'Sitting between works by these septuagenarian titans of modern dance was Stina Quagebeur’s Take Five Blues..... It is to Quagebeur’s great credit that Take Five Blues proved an excellent bridge between ballets by two of the greatest choreographers of modern times.'
Graham Watts, Bachtrack
'Stina Quagebeur's Take Five Blues ....has some of the same casual virtuosity of Forsythe and is also a joyful and faithful response to music...making for a spirited shindig'
Lyndsey Winship, The Guardian
'What’s refreshing about Quagebeur’s piece, Nostalgia, is its ordinariness. It’s one of the more perceptive depictions of a realistic relationship I’ve seen on a ballet stage.'
Lyndsey Winship, The Guardian
'There are languid moments to contrast with the passages of fleet-footed dancing. Deep tenderness is satisfyingly paired with technical brilliance.'
Mike Dixon, Dance Europe Aug/Sept 2021 on Hollow for ENB
‘Stina Quagebeur is fast making her mark as an inventive, accomplished choreographer, and her Take Five Blues can only further cement her reputation.’ ‘She injected freshness, humour and jazzy twists into her classical steps’
Theresa Guerreiro, Culture Whisper
‘Take Five Blues, a work that feels mature, accomplished, and is danced with flair and fun.’ ‘This is a spirited number with punchy interplay between the eight dancers. They hurtle through the choreography with relish.’
Vikki Jane Vile, Broadway world
‘Quagebeur’s clever handling of her company of eight, from filling the stage with rippling formations to matching a crazy violin solo with a dancer’s legs scribbling wildly in the air.’ ‘It’s crowd-pleasing but not cliched.’
Lyndsey Winship, The Guardian
‘Full of Jerome Robbins-style energy that is infectious’ ‘The audience is ecstatic.’
Vera Liber - British Theatre guide
‘Her choreography draws on individual strengths to brilliant effect. The dancers are all clearly having a ball in this one, and it's infectious.’
Jenny Gilbert - the Arts Desk
‘Highlights of the evening include the exuberant Take Five Blues. Effortlessly choreographed by First Artist Stina Quagebeur, they appear to spontaneously riff off each other in ever-changing playful configurations that express the much-missed joy of feeling the music through their bodies.’
Stephen Kyriazis - The Express
‘She evidently understands the strengths of her eight young performers.’ ‘It’s slick, jazz-inflected, free-wheeling stuff that wouldn’t look out of place at the Palladium.’
Rupert Christiansen - The Telegraph
‘Take five blues – a standout’
‘The piece is lively and passionate, embodying the whole ethos of an evening billed as “the pure joy of dancing”.’
Gabriel Wilding - Hackney Citizen
‘Stina Quagebeur’s Take Five Blues, providing yet more proof of her instinctive capacity to illustrate the joy of dance with innate musicality. Quagebeur has achieved the difficult challenge of making pure dance accessible and enjoyable for all by mixing moods and evoking spontaneity.’ ‘There could be no misunderstanding the sheer kinetic joy of Stina Quagebeur's Take Five Blues.’
Graham Watts - Bachtrack
‘In Take Five Stina Quagebeur marries jazz and classical ballet in a piece for eight dancers that sets them free to enjoy the pure thrill of movement.’
Debra Craine - The Times
‘Quagebeur enables her eight dancers to enjoy their balletic skills to the full, with standout moments, each one emerges as an individual instead of an echo or shadow. Her choice of music raises everyone’s spirits.’
Jann Parry - Dancetabs
"There could be no misunderstanding the sheer kinetic joy of Stina Quagebeur's Take Five Blues. Made for a larger group, it takes its cue from Nigel Kennedy's fiddle extemporising on the Paul Desmond standard to push classroom ballet steps into jazz territory, while keeping the women on pointe. Taking a Broadway-chorus loping gait as its base step, the choreography draws on individual strengths to brilliant effect, including multiple fun jumps for the boys and a diamond-sharp set of fouetté turns for Shiori Kase which, had she performed the same in a production of Swan Lake, would have earned its own round of applause. The dancers are all clearly having a ball in this one, and it's infectious."- Jenny Gilbert, theartsdesk.com
"Nora shows that Quagebeur’s choreography has an accomplished sense of lyrical phrasing and depth of character” - The Times
"I saw that she had a very strong language and a clear ability for narrative." - Tamara Rojo
Stina Quagebeur "shows a distinctive voice, with fluid, expressive steps and taut characterisation." - The Independent
“A contemporary flavour of neoclassicism that bristles with detail. It feels tremendously alive.” - The Daily Telegraph on Nora.
"Stina Quagebeur managed in many instances, to express abstract ideas through dance with the sort of clarity that indicates serious talent." - The Dancing Times
"Quagebeur has interesting ideas and a clear sense of her own voice" - The Guardian
"A room in New York by Stina Quagebeur was exceptional" - Deborah Weiss Dance Europe
“Congratulations to Stina Quagebeur for bringing all aspects together, this was the best piece of the evening. With everybody noting the relative lack of female choreographers in ballet it’s good to see one doing so well and with a female subject to boot.”
— DanceTabs by Bruce Marriot on Vera
Stina's video links can be viewed here.
Born in Belgium, Stina Quagebeur is an Associate Choreographer and a First Artist with English National Ballet. She trained both at the Royal Ballet School and English National Ballet School before joining the company at 18.
Stina has choreographed numerous works for ENB, the school and the youth company. Her work Vera was selected by the Breaking Glass Project and was performed at the Alvin Ailey Theatre in New York August 2014 and she was then awarded with a year long artistic mentorship.
She choreographed Nora, her first one act work for the company’s triple bill at Sadler’s Wells, London in 2018. Nora was later nominated for ‘Best Classical Choreography’ and Stina won the award for ‘Emerging Artist’ at the National Dance Awards 2020.
Stina has also choreographed for The Royal Ballet's Lauren Cuthbertson at the The Joyce Theatre, New York in summer 2019 and worked as a choreographer and movement director for Sam Brown's production of La Clemenza Di Tito while also dancing the role of Bernice at Theatre An Der Wien, Vienna in 2019.
Stina continues to dance with English National Ballet and created the leading role of Myrtha in Akram Khan’s new Giselle in 2016.
In 2020, Stina created two new works for English National Ballet which have received digital live-streaming premieres. These include Hollow pas de deux for Emily Suzuki and Victor Prigent for the Emerging Dancer competition on 19 September and a new creation, Take Five Blues for ENB's digital season on 23 November. Both Hollow and Take Five Blues were performed in May and June 2021 by English National Ballet before live audiences at Sadler's Wells and South Bank Centre in London.
Creations in 2022 include Nostalgia for Northern Ballet and an extended stage version of Take Five Blues for English National Ballet. In 2023, Stina created the acclaimed Deviations for the Badisches Staatstheatre Ballett in Karlsruhe, Germany, hailed by David Mead in Seeing Dance as 'Sleek, slinky and smooth, sophisticated yet playful, Deviations feels like peeking in on an easy going jazz club.'
2024 brings new commissions in the USA from Joffrey Ballet and Ballet X.