7-22 May 2022


Tournee, Netherlands

Running time

1:50, incl. 2 intermissions


Not available

Floor Elmers, Hans van Manen, Edo Wijnen

Three jewels from his extensive oeuvre

On 11 July 2022, the grand master of Dutch dance, Hans van Manen, will turn ninety. Dutch National Ballet is celebrating the occasion lavishly with a Van Manen Festival  and with a tour throughout the Netherlands, in which the company will present three gems from Van Manen’s extensive oeuvre.

Hans van Manen 90 opens with one of the choreographer’s earliest successes: Metaforen. Although the ballet was created over 55 years ago, it already encompasses all the elements of Van Manen’s mastery, such as his total clarity of concept and movement idiom. Metaforen starts out like a classical ballet, but gradually unfolds as a refined interplay of shapes, full of unexpected twists. At that time, a sensation was caused by the male duet, regarded by many as provocative, even though Van Manen only wanted to show that a pas de deux could be danced just as easily by two men.



For the second work, Concertante, Van Manen drew inspiration in 1994 from Petite symphonie concertante, by the Swiss composer Frank Martin. It is a fascinating ballet, interspersed with humour and aggression, which even in the most dynamic solos and intense pas de deux demonstrates the refined simplicity, visual logic and musicality so typical of Van Manen’s work. Like all the best thrillers, Concertante is filled with suspense: something’s brewing, something’s bubbling, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.


Steamy double quartet

Grosse Fuge, the final ballet in the programme, is one of the absolute highlights of Van Manen’s oeuvre. It is a steamy double quartet about the battle of the sexes, whereby – as is usually the case in Van Manen’s work – the women are equally strong as the men. In his characteristically clear movement idiom, the choreographer expresses pent-up passions and erotic tension and release, and in passing adds a whole new dimension to Beethoven’s music. Immediately after its premiere in 1971, Grosse Fuge was hailed as ‘the most significant European ballet of the decade’.


Three choreographies Hans van Manen 


Music: Jean-Yves en Daniel-Lesur 


Music: Frank Martin 

Grosse Fuge 

Music: Ludwig van Beethoven 

Musical direction: Dutch Ballet Orchestra under the baton of Jonathan Lo 


Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra’s mission is ‘to inspire the movement in dance’. Since its inception in 1965, the orchestra has been the proud musical partner of Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. In every performance, the orchestra searches for inspiring synergy between music and dance, in order to give the audience a magical experience. Dutch Ballet Orchestra is the leading orchestra for dance in the Netherlands. The orchestra accompanies performances ranging from traditional ballet to modern dance, alongside its activities in music education and talent development.


Floor Eimers

‘Then, he suddenly does a little salsa dance’

Soloist Floor Eimers:
“When Hans van Manen comes into the studio, there is immediately energy. Everyone’s affected by his charisma, as well as his humour. For example, he suddenly does a little salsa dance in between. He may be 90, but he’s still so sprightly and knows exactly what he wants. You also see that he still knows his ballets down to the last detail. It’s always, ‘You have to do this here, and that there’. And if we get stuck somewhere, he always finds a solution.”

Metaphors, photo: Angela Sterling
Grosse Fuge (Angela Sterling)
Grosse Fuge, photo: Angela Sterling
Grosse Fuge, foto: Angela Sterling
Grosse Fuge, photo: Angela Sterling
Grosse Fuge (Angela Sterling)
Grosse Fuge, photo: Angela Sterling
Grosse Fuge (Angela Sterling)
Grosse Fuge, photo: Angela Sterling