Recipients of the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2020 are:

The Royal Theatre School of Ballet in Odense
for interpreting the fairy tales of H.C. Andersen through classical ballet and modern dance for many years.

Lorena Ojeda Davila, Mexico
for the publication of ten fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen in the Purépecha language (2019).

Jan Balej, Czech Republic
for his animated film ”Little from the Fish Shop” (2015).

The Royal Theatre School of Ballet in Odense, Denmark
Since its foundation in Odense in 2001 they have shown us numerous performances based upon the fairy tales of H.C. Andersen – either alone or (often) in collaboration with other cultural institutions, such as the Theater of Odense, the Symphony orchestra of Odense or the Festivals of H.C. Andersen Festivals – and these performances have taken place not only on established stage floors but also in the streets and alleys.

A small selection of the performances centered around H.C. Andersen within the last few years have been: Grantræet, Snemanden, Snedronningen, De 5 papirklip as well as countless performance shows, which have taken their starting point in the world of H.C. Andersen – and yes, even at our own annual Award ceremony the Ballet School has been a fixture with their performances.

Lorena Ojeda Davila, Mexico
The Danes have been lucky to be able to read the great poet in his native language, but we also know that he has been an inspiration all over the world due to the fact that he has been translated into many, many languages. In that way he has become the most valuable export commodity for Denmark, but he has also strengthened languages and cultures throughout the globe solely due to the fact that his fairy tales are so widely known.

With the release of this translation “Temepeni wantantskweecha Hans Christian Anderseniri p’urhe jimpo”(!) Lorena Ojeda Davila has made it possible to read 10 fairy tales in the language of Purépecha. And these translations are not even found on the usual top-ten list of the most popular fairy tales: ”Grantræet”, ”De vilde svaner” og ”Den lille pige med svovlstikkerne” are probably among the most known fairy tales in this translation but you can also read very powerful fairy tales such as ”Bedstemor,” ”Pigen, som trådte på brødet” and ”Nabofamilierne”. As the book is handed out free of charge and available on the internet the book is now readily available to everybody who can read Purépecha.

Jan Balej, Czech Republic
Czech animators have also found inspiration in the tales of H.C. Andersen, but hardly anyone as original and thorough as Jan Balej! This version of the fairy tale about the little mermaid makes a magnificent impression in its modern setting where Jan Balej on the one hand combine a deepfelt humanism that corresponds exactly with H.C. Andersen’s view of man as individual and significant in his own right and, on the other hand man’s close association with the natural world. Or as shown by you in the movie: a nature that is just not self-evident.

Quite radically Jan Balej send the whole ocean family ashore, because we, who already live here, have made the sea uninhabitable. It is precisely in this context that the mermaid’s impossible love appears all the more powerful because it is set in a socially alienated – and socially harsh – environment.

Although ”Little from the Fish Shop” does not use Andersen’s religious understanding of immortality, the movie and its sad ending is completely in line with belief shown in the original fairy tale that love and hope really do exist and that it also makes life meaningful in an eternal perspective and that the experience of happiness cannot be measured. The Award Ceremony takes place on Wednesday, April 2nd at 17.00 at the Concert Hall in Odense. The Awards will be motivated and presented by the Minister of Cultural Affairs, Joy Mogensen, Film instructor Lone Scherfig and the Mayor of Odense, Peter Rahbæk Juel.

The Award Ceremony takes place on Wednesday, April 2nd at 17.00 at the Concert Hall in Odense
The Awards will be motivated and presented by the Minister of Cultural Affairs, Joy Mogensen, Film instructor Lone Scherfig and the Mayor of Odense, Peter Rahbæk Juel.