The Royal Danish Theatre Prepares for Leadership Change

The Royal Danish Theatre Prepares for Leadership Change

Nikolaj Hübbe, who has served as the Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Ballet since 2008, has informed Theatre Director Kasper Holten of his decision not to extend his contract. Consequently, the Royal Danish Theatre will be seeking a new Artistic Director to assume the role in the summer of 2026.

“I am both honoured and proud to lead the Royal Danish Ballet, eagerly anticipating the next two seasons with as much enthusiasm as the previous sixteen. However, it is no secret that this contract was intended to be my last as artistic director. In every respect, it has been enriching and a tremendous privilege to hold the artistic responsibility for one of the world’s premier ballet companies. By 2026, I will have served eighteen years as artistic director, stewarding our esteemed ballet tradition. But with such a lengthy tenure comes the responsibility to ensure the company’s ongoing development and continual infusion of new inspiration. Therefore, I believe it is appropriate to pass the baton starting in 2026,” states Artistic Director Nikolaj Hübbe.

The Royal Danish Theatre has initiated a comprehensive international recruitment process, aiming to ensure that the new artistic director can influence the repertoire as early as possible upon assuming the position in August 2026.

“Nikolaj informed the theatre in 2022 that he did not wish to extend his contract. Replacing him will be challenging, as he has set remarkably high artistic standards as artistic director and has personally been an exceptional ambassador for classical ballet. His achievements are indeed impressive. With the repertoire for Nikolaj’s final two seasons already established, we are now initiating a careful search to identify the ideal candidate to succeed him,” states Theatre Director Kasper Holten.

Learn more about the position HERE

Trained at the Royal Danish Ballet School, Nikolaj Hübbe joined the Royal Danish Ballet as a dancer in 1984 and the New York City Ballet in 1992. He excelled in leading roles within both the Bournonville and Balanchine repertoires.

Appointed as Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Ballet in 2008, Nikolaj Hübbe has distinguished his tenure through new productions of classics like Napoli, Giselle, Swan Lake, A Folk Tale, and La Sylphide. Additionally, he has launched innovative performance formats such as Dans2go, Hübberiet, Giant Steps, and Koreorama.

The Royal Danish Theatre, Image credit Camilla Winther