1. FOUR GENERATIONS IN ONE EVENING
In Four Temperaments, Dutch National Ballet presents an enthralling series of four distinctive works created by choreographers from four different generations: George Balanchine (1904), Hans van Manen (1932), Ted Brandsen (1959) and Juanjo Arqués (1977). Each piece encapsulates a unique zeitgeist and perspective, making the performance a diverse and vibrant series.
2. WORKS BY MASTER CHOREOGRAPHERS
Both George Balanchine and Hans van Manen are hailed as master choreographers and significant dance innovators of their respective eras. Balanchine's The Four Temperaments, inspired by the four personality types of antiquity, remains as vivacious and dynamic as ever. Even 75 years after its premiere, the piece continues to astonish audiences. Hans van Manen's Frank Bridge Variations, created in 2005, stands out for its striking contrasts and achieves profound expression through its simplicity.
3. NEW WORK BY DIRECTOR TED BRANDSEN
In addition to serving as the director of Dutch National Ballet, Ted Brandsen is also renowned as a choreographer. Specifically for the Four Temperaments programme, he has created a new ballet for a large ensemble, choreographed to the exhilarating The Chairman Dances by John Adams. While this musical piece was originally created for Adams' opera Nixon in China, it has been increasingly adopted by choreographers as a standalone composition — a testament to its innate suitability for dance.
4. NEW WORK BY JUANJO ARQUÉS
While Brandsen is crafting a piece for Four Temperaments, Juanjo Arqués is also presenting a new choreography. Initially a dancer with Dutch National Ballet, the internationally acclaimed choreographer left the stage in 2012 to devote himself entirely to choreography. From 2017 to 2021, he held the title of Young Creative Associate at Dutch National Ballet. Now, he introduces Full Frontal, an exploration into the effects of daily stress. Choreographed to Michael Gordon's compelling Weather One, nine dancers portray societal dynamics, showcasing through solos, duets, and group sequences how stress impacts individuals and how, both individually and collectively, they navigate its challenges.
5. SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH MUSIC
A common thread uniting the four choreographers in this programme is their profound engagement with the music they incorporate into their pieces. Balanchine famously said, "See the music, hear the dance." And in the works of the other three choreographers, the chosen compositions also extend beyond mere soundtracks; they become integral components of the choreography itself.
- Four Temperaments can be seen at Dutch National Opera & Ballet from 16 to 30 September