweden again. After the success of Benke Rydman’s Svansjön (Swan Lake) perhaps Stockholm’s Dansenshus should have Some Like it Hip Hop in their sights?

Maggie Foyer
11 Feb 2013

  • Clark Engelgroth Maya Schonbrun
    Young Ballet Stars of the future showed their skills in Helsinki
    The Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet, Madeleine Onne , worked as the chair of the judges at The 9th Helsinki International Ballet Competition. When welcoming us all to the prize distrib...

  • Five short stories and a prelude av Ana Sendas
    Innehållsrik föreställning på Riddarfjärdsteatern
    Kungliga Svenska Balettskolans avslutande uppvisningar för spelåret 2021-2022 var uppdelade på tre tillfällen. Det första programmet, med titeln Promises, gavs på Riddarfjärdsteatern 20 maj. Föreställ...

  • 2022 års stipendiater och medaljör.
    Carina Ari Dagen firades igen med nya stipendiater och en välförtjänt Carina Ari-medalj
    2022 kunde Carina Ari Dagen åter firas. 16 maj samlades i Operans guldfoajé en krets entusiaster för att hylla stipendiater och mottagare av Carina Ari Medaljen och, inte minst, mecenaten själv. Henne...

  • Askungen Woo Romano
    Colourful new Cinderella in Stockholm
    Tamara Rojo’s new production of Cinderella in Stockholm is successfully adapted to current themes. Cinderella is a refugee washed up on the shore still clutching a precious photo of her family. Two po...

  • Little Dragon
    Dansfestival förgyllde Göteborg
    Under tre dagar i maj förgylls Göteborg av dans. GöteborgsOperans andra dansfestival är ett forum för nyskapande, oförutsägbara möten med publiken, samarbeten mellan artister och olika konstformer, en...

  • Peter Pan och Wendy
    Peter Pan och Wendy ett balettäventyr för hela familjen
    ”Det blir en magisk dansföreställning för hela familjen”, säger Sebastian Michanek om Svenska Balettskolan nya verk Peter Pan och Wendy på Lorensbergsteatern i Göteborg. Förutom skolans danselever med...

  • Kasperi Kolehmainen
    Talangfulla elever i den Nationella tävlingen
    En Nationell danstävling för unga dansare ordnas varannat år i Helsingfors. Det är Balettpedagogernas förening som står som arrangör av tävlingen.Solisterna är indelade i tre grupper, 12-14 år, 15-16 ...

  • Grand Ballet de Kyiv
    En alldeles ovanligt känslofylld Giselle i Karlstad
    Jag trodde aldrig att jag skulle få uppleva detta: Publiken hälsar den manlige huvudrollsinnehavaren med samfällt jubel, efter ett framförande av en klassisk balett, när han vid applådtacket vecklar u...

  • ProDance1
    Helsingfors: Festgala med många stipendiater
    Föreningen Pro Dance har varit verksam i 50 år i Finland. En festgala firades vid Aleksandersteatern en söndagseftermiddag i mars. Ändamålet med verksamheten är att samla in medel för att med stipendi...

  • swanlake kiev
    Se den ukrainska Svansjön på bio – alla intäkter går till UNHCR
    Det är folkrörelsen Folkets Hus och Parker som driver initiativet ”Live på bio”. I dessa bistra tider visar man, för första gången, en balett från Kievoperan: Svansjön. Alla intäkter från visningarna ...

  • Stabat Mater KSB 1
    En beundransvärd säkerhet och ett övertygande lugn i framförandet
    Favourites är en elevföreställning med fyra verk på Kungliga Svenska Balettskolan som var genomgående i hög klass på dansandet. Alla fyra var gruppdanser med från åtta till elva medverkande från gymna...

  • Eskapist4
    Läs vad Peter Bohlin skrev om Eskapist vid premiären 2019
    Alexander Ekmans Eskapist: En visionär svingar sitt trollspö

  • The company demonstrated their enthusiasm in vivid characterisations.
    Under the direction of Nicolas Le Riche, the Royal Swedish Ballet presented a double bill of French choreography. Roland Petit’s Carmen is a timeless gem. Premiered in London in 1949, the choreographi...

  • Kites1 GO
    Kites – Allt hänger på en tråd
    Allt hänger på en tråd, tro mig, jag ligger på en slätt, torr i munnen, andfådd, och du är här vid min sida, du skulle kunna gå härifrån, men det finns band som binder, allt är upp och ner och det fin...

  • Sibelius1
    The Ballet Sibelius at the Finnish National Ballet is a story – and a great love story of a composer
    Finnish National Ballet celebrates its centenary this year and the new commission, Sibelius , plays an important role. The significance of the composer and his works inspired Finnish choreographer, Jor...

  • RBS1
    Royal Ballet School Affiliate Training and Assessment Programme
    ‘The unique programme will drive forward the standard and accessibility of recreational dance training, providing an alternative to the current model of training offered by recreational dance organisa...

  • Helsinkigala1
    En efterlängtad öppning av Dansens hus i Helsingfors
    Finlands efterlängtade Dansens hus – Tanssin talo – har öppnat sina dörrar på ett magiskt datum 2.2.2022. Om ett hus för dansen hade dansfolket drömt om i årtionden, och nu var glädjen stor att detta ...

  • PDL22 1
    Årets Prix de Lausanne i Montreux med samtliga deltagare på plats
    Förra årets tävling tvingades hållas online på grund av pandemin. Med genomförda vaccinationer och covidpass gick lyckligtvis årets Prix av stapeln med deltagarna på plats. Covidpass var obligatoriskt...

  • Here not here 1
    Verket har många olika delar, med olika rörelsescheman, improvisationer, men det är vi dansare som sätter materialet.
    Det handlar om att gråta i solskenet och dansa i mörkret Det handlar om att vara Här Inte Här

  • Kungsbacka1
    Dans på högsta nivå
    Sommaren 2019 hölls en stor gala i Kungsbacka med klassisk balett. Det kan numera bara upplevas på Kungliga Operan, såvida inget utländskt danskompani av okänd kvalitet dyker upp. Äntligen är det dags...

  • Nurejevs Svansjön1
    Nurejevs Svansjön på Stockholmsoperan – en version aldrig tidigare spelad i Sverige
    Inför Kungliga Balettens premiär på Svansjön i koreografi av Rudolf Nurejev gästades Operans Balettklubb av iscensättaren Charles Jude och dansaren Calum Lowden.Charles Jude är före detta Etoile på Pa...

  • Lana Maxxa
    Till julen gör de sina första huvudroller i Nötknäpparen
    Att få dansa huvudrollen i en helaftonsbalett är drömmen för de flesta dansare. Men få förunnat. På Svenska Balettskolan i Göteborg har eleverna en helt egen uppsättning av baletten Nötknäpparen där d...

  • Transit1
    Transit av Tero Saarinen – mångfasetterad visuell fest ­
    Tero Saarinen Company presenterade sig i Saarinens nyaste koreografi Transit med en större mängd dansare än vad vanligt är i hans verk. Det hade beställts av Skånes dansteater och sågs nu i Helsingfor...

  • Bella figura
    Kylián, Ek and Forsythe at the Royal Swedish Ballet
    The Royal Opera House in Stockholm is thankfully back to capacity audiences and enjoying a popular programme of modern classics. Under director, Nicolas Le Riche, the company sees changes in the reper...

  • Daria Ivanova
    Ett nytt Mariane Orlando stipendium utdelat
    Operans Balettklubbs pris till årets dansare har genom enhälligt beslut tilldelats premiärdansaren vid Kungliga Baletten Daria Ivanova.

  • SAAGA 1
    Göteborgsoperan öppnar upp med dubbla världspremiärer
    GöteborgsOperan öppnade delvis i augusti och den 30 oktober var det dubbla världspremiärer utan begränsning på antalet besökare. Föreställningen Unfold med de två dansverken Continuim och SAABA skapad...

  • Linnar Looris
    Meet Linnar Looris Artistic Director of The Estonian National Opera
    Dansportalen has got an interview with Linnar Looris – Artistic Director since autumn 2019 for the The Estonian National Ballet.

  • Gala Korsaren
    Kungliga Operan rivstartar säsongen med balettgala.
    Äntligen, är vi många som säger. Den 17:e september slås portarna upp, dansen kan börja och det är inte vilken dans som helst. Ett unikt program med åtta verk, varav flera sällan sedda, utgör höstens ...

  • Nimrud
    Liselott Berg, om sina 42 år som fanbärare för dansen i Göteborg – hittills!
    Att det blev Göteborg var en slump. Men där blev hon kvar. 42 år senare brinner och jobbar hon lika engagerat för dansen på Sveriges framsida. Idag som biträdande och administrativ chef för GöteborgsO...

  • Swingle Stepping, Morgann Runacre-Temple, Year 11 students - 
    Whirling flying bodies with the Royal Ballet School
    Coordinating a performance for a ballet school of several hundred pupils to stringent Covid social distancing is a Herculean task but amazingly the Royal Ballet School pulled it off.





Grundad 1995. Est. 1995

Powered by