Louis Deland

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Louis Deland

Louis Joseph Marie Deland (25 April 1772 – 15 April 1823) was a Swedish ballet dancer, singer, actor, choreographer and ballet master in the Royal Swedish Ballet. He is often considered the first native male star in the Royal Swedish Ballet.

Life and career[edit]

Louis Deland was the child of Louise-Antoine Deland, the hair dresser, parfymeuse and footman of queen Sophia Magdalena of Denmark; his father was originally from Luxembourg. He was the brother of is the violinist Jean Pierre Deland. He debuted on the stage of the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm in the ballet to the opera Orphée at the age of ten (1782), and so impressed the king Gustav III of Sweden, that he was sent to be educated at the ballet of Paris in France by the famous Gardel.

In 1792, he returned to Sweden, where he made his home coming performance in Armide 9 January and was hired as premier dancer, singer and actor at the Royal Swedish Opera and at the Royal Dramatic Theatre. He were soon considered the most notable male dancer in the country; he also had a beautiful voice and was considered very good in comical parts, and his interaction in the plays with Lars Hjortsberg and Carl Schylander were videly admired, he was considered to be a natural talent, who became one with his part- he was said to have a feeling of "childlike loveliness" to his appearance, which he kept through his life.

Among his parts were Niklas in Tanddoktorn (The Dentist) by Åhlström, Husca in Karavanen (The Caravane) by Gretry, Räfklo in Målaren och modellerna (Painter and Models) by Bouilly, Pierrot in Den talande tavlan (Speaking painting) by Gretry and Crispin in Den föregifna skatten (The Supposed Treasure). In 1803, he was appointed ballet master of the Royal Swedish Ballet and in 1809 to first dancing master, a position he kept until 1820, with a brief interruption in 1816–1818. He also composed pantomimeballets, character dances and other entertainings.

Louis Delands career was destroyed when he, at the age of forty, suffered some kind of condition which made him lose his memory. His place were in many ways filled by Per Erik Sevelin.

Deland was married twice; first to the actor Carolina Kuhlman and after a divorce to the actor Maria Rebecka Rydberg. He was the father of the feminist Josefina Deland. The Deland family became a well known theatre family; Louis Deland's nephews, Pierre Deland and Fredrik Deland were known actors - the former director of the Deland troupe and Djurgårdsteatern - and Pierre's daughter, the actress Betty Deland, was to be vice principal of Dramatens elevskola.

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon (Swedish)
  • Nordisk familjebok (Swedish)
  • Georg Nordensvan, Svensk teater och svenska skådespelare från Gustav III till våra dagar; Första bandet, 1772-1842 (Swedish Theatre and Swedish Actors from Gustav III to Our Days: Volume I, 1772–1842) (Swedish)
  • Lars Löfgren, Svensk teater (Swedish Theatre) (Swedish)
  • Klas Ralf, Prisma, Operan 200 år. Jubelboken (The Opera 200 Year Jubilee Book) (Swedish)
Preceded by
Federico Nadi Terrade
Director of the Royal Swedish Ballet
1806–1816
Succeeded by
Filippo Taglioni
Preceded by
Filippo Taglioni
Director of the Royal Swedish Ballet
1818–1820
Succeeded by
André Isidore Carey