Kirsten Ralov (Gnatt) was born in Baden, Austria, 26 March 1922. She started her ballet education in Vienna. Then, in 1929, her Danish parents moved to Copenhagen where she entered the Royal Danish Ballet School making her stage debut as a child in 1933 and joining the Royal Danish Ballet in 1940.
She danced with the company as a principal dancer from 1942 to 1962.
A vivacious, musical dancer, she was one of the finest exponents of the Bournonville style of her time.
After retiring from stage Ralov traveled producing Bournonville?s ballet for many companies, and in 1978 she changed F. Flindt at the Royal Danish Ballet as co-artistic director. She remained in this position until 1988. She also created several ballets, including The Door (1962) to the music by Bentzon for RDB.
In 1978 she published a 4-volumes book The Bournonville School.
In 1953 Kirsten Ralov was made Knight of Dannebrog (elevated to First Grade in 1978). In 1981 she was accepted into the Icelandic Order of the Falcon.
Kirsten Ralov died in Copenhagen in 1999.