Dutch National Ballet presents
World famous icon
The turbulent life of the Dutch spy and dancer Mata Hari is the theme of this large-scale production. Choreographed by artistic director Ted Brandsen, it was premiered in the spring of 2016 to resounding success.
The story of the Dutch spy and dancer, which is known all over the world, now appeals to the imagination more than ever. The young girl from Friesland became an internationally celebrated dancer; a star who wound every man around her little finger and a strong, self-willed woman, who was later accused of treason. On 15 October 2017, it is exactly a hundred years ago that Margaretha Geertruida Zelle (Mata Hari’s real name) was executed as a spy.
The casting for the principal roles in Mata Hari has been announced. Click here to see who is dancing when.
About this production
The music for Brandsen’s Mata Hari is by Tarik O’Regan, one of today’s leading British composers. The renowned designers’ duo Clement & Sanou were invited to make the set and light design and François-Noël Cherpin designed the costumes. Ted Brandsen worked with librettist and dramaturge Janine Brogt on a scenario that portrays Mata Hari’s life in cinematic scenes.
The most intriguing thing about Mata Hari's life story is not the biographical facts, but rather her ability to keep transforming herself. At every change in her eventful life, she succeeded in reinventing herself: as dancer, diva, spy and mystery. She never gave up. Mata Hari has become symbolic of the irresistible courtesan spy. Several films about her life (including one with Greta Garbo from 1932 and one with Jeanne Moreau from 1965) have contributed to this image. The extent to which she was actually guilty of espionage is still unclear. In 2017, several sources will be made accessible to the public and the role actually played by Mata Hari will become clearer.
Ted BrandsenDirector of Dutch National Ballet, Resident Choreographer
Ted Brandsen danced with Dutch National Ballet from 1981 to 1991. In 1991, he retired from dancing in favour of concentrating on choreography. In 1998, Brandsen was appointed artistic director of West Australian Ballet in Perth. At the beginning of 2002, Brandsen returned to Dutch National Ballet, initially in the position of assistant artistic director and resident choreographer and since 2003 as artistic director of the company. Ted Brandsen has been the director of Dutch National Ballet since August 2012.
Matthew Rowemusic director Dutch National Ballet, principal conductor of Dutch Ballet Orchestra
Londoner Matthew Rowe was appointed music director of Dutch National Ballet and chief conductor of Dutch Ballet Orchestra in 2013. From this dual position he plays an important role in the musical and artistic collaboration between ballet company and orchestra.
Mata Hari - Tarik O’Regan
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.
‘The scope is breathtaking. The ballet finds its heart in the woman herself. (…) Anna Tsygankova brings her talent and charisma to the role, creating a woman of leonine courage and one we genuinely care about (...) magnificent pas de deux.’