In this country the term "soloist" often connotes performers of the second rank, at least in large ballet troupes where the word "principal" is used for the top echelon. The 13 "Soloists of the Royal Danish Ballet" who will perform at Wolf Trap's Meadow Center starting Tuesday night, however, represent the outstanding talent of their company. Among them is the newest crop of youthful stars from a country that has been a steady supplier of brilliant dancers for a century and a half.
The touring unit was founded in 1976 by Frank Andersen, one of the company's most versatile males, and Djinna Bjorn, daughter of the ballet's "elder statesman" Niels Bjorn Larsen, and a choreographer in her own right. Also in the group are such notable virtuosos as Bjarne Hecht and Arne Villumsen, ballerinas Heidi Ryom, Linda Hindberg and Lise Stripp, and also Niels Kehlet, a masterful dancer-actor from the generation preceding these relative newcomers.
The great prize of the Danish repertory lies in the works of August Bournonville, the patron saint of the Royal Danish Ballet, a 19th-century dancer and choreographer who translated the romantic style he absorbed in Paris into a native Danish idiom. The soloists, though, are eager to show that they're as adept at the new as at the old. Hence the Wolf Trap programs will include two pieces by the modern Dutch choreographer Hans van Manen, as well as ballets by the young Danish choreographers Inge Jensen and Nils Christe.