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Dutch National Ballet presents

Ode to the master Hans van Manen

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Hans van Manen is 85

Duration 2:05

Breaks 2

No choreographer has made such a big mark on dance in the Netherlands as Hans van Manen. In this tribute programme Ode to the master, on the occasion of his eighty-fifth birthday, Dutch National Ballet is adding yet another gem by the master to its repertoire.

In short

Hans van Manen may be 85 this summer, but his international fame is still rising. In recent years, both the Mariinsky Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet have taken his ballets into their repertoire, and the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris is also performing his work. Dutch National Ballet is therefore very proud to have Van Manen as one of their resident choreographers and is treating you to four masterly creations in Ode to the master. 

  • 5 Tango's
  • Symfonieën
  • Sarcasmen
  • Hans van Manen

    Resident choreographer

    Hans van Manen has succeeded in bringing modern ballet – as a combination of classical ballet and modern dance and movement techniques – to a wide audience.

    On the move

    New to our company is On the Move, which Van Manen created for Nederlands Dans Theater in 1992. The master choreographer’s characteristic clarity of form and structure is pared down to the bone here, and every line, glance, transition and musical phrase seems inevitable.

    5 Tangos

    Of all the Van Manen ballets, 5 Tangos is probably the one that is performed most often. When he choreographed this piece in 1977, Van Manen introduced Astor Piazzolla’s ‘tango nuevo’ to the Netherlands. Set to five contrasting compositions, the ballet is a sultry duet between the repressed passion of tango with the cool detachment of classical ballet.


    Just as iconic is Sarcasm, created for Rachel Beaujean and Clint Farha in 1981. This ballet for two dancers and a pianist is about challenging, or even threatening one another. But it is never over the top, as that would detract from the refined chic and eroticism of the choreography.

    Symphonieën der Nederlanden

    Ode to the master closes with Symphonieën der Nederlanden, created for the opening of Amsterdam Cultural Capital, in 1987. Listening to Louis Andriessen’s stirring music of the same name, Van Manen imagined American marching bands, and interpreted the music in his own refreshing, sometimes contrary, yet always infectious way.


    Ode to the master


    On the Move

    -       Sergei Prokofiev - Concerto for violin and orchestra no. 1 in D major, opus 19

    5 Tangos

    -       Astor Piazzolla -Todo Buenos Aires, Mort, Vayamos al diablo, Resurreccion del angel, Buenos Aires hora cero


    -       Sergei Prokofiev - Cinq Sarcasmes, opus 17

    Symphonieën der Nederlanden

    -       Louis Andriessen - Symphonieën der Nederlanden



    Musical accompaniment Ode to the master


    Dutch Ballet Orchestra

    conducted by Matthew Rowe


    Sexteto Canyengue

    conducted by Carel Kraayenhof

    (5 Tangos)

    Liza Perschtman

    (violin, On the Move)

    Carel Kraayenhof and his Sexteto Canyengue

    Carel Kraayenhof discovered the bandoneon in the early 1980s. He was so taken with the deep melancholy of the sound of the bandoneon on the one hand and its overwhelming power on the other, that he just had to become a bandoneon player – even if it took him twenty years. However, it did not take him long to become one of the best-known tango musicians. In 1985, he was one of the founders of Tango Cuatro. Three years later, the ensemble became Sexteto Canyengue, with whom he is accompanying 5 Tangos in this programme. Kraayenhof worked several times with Astor Piazzolla, up to the composer’s death in 1992. In 2002, his rendition of  Piazzolla’s Adios Nonino moved Princess Maxima to tears – along with the whole of the Netherlands – during her wedding to Willem-Alexander.

    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 Trouw about On the Move

      'Van Manen pays tribute to dance in this ballet (..) And once again, it is a breathtaking experience’

      Mon 13 Feb Noordhollands Dagblad

      ‘Passion flies from the stage in Hans van Manen’s 5 Tangos’

      Mon 13 Feb de Volkskrant about Sarcasm

      ‘A penetrating specimen of dance expression and of partners who provoke, torment and sneer at one another, yet apparently can’t do without each other’.