Dutch National Ballet presents

Back to Ballet – contemporary juanjo arqués and william forsythe


Duration 1:20

Breaks 0




Back to Ballet - Contemporary - Trailer

Our dancers are back. And how! In Back to Ballet - contemporary, their resilience splashes off the stage. They dance as though they have never been gone. On the programme: MANOEUVRE, a brand-new ballet by Young Creative Associate Juanjo Arqués, and the intriguing Pas/Parts 2018 by groundbreaking choreographer William Forsythe.

Safe visit
We have taken careful measures to ensure a safe visit to our theatre, including careful observation of the compulsory 1.5 metre distance in the auditorium and in the foyer.
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Forsythe: Pas/Parts 2018
Foto: Hans Gerritsen
Forsythe: Pas/Parts 2018
Foto: Hans Gerritsen
Forsythe: Pas/Parts 2018
Foto: Hans Gerritsen
Forsythe: Pas/Parts 2018 | Hans Gerritsen
Forsythe: Pas/Parts 2018 | Hans Gerritsen
Repetitie MANOEUVRE Juanjo Arqués | Foto: Paige McFall
Repetitie MANOEUVRE Juanjo Arqués | Foto: Paige McFall



Spanish choreographer Juanjo Arqués receives commissions from leading international companies and holds the position of Young Creative Associate at Dutch National Ballet. His MANOEUVRE has its world premiere in our Back to Ballet programme. For MANOEUVRE, Arqués uses John Adams' exceptional composition 'Shaker Loops' (Erasmus Prize 2019), in which the composer captured the motion of waves. This motion is also reflected in the s-shaped set designed by Tatyana van Walsum for this new work.
MANOEUVRE is performed by seven male dancers, and focuses attention to male sensitivity. In the creative process, the work departed from emotion, in search of matching form and movement. A path that, oscillating between different moods, leads to a more complete masculine self-image. 
Choreography Juanjo Arqués
Music John Adams
Musical accompaniment Dutch Ballet Orchestra conducted by Koen Kessels
Dramaturgy Fabienne Vegt
Decor and costume design Tatyana from Walsum
Lighting design Bert Dalhuysen
Ballet master Judy Maelor Thomas


"It's mainly about dancers dancing," William Forsythe stated about Pas/Parts 2018, a work that had its well-received Dutch premiere at our company in June 2019. Forsythe is known as an innovator of classical ballet and originally created Pas/Parts for the Ballet of the Paris Opera in 1999. He has revised the work several times since, most recently in 2018 for the Boston Ballet - hence the addition tot the title.
Pas/Parts 2018 It is a large ensemble work in twenty movements, with abrupt transitions in light, music, tempo, rhythm, energy and formations. Solos, duets, trios and larger formations follow in an unpredictable sequence. Through action and reaction, new forms and configurations are continually generated. The white sets are lighted by equally white lights, and the electronic music by Thom Willems refers to Renaissance music. 
Choreography William Forsythe
Music Thom Willems - Pas/Parts
Lighting and set design William Forsythe
Costume design Stephen Galloway
    Thu 16 Jul William Forsythe - De Groene Amsterdammer about Pas/Parts 2018

    'Exciting is the brutal self-awareness with which the dancers enter the floor. The seemingly self-chosen moment at which they insert a phrase. [...] The brusque stopping and bending away. It is about dancing pleasure, about the physical pleasure of the elegant extension and the cartoonish confusion. Being over and over in the moment.'

    Tue 06 Feb LA Times over Forsythes Pas/Parts

    ‘The dancers played the rhythm with their bodies, creating the illusion that we were not only watching them but also listening to them’

    Thu 16 Jul Juanjo Arqués - Financial Times about Consequence

    'Arqués's 'Consequence' brought Wayne McGregor to mind with his writhing, highly articulate style and minimalist design choices, but his work feels more human and, for such a young choreographer - he's 34 - is quite promising'

    Thu 09 Jul Forsythe: Pas/Parts 2018 - Theaterkrant 2019

    'Forsythe's language is grotesque and yet precise. [...] In doing so, he plays with acceleration and deceleration and creates a new pattern of expectation by repeatedly misdirecting the audience. With these ingredients he creates a treasure trove of half an hour's worth of material, which could easily have lasted an hour as well.'

    Thu 09 Jul Juanjo Arqués - De Volkskrant - Homo Ludens

    'Homo ludens by Juanjo Arqués revolves around the need to keep moving, to try it out. Only then do you come to creation, renewal. The choreographies, stayers or not, show the fantastic level of the dancers.'

William Forsythe


The American choreographer William Forsythe (New York, 1949) is regarded as one of the most influential innovators in contemporary ballet. Forsythe trained at Jacksonville University in Florida and the School of American Ballet in New York and danced with Joffrey Ballet in Chicago.

Juanjo Arqués

Young Creative Associate

Juanjo Arqués was a dancer with Dutch National Ballet until 2012 when he turned his focus completely to choreography.



Dutch Ballet Orchestra conducted by Koen Kessels

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.





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