8-29 June 2021


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

Running time

1:20 hours, no breaks




Inspired by great compositions

Choreographer George Balanchine once said: 'The art of dance would be better off not venturing into Beethoven's world, because it is impossible to choreograph his music.' But with a famous masterpiece and a new creation set to music by Beethoven, Dutch National Ballet proves him false. And with sensational results!


Beethoven behind the scenes
Grosse Fuge
Grosse Fuge, photo: Hans Gerritsen
Grosse Fuge
Grosse Fuge, photo: Hans Gerritsen
Grosse Fuge, photo: Hans Gerritsen
Prometheus, photo: Hans Gerritsen
Prometheus, photo: Hans Gerritsen
Prometheus, photo: Hans Gerritsen


Alongside a ballet by Dutch master Hans van Manen, you will see the world premiere of a new joint choreography by Wubkje Kuindersma, Remi Wörtmeyer and Ernst Meisner.


Grosse Fuge


A burst of energy
Immediately after the premiere of Van Manen's Grosse Fuge, set to Beethoven's string quartet of the same name, this sublime choreography was proclaimed 'the most important European ballet of the decade'. To this day, the thrilling double quartet has not lost any of its popularity: Grosse Fuge is one of the most performed Van Manen ballets worldwide. 'Brilliant and eye-catching', 'a burst of energy', is what the press has called recent performances.

The choreography for four men and four women consists of two very different parts, which nevertheless form a harmonious whole. In the fugue, the tensions are complex and charged; in the cavatina, they are lyrically handled and resolved. In the first part of the work, the men wear black skirts designed by Van Manen himself, which make their movements even fiercer and more aggressive, while the women look as if they have just stepped out of their evening gowns.



Divine fire
The only ballet composition Beethoven has ever written is the allegorical trade ballet Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus, which he composed in 1801 at the request of the Viennese Imperial Court. The music of this ballet was a great success, but from the choreography only a short synopsis - about Prometheus who steals fire from the gods to give it to two human figures - has survived. In Beethoven, Wubkje Kuindersma, Ernst Meisner and Remi Wörtmeyer, three renowned young choreographers, present the world premiere of their new, more abstract translation of Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus. Following in the footsteps of the three 'Van's' who jointly created Collective Symphony in 1975, they each take on a part of Beethoven's ballet.




Choreography - Grosse Fuge

Hans van Manen

Set design - Grosse Fuge

J.P. Vroom

Light design - Grosse Fuge

Joop Caboort

Costume design - Grosse Fuge

Hans van Manen

Choreography - Prometheus

Wubkje Kuindersma

Ernst Meisner

Remi Wörtmeyer

Set- and costume design - Prometheus

Tatyana van Walsum

Lights - Prometheus

Carlo Cerri

Dramaturgy - Prometheus

Willem Bruls

Video designer - Prometheus


in de media
lovende reacties

After fifty years, 'Grosse Fuge' still causes goosebumps

9 June

The display of power by four men, the serene, almost cautious response by four women is outrageously sexy, playful and swinging. (Trouw about Grosse Fuge)

14 June

Considering it could have looked disjointed – with three creative inputs – this attractive new work has remarkable cohesion and vitality. (Bachtrack about Prometheus)

10 June
Grosse Fuge
Grosse Fuge

Music: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Ludwig van Beethoven is considered one of the greatest composers ever to have lived, on a par with Bach and Mozart. At the age of 11 he could already play Bach’s entire Das wohltemperierte Klavier by heart and was writing his own compositions. Later he studied with Joseph Haydn and Johann Schenk in Vienna, forming part of the so-called First Viennese School, alongside Mozart and Haydn. It was also Beethoven who paved the way for Romantic music, stressing the expression of personal emotions. Around 1800 he began to experience the first signs of deafness. In his later years he became paranoid and isolated, composing his final, often misunderstood, works in a world of silence.

ballet orchestra

Musical accompaniment: Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Conducted by Marzio Conti 

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

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.

More about Dutch Ballet Orchestra