What dragged you away from your home in 2011 – and was it any good?

The InOut team pay tribute to the shows, performers, festivals and organisers that impressed them the most over the last 12 months.

1. Vita and Virginia You cannot ignore the high praise this received in the Danish media and within the theatre community. Sue Hansen Styles and Angela Heath-Larsen proved that a niche play will pull in equal numbers of Danes and internationals.

2. The Zoo Story Adam Brix’s commanding, animalistic performance in That Theatre’s atmospheric drama announced the arrival of a new exciting talent on the English-language theatre’s scene.

3. A Christmas Carol Tom McEwan’s turn as the Ghost of Christmas Present was surely the performance of the season in this CTC production. Now 71, let’s hope we haven’t seen the last of an actor this city has always been blessed to have.

4. Oleanna Two in the top five for That Theatre Company, which under the leadership of Ian Burns continues to go from strength to strength.

5. Cinderella The CTC are ably demonstrating that pantomime isn’t just the graveyard for washed-up soap stars and, in their absence, exceedingly good fun for all the family.

Ben Hamilton

1. Zulu Comedy Festival Special props to the organisers for booking some quality international acts, like Britain’s Paul Foot. Looking forward to seeing who they attract in 2012.

2. Copenhagen Sakura Festival This year’s was a particularly poignant affair following the earthquake in March.

3. Copenhagen Puppet Festival This biennial celebration of puppetry never fails to disappoint. Who said only the kids should like this genre?

4. Wondercool At last, something to do during February. The year’s most dreary month just got reinvented – long may it continue.

5. Copenhagen Ink Festival Back after a long absence, it was time in April to get your freakin’ ink on, with Lizardman in some cases.

Ben Hamilton

1. Smukfest The Beautiful Festival in 2011 emerged from Roskilde’s shadow to take the plaudits with an impressive line-up including Tom Jones, Ozzy Osbourne and Robyn.

2. Northside Northside was once again a hit with audiences thanks to an international line-up including The Streets, White Lies and Band of Horses, which many other more established festivals couldn’t match.

3. Roskilde Despite the rain and complaints about it lacking big names, Roskilde remains Denmarks biggest festival and in 2011 was once again one of the places to be.

4. Strøm Celebrating its fifth year, this champion of the underground scene is quickly becoming one of the most important electronic music events in northern Europe.

5. Distortion The notorious street festival has grown out of proportion within the last few years, with attendances on some nights quadrupling this year. It continues to pack a punch, but is in danger of becoming too mainstream.

Malene S Ørsted

1. Christiania’s 40th birthday It started with a breakfast and then finished, in true Christiania style, six days later. But not only was it the freetown’s 40th birthday, it was also its most momentous year – the rest of the city now waits with baited breath, with just a hint of cannabis smoke being exhaled, to see how it will move on from its mid-life crisis.

2. Culture Night How this night manages to surpass itself every year remains one of the city’s great mysteries. Definitely an evening when it’s a crime to stay in.

3. Irish Day at the Races If any day marks the coming of spring, it’s the Irish Rover’s Irish Day at the Races, which every year never fails to deliver, whether you’re there to have a flutter, have a great day out with the kids, or try your luck in the ladies’ hat competition.

4. St Alban’s Fete If you haven’t been before, you’re missing out on a truly British institution where the cream teas and selections of English-language books really are second to none.

5. Children’s Festival Sure, it’s a biased selection because we organised it, but there was undoubtedly something special about how the storm clouds parted and allowed the sun to shine down on the proceedings in Valby Park – an omen surely that this is an event we should run every year to introduce international children to the world of opportunity on their doorstep.

Various contributors

1. Die Frau Ohne Schatten Staged by Kasper Holten, Richard Strauss’s Die Frau Ohne Schatten (Kvinden uden skygge) was one of the most spectacular and praised operas in many years at the Royal Danish Opera. Find out what all the fuss is about from February 3.  

2. Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci This ongoing Italian double-bill from the 1890s, affectionately known as ‘Cav and Pag’ in opera circles, has been delighting audiences, both visually and aurally, with its tales of passion, jealousy and murder.

3. Boris Godunov Boasting fantastic attention to detail, sets that were reminiscent of Bladerunner, and some of international opera’s biggest names, this couldn’t go wrong.

4. Cosi fan tutte A witty and well-sung rendition of Mozart’s classic tale of love. Wolfgang would be proud.

5. Romeo and Juliet Peter Lodahl/Niels Jørgen Riis and Sine Bundgaard/Inger Dam-Jensen excelled as Romeo and Juliet in this exquisite production. 

Various contributors

1. Malpais A challenging performance that explored the concept of fear, featuring intense performances by Siri Wolthoorn and choreographer Tina Tarpgaard.   

2. A Folk Tale A gorgeous new version of August Bournonville’s 1854 ballet in which Maria Bernholdt blew everyone away as the troll girl who doesn’t quite fit in – a performance that earned her a Reumert prize as dancer of the year.

3. Love Songs A dance performance like a box of good chocolate: smooth, indulgent and very enjoyable. The fiery Italian dancer Luca Marazia and the sensual Brazilian Alessandro Sousa Pereira stood out, performing Tim Rushton’s silky and seductive choreography.

Mette Windberg Baarup

1. Drift Kitt Johnson stunned with a performance that explored manifold ways of staging the body’s appearance in dance.

2. Virtuose trin (Virtuosi Steps) A triple bill with which the Royal Danish Ballet paid tribute to Denmark’s great 19th century ballet master August Bournonville.

3. The Nutcracker Currently the only staging of George Balanchine’s splendid version of the famous Christmas ballet in Europe.

Franziska Bork Petersen

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