Dutch National Ballet develops, produces and presents ballet at the highest international level. Dutch National Ballet aims to reach a wide public and bring today’s audiences into contact with the beauty and passion of this art form. Come and be inspired in our theatre, where you will be given a warm welcome.
Company & Dancers
Over the past 50 years, Dutch National Ballet has evolved into one of the world's foremost ballet companies. With a unique and wide repertoire, a tradition of innovation and around 80 dancers from all over the world, the company plays a leading role in Dutch cultural life and beyond.
The Junior Company was founded in August 2013 in close co-operation with the National Ballet Academy, making the Junior Company an important springboard for young dance talent.
Behind the Scenes
In these videos, you can discover how Igone de Jongh prepares her pointe shoes and take a look behind the scenes at the Costume and Wig & Make-up departments.
Artistic & Musical Staff
Here is an overview of the artistic and musical staff of Dutch National Ballet.
Director of Dutch National Ballet, Resident Choreographer
Head of the Artistic Staff
music musical director dutch ballet orchestra
Principal guest conductor
Senior Ballet Teacher
Choreographer and artistic coördinator Junior Company
A rich history
1947 Françoise Adret
Françoise Adret is head of the Ballet of De Nederlandse Opera (1947-1959).
1948 Ballet der Lage Landen
Mascha ter Weeme founds the Ballet der Lage Landen (1948-1959).
1954 Nederlands Ballet
Sonia Gaskell directs the Nederlands Ballet in The Hague.
1955 Van Dantzig's first choreography
Rudi van Dantzig choreographs his first work: Nachteiland. He creates the work for Gaskell’s Nederlands Ballet.
1955 Van Manen's first choreography
The first work choreographed by Hans van Manen is performed at the Revue Ramses Shaffy in Amsterdam. To date, he has created 120 ballets.
Merger of the Ballet of the Nederlandse Opera and the Ballet der Lage Landen, to form the Amsterdams Ballet.
1961 Dutch National Ballet
Dutch National Ballet is founded on 31 August 1961 through a merger of the Nederlands Ballet (Sonia Gaskell) and the Amsterdams Ballet (Mascha ter Weeme). This puts an end to the ‘ballet war’.
1961 Sonia Gaskell
Sonia Gaskell (1904-1974), from Russia, was one of the pioneers who helped build Dutch ballet from scratch after World War II. Under her leadership, Dutch National Ballet began giving complete performances in the 1960’s.
1964 Olga de Haas
At the age of nineteen, Olga de Haas (1944-1978) is promoted to principal. The promising star and audience darling rose to become a legendary Dutch ballerina. She died on 1 September 1978 at the age of 34.
1965 Van Dantzig & Kaesen
Resident choreographers Rudi van Dantzig and Robert Kaesen join Sonia Gaskell as directors of the company.
1965 Nederlands Ballet Orkest
The foundation of the Nederlands Balletorkest, especially for accompanying Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater.
1967 Romeo en Julia
The premiere of Van Dantzig’s Romeo and Juliet takes place on 16 February. His ballet is still in the company’s repertoire today.
1968 Rudolf Nurejev
Rudolf Nureyev makes his debut as a guest artist with Dutch National Ballet in The Nutcracker on Christmas Day.
1969 Rudi van Dantzig
Rudi van Dantzig continues to expand Dutch National Ballet along the lines of his predecessor. Since his appointment as director, the company has distinguished itself with its own distinctive versions of works from the classical repertoire.
1970 Alexandra Radius
Alexandra Radius and her husband Han Ebbelaar join the company as principals. The couple will become the most famous dance duo of the Netherlands.
Hans van Manen, who directed Nederlands Dans Theater from 1961 to 1971, creates his first work for Dutch National Ballet as a freelance choreographer: Twilight.
1974 Sonia Gaskell dies
On 9 July, the founder of the company, Sonia Gaskell, dies in Paris.
1975 The three Van's
In the 1970’s and 80’s, the three Van’s – Rudi van Dantzig, Hans van Manen and Toer van Schayk turn out to be an artistic gold mine. With their works, Dutch National Ballet makes its name internationally for its daring contemporary repertoire.
1979 First videoballet
Van Manen’s ballet Live, combined in a double bill with Van Dantzig’s Life, is the first video ballet in the Netherlands. The premiere takes place in Koninklijk Theater Carré.
1981 World premiere The Sleeping Beauty
The world premiere of Sir Peter Wright’s version of The Sleeping Beauty. It is the most successful work in the history of the company.
1982 Joint performance
Dutch National Ballet and De Nederlandse Opera give a joint performance. The ballet company dances George Balanchine’s Agon and Apollon Musagète, and the performance ends with the opera oratorio Oedipus Rex.
1985 Silver jubilee
The company celebrates its silver jubilee in the Stadsschouwburg, marking the transition to its new quarters on the Waterlooplein: The Amsterdam Music Theatre. The ‘house’ is shared with De Nederlandse Opera and the Town Hall.
The company commissions Gerardjan Rijnders, an avant-garde stage director, to create Bacchanten. The work is premiered in Theater Carré.
1988 Van Dantzig's Swan Lake
Swan Lake in Rudi van Dantzigs version premieres. This 'ballet of ballets' in his interpretation proves a milestone in Dutch dance history.
1991 Wayne Eagling
Wayne Eagling (1950), an ex-principal with The Royal Ballet, in England, puts the emphasis on technical perfection and raises Dutch National Ballet’s level to even greater heights.
1996 Nutcracker & Mouse King
Nutcracker & Mouse King, the brainchild of Wayne Eagling and Toer van Schayk, based on the original by Marius Petipa, is premiered on 13 December. The production is still drawing full houses today.
2002 Holland Symfonia
On 1 January 2002, Het Nederlands Balletorkest and the Noordhollands Philharmonisch Orkest merge to form the new Holland Symfonia, which takes over all the regular accompaniment tasks. The orchestra is currently led by Matthew Rowe (photo).
2003 Ted Brandsen
The current director, Ted Brandsen (1954), was a dancer with Dutch National Ballet until 1991, becoming artistic director in 2003. Brandsen raises technical levels and starts an intensive collaboration with the National Ballet Academy.
2003 Krzysztof Pastor
Krzysztof Pastor is appointed resident choreographer. The ex-dancer with Dutch National Ballet is also appointed artistic director of the ballet company of the Polish Opera in 2009.
2005 Hans van Manen returns
In 2005, Hans van Manen returns to Dutch National Ballet as a resident choreographer, after having left the company in 1987.
2007 Hans van Manen Festival
To celebrate the 75th birthday of choreographer Hans van Manen (1932), Dutch National Ballet organises the ‘Hans van Manen Festival’: three weeks of Dutch dance performed by many leading ensembles and artists from the Netherlands and abroad.
2007 Order of the Netherlands Lion
In 2007, Van Manen was pinned and hung with the decorations of the Commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. Fifteen years earlier, in 1992, he had already been made an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau.
2012 The Dutch National Ballet turns 50
The golden jubilee is celebrated with a grand gala, with Queen Beatrix in attendance.
2012 Rudi van Dantzig dies
After a long illness, Rudi van Dantzig dies on 19 January 2012.
2012 Hans van Manen 80 years
On the occasion of Hans van Manen’s 80th birthday, there is gala for the ‘Mondriaan of dance’.
2012 Merger of the three organisations
On 31 December 2012, The Amsterdam Music Theatre, De Nederlandse Opera and Dutch National Ballet sign the agreement that will lead to a legal merger of the three art institutions.
2013 Els van der Plas
The new organisation kicks off on 1 January, but without a common name for the moment. Els van der Plas is the managing director, Ted Brandsen is the director of ballet and Pierre Audi is the director of opera.
2013 'Benois' for Cinderella
Christopher Wheeldon receives a ‘Benois’ for Cinderella. Hans van Manen receives the ‘Benois de la Danse’ for Variations for Two Couples. This award is often referred to as the ‘Oscar of dance’.
2013 Junior Company
The Junior Company starts up on 1 August. This collaboration between the company and the National Ballet Academy trains talented young dancers between the ages of 18 and 21 and gives them the opportunity to move up into the ranks of Dutch National Ballet.
2014 Dutch National Opera & Ballet
From 17 February, Dutch National Ballet is part of the triumvirate called Dutch National Opera & Ballet. The company will continue to operate under the name Dutch National Ballet.
On 1 January 2015, Marijn Rademaker will join Dutch National Ballet as a principal. Rademaker, who is currently a principal with Stuttgarter Ballett in Germany, is regarded as the best Dutch male dancer in the world at the moment.
Dutch National Ballet will be one of the guests at the second edition of Free to Move, the gala of the Prinses Beatrix Spierfonds, be held on 4 September 2014 at the Lucent Danstheater in The Hague.
One of the nominees for the Swan in the category “most impressive dance production 2013-2014” is Romance by Dutch National Ballet.
Dutch dancer Rink Sliphorst will be a second soloist at Dutch National Ballet as of September. Sliphorst is the second Dutch male dancer to have acquired the rank of soloist with the company, preceded only by Boris de Leeuw in 1995.
On Thursday 19 June 2014, the Junior Company will be at the Apple Store at Leidseplein in Amsterdam.
Homebody is a special mix of drama, music and spectacular dance by a remarkable group of theatre makers: Dutch National Ballet, Noord Nederlands Toneel, Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, musicians’ laboratory Kytopia and ODD Continent.
Dutch National Ballet and game-developer Game Oven present Bounden, the first dancing game for smartphones.
Anna Tsygankova, principal with Dutch National Ballet, has won the Grand Prix of the Dance Open Festival 2014 in St Petersburg (Russia).
Dutch National Ballet presents its new season for the first time together with Dutch National Opera on a single website, in a new format and with a new house style.
Dutch National Opera & Ballet offer two free Social Seats each month: all you have to do is use your social media!