Dutch National Ballet presents
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World-class repertoire from the netherlands
The Dutch School offers a perfect sampler of the best that Dutch dance has achieved: dance that puts simplicity, clarity, musicality and the expressive qualities of the individual dancer at the forefront. It invites you to experience an incredibly wide range of vibes and emotions.
In The Dutch School, you will meet choreographers who made an important contribution to Dutch National Ballet: master choreographer Hans van Manen, associate artist David Dawson and three young choreographers, Wubkje Kuindersma, Remi Wortmeyer and Ernst Meisner, who are creating together a world premiere for The Dutch School.
The Dutch School
The programme invites you to experience an incredibly wide range of vibes and emotions. Dutch National Ballet dances two choreographies inspired by the music of Beethoven: a masterpiece by Hans van Manen, Grosse Fuge, and the new creation Prometheus by Wubkje Kuindersma, Remi Wortmeyer and Ernst Meisner. Choreographer George Balanchine once remarked that ‘Dance should leave Beethoven well alone – there’s no choreographing to his music’. But plenty of choreographers have since proved him false. Making ballet to Beethoven may not be easy, but the results are sensational! David Dawson finally was inspired to create an athletic work by Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' in an adaptation by Max Richter.
HANS VAN MANEN
A burst of energy
Probably the first to prove Balanchine wrong was – who else? – Hans van Manen. At its première in 1971, his sublime choreography to Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge string quartet was lauded as ‘the most notable European ballet of the decade’. Recent performances of the dazzling double quartet were hailed by the press as ‘Brilliant and beautiful to behold’ and ‘a super-charged burst of energy’. Today, it is one of Van Manen’s most frequently danced ballets worldwide.
WUBKJE KUINDERSMA, ERNST MEISNER EN REMI WÖRTMEYER
In his entire career, Beethoven wrote only a single ballet: 'Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus' – an allegorical ballet d’action composed in 1801 for the imperial court at Vienna. The music was well-received, but apart from a brief synopsis – Prometheus steals fire from the gods to give to two mortals – nothing of the choreography survives. In The Dutch School, Dutch National Ballet presents the world première of a new, abstracted translation of the 'Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus'. Following in the footsteps of the Dutch National Ballet's original three ‘Vans’ and their 1975 co-creation Collective Symphony, Beethoven’s ballet will be recreated by a trio of rising young choreographers: Wubkje Kuindersma, Ernst Meisner and Remi Wörtmeyer.
The Four Seasons
In its Dutch première is Associate Artist David Dawson’s The Four Seasons, a co-production with Semperoper Ballett. Dawson began his career 25 years ago as a dancer with the Dutch National Ballet. Inspired by Max Richter’s ethereal adaptation of Vivaldi’s famous composition, it is a monumental and emphatically athletic work that explores the cycle of life. As always, Dawson demands his dancers hold nothing back, immersing both themselves and the audience in an otherworldly, poetic and sublime reality.
In his choreography about the cycle of life he shows snapshots of many lives in constant change. In his highly aesthetic language of movement and in interaction with four objects floating in the stage space, Dawson tells his own personal story about the course of the seasons. The sparkling music of Max Richter is performed by the Dutch Ballet Orchestra.
'Grosse Fuge is the crowning glory of the evening. It's rich in contrast, harmonious and unbelievable. sexy'
And magnificent ballet (...) loaded with a very wonderful pure eroticism, tender and at the same time strong, beautiful of movement and line'.
Dawson’s characteristic choreography of soaring lifts and hyperextended limbs finds a new configuration, a quiet confidence and clearer definition, the pieces fitting in the puzzle with ease and accuracy.'
Hans van ManenResident 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.
David DawsonAssociate Artist
David Dawson (1972, London, United Kingdom) was resident choreographer with Dutch National Ballet from 2004 to 2006. Since 2015, he has held the position of ‘artistic associate’ with the company.
Remi WörtmeyerPrincipal / choreographer
The Australian dancer Remi Wörtmeyer (Adelaide) joined the Dutch National Ballet in 2010 as a grand sujet. In 2013 he was promoted to principal. In recent years Remi has also developed as a choreographer.
Ernst MeisnerChoreographer and artistic coordinator Junior Company
Ernst Meisner is choreographer and since 2013 the artistic coordinator of Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company. He danced with The Royal Ballet and Dutch National Ballet.
Wubkje Kuindersma is a Dutch choreographer, born in Cameroon. She studied at the Rotterdam Dance Academy (Codarts) and danced with several European companies.
Hans van Manen
Hans van Manen
Wubkje Kuindersma, Ernst Meisner, Remi Wörtmeyer
Tatyana van Walsum
Tatyana van Walsum
THE FOUR SEASONS
Dutch Ballet Orchestra o.l.v. Marzio Conti
Dutch Ballet Orchestra
Since its foundation in 1965, the orchestra has been the proud orchestral partner of Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. This way of working is unique in the Netherlands. Dutch Ballet Orchestra, with Matthew Rowe as its principal conductor, consists of a permanent core of 45 musicians, supported where necessary by highly qualified guest players. This gives the orchestra a unique character: flexible, dynamic and of high quality. Dutch Ballet Orchestra combines music and dance to provide an enchanting experience: from classical ballet to modern dance, from music education to talent development. An optimal synthesis between music and dance is the orchestra’s mission. The orchestra masters a rich repertoire, which includes the crown jewels of ballet history such as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. This repertoire is always complemented by the best works of contemporary composers, selected by the leading choreographers of today. The orchestra reaches dance lovers and enthusiasts of ballet music as well as children and adolescents. The educational projects of the orchestra have won several (international) awards, including the Young Audiences Music Award in 2016 for Creatures, a collaboration with dance company ISH.
Experts share their thoughts on current productions Dutch National Opera & Ballet offers an introductory talk 45 minutes before each performance. An expert will share background information, context and interesting details that can give your theatre visit more depth. The talks are in Dutch and are free to all the ticket holders. You can also find an abridged version of the introduction on our website as a podcast.
Time: 45 minutes before the performance
Location: Odeonzaal; ground floor entrance
Main sponsor Junior Company