World History of Dance by Henrik Neubauer

08. 01. 2021

The new year has brought us a pleasant surprise in the form of a new book by the ballet dancer, choreographer, theorist, ballet teacher, director, doctor and writer Henrik Neubauer.

The author of numerous publications on dance, with this latest work he offers a concise overview of the history of world dance, accompanied by his own reflections and insights. The book consists of an introduction and six chronologically ordered chapters (Prehistory, Antiquity, Middle Ages, Modern Era, Dance of the 20th and 21st centuries and A brief overview of the history of dance in Slovenia). The book also includes the following appendices: Dance writing and the history of written descriptions of dances; Jean-Georges Noverre: translation of an extract from his fourth Letter on Dancing and Ballet (1760); Similarities and differences between ballet and opera; The first official message for International Dance Day (1982).

Henrik Neubauer first became involved in ballet in 1944 when he enrolled at Maks Kirbos’s ballet school. He joined the corps de ballet of the Ljubljana Ballet in 1946, later becoming a soloist and remaining with the company until 1957. From 1957 to 1961 he was a teaching assistant at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Medicine. He then served as maître de ballet and choreographer at the Ljubljana Ballet until 1972. His rich career has also included stints as the general and artistic director of Festival Ljubljana (1972–1982) and as the artistic director of the Slovene National Theatre (SNT) Opera and Ballet in Maribor (1984–1986). From 1989 until 2002 he taught in the Voice Department and Opera School of the Ljubljana Academy of Music, preparing the study programme for the latter in 1997. In 1995 he revived the Society of Ballet Artists of Slovenia (DBUS) and served as its president until 2001. Between 2002 and 2009 he served as president of the Slovene Chamber Musical Theatre. In 2019, on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday, he was appointed honorary president of the DBUS.

Henrik Neubauer has received numerous awards for his work, including a Betetto Award (2000), a commendation from the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and the Ministry of Culture on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Young Musicians and Ballet Dancers of Slovenia competitions (2001), a City of Ljubljana Prize (2003) and the Golden Order of Merit of the Republic of Slovenia (2009).