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Gala 2017

dresscode: black tie


Dutch National Ballet’s festive gala performance to open the theatre season has become an institution. The Gala has grown into an extremely popular event that is greatly appreciated by ballet-lovers and celebrities alike.

In short

The Gala presents an exclusive surprise programme involving a total of around two hundred dancers with among them leading international stars. The Gala is dedicated to Rachel Beaujean, who was one of Hans van Manen’s muses for many years.

After the performance, the festivities of the Gala will continue in the foyer, where you can take to the dance floor yourself, along with the dancers and choreographers.

Dress code: Black tie

  • Creation

    Rachel Beaujean
    In the coming season, Rachel Beaujean will be celebrating forty years of association with Dutch National Ballet. As a dancer, she gained fame mainly as the muse of Hans van Manen, but she was also a favourite of the other resident choreographers, Rudi van Dantzig and Toer van Schayk. She also danced many principal roles in the classical repertoire and performed in ballets by Balanchine, Brandsen, Forsythe, Graham and Lock among others. In 1997, she stopped dancing and became ballet mistress with the company, going on to be appointed head of the artistic staff in 2003. Apart from being closely involved in policy decisions, she is also one of the best soloist coaches and rehearsal directors. In addition, she has also staged various important productions for the company in recent years.

    Latest Van Manen ballet
    In July 2017, the master choreographer will be 85; a fact that we will be celebrating throughout the season, with a world premiere by the master, for example, and two works that are new to our company. The Gala will include Van Manen’s legendary The Old Man and Me, performed by guest stars Diana Vishneva – who recently also danced Van Manen’s Live – and Vladimir Malakhov. And Martin Schläpfer, artistic director of Ballett am Rhein, in Germany, will join dancers from his company in performing Van Manen’s Alltag. The German press praised this recent work as ‘enchanting’ and ‘exceptionally moving’.

    Surprise programme
    The Gala also comprises a varied selection from the company’s extensive repertoire, which will include some teasers for new ballets in the coming season. There will be excerpts from the big classical ballets and works by the master of twentieth-century ballet George Balanchine, as well as new creations. All the principals of the company will be appearing, which is a unique event, as there is no other production where they all perform on the same evening. In addition, the Junior Company is presenting a piece from its own repertoire, and both companies will appear side by side in the Grand Défilé, along with the very youngest dance talents of the Netherlands.


    The Old Man and Me – choreography Hans van Manen


    -       J.J. Cale - The Old Man and Me

    -       Igor Stravinsky – Circus Polka for orchestra

    -       Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Concerto no. 23 in A major (KV 488: Adagio)


    Alltag – choreography Hans van Manen


    -       Manuel Blasco de Nebra - adagio from Piano Sonata opus 1 no. 4 in C major

    -       Gustav Mahler – excerpts from Symphony no. 7

    -       Franz Schubert – Obelisco from Du bist die Ruh D 776

    -       J.S. Bach - toccata from Partita for piano no. 6 in E minor, BWV 830



    Musical accompaniment

    Dutch Ballet Orchestra

    conducted by Matthew Rowe


    Dutch Ballet Orchestra

    Since its inception in 1965, the orchestra has been proud to accompany its partners, Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. The working method is unique in the Netherlands. Dutch Ballet Orchestra, with Matthew Rowe as principal conductor, consists of a regular core of 45 musicians, supported where necessary by highly qualified guest performers. This gives the orchestra its unique character: flexible, dynamic and high-quality.

    Dutch Ballet Orchestra combines music and dance into a magical experience: from classical ballet to modern dance, and from music education to talent development. The orchestra’s mission is to create an optimal synthesis between music and dance, in order to reach dance-lovers and ballet music enthusiasts, as well as children and youngsters.

    The orchestra has received several international awards for its educational projects, including the Young Audiences Music Award in 2016 for Creatures, a collaborative project with dance company ISH.


    Matthew Rowe

    Matthew Rowe was appointed musical director of Dutch National Ballet and principal conductor of Dutch Ballet Orchestra in January 2013. He is the first conductor to hold these two positions simultaneously. Some of the notable productions he has conducted for Dutch National Opera & Ballet are Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella, the European premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Firebird, the world premiere of Shen Wei’s Sacre du Printemps and many ballets by Hans van Manen.

    Rowe is also a regular guest conductor with other leading dance companies, including The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Stuttgarter Ballett and the Polish National Ballet, in Warsaw.

    Rowe is a welcome guest with the BBC orchestras. He also provides live commentary for the BBC Proms Concerts, has developed a conducting course for the BBC’s interactive iWonder Guide and has appeared in the BBC series Maestro.

    He is known for his versatility and his wide repertoire in opera, ballet, contemporary music and accompaniment of silent films, such as Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights and Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin.

    His recent projects include a Frank Zappa retrospective with the Doelen Ensemble, the 100th anniversary of John Cage’s birth in San Diego and a performance of Bernstein’s West Side Story for the 125th anniversary of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

      Mon 13 Feb De Telegraaf about the Gala 2016

      ‘At the Dutch National Ballet’s sixth Ballet Gala, the stage radiated dedication, discipline, passion and pure beauty’.