8-25 Feb 2024


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Running time

2:05, incl. 1 interval



Frida Salome Leverashvili

Colourful ode to an iconic artist

‘Breathtaking explosion of colour’. That is how Theaterkrant described the world premiere of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Frida, in 2020. The production, which is now in demand internationally, tells the life story of one of the most intriguing artists of the twentieth century: the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Along with designer Dieuweke van Reij and composer Peter Salem, Lopez Ochoa made the magic of Kahlo’s world tangible in her ballet.

Dutch National Opera & Ballet recommends that children be at least 10 years old for this performance.

Photo: Marta Syrko

Colourful ode to an iconic artist

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) did not have a carefree life by any means. At the age of six, she got polio, and when she was eighteen, she suffered irreparable damage to her pelvis and spine due to a bus accident. But Kahlo did not let fate thwart her. She fought against taboos and fought for women’s rights, and her colourful self-portraits are still inspiring people all over the world today. Lopez Ochoa says, “When I saw Julie Taymor’s film portrait Frida, I was deeply moved by how Kahlo managed to transform her physical immobility and constant pain into art.”


Kahlo’s soul and dreams

Already in 2016, Lopez Ochoa’s fascination with Kahlo led to Broken Wings, which she created for English National Ballet. At the request of Dutch National Ballet director Ted Brandsen, she developed this short ballet into a full-length production in 2020. Frida is not an A-to-Z story of Kahlo’s life. The most essential events are portrayed in a succession of impressive scenes in and around two black boxes, which symbolise her many bedridden days. In addition, Lopez Ochoa presents various alter egos, who reveal her soul and dreams, and ten male dancers bring her self-portraits to life.


Personal triumph

Involving 49 dancers, Frida is the biggest production created to date by the Colombian-Flemish choreographer Lopez Ochoa. The title role was a personal triumph for principal dancer Maia Makhateli, who danced the world premiere. “Makhateli captures the spirit of the militant Kahlo in a formidable performance.”


Choreography  Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
Music  Peter Salem – Frida (2020)
Set and costume design  Dieuweke van Reij
Lighting design  Michael Mazzola
Dramaturgy  Nancy Meckler

Musical accompaniment  Dutch Ballet Orchestra 
conducted by Matthew Rowe; from 16 February by Johannes Witt

School performances
One performance will be given especially for schools.

Cast sheet

Please find the dancer cast for Frida via the link below.

Online programme

Along with the printed programme book, we also offer online programme information for this performance. The online programme will take you behind the scenes with in-depth stories, articles, and interviews with the creators and cast.

Frida and Deer
Frida - HNB (2024) | Photos: Altin Kaftira
Male Fridas
Frida and Diego
Frida and Diego
Diego and mistress
Diego and mistress
Frida exhausted
Frida as a butterfly
Riho en Semyon
Frida - HNB (13-02-2024) | Photos: Altin Kaftira
Riho en Semyon
Riho en Semyon
Riho en Semyon

5 reasons to look forward to ... Frida

 Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

Choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa on Frida

‘I wanted the ballet to stay close to my Latino-roots’

on the 2020 production
rave reviews

Frida stands proudly alone as an excellent new addition to the Dutch ballet repertoire

6 February

Frida is an unqualified ode to the joy of living and to female resilience

7 February

Frida is rock-solid. This ballet will undoubtedly conquer the world before long

8 February

Frida (2024) - Trailer with Maia Makhateli (Frida) and Giorgi Potskhishvili (Diego)

Frida - Trailer (2024)

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra’s mission is ‘to inspire 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

Led by principal conductor Matthew Rowe, 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.

Besides performances with Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater, Dutch Ballet Orchestra has a long tradition of innovative – and award-winning – family performances. For instance, Creatures (in collaboration with ISH Dance Collective) received the international Young Audiences Music Award, and the production Hansel and Gretel (in collaboration with Orkater) won various Musical Awards. In these productions, the musicians play from memory, without a conductor and in costumes, so that they form an integral part of the performance.

And finally, Dutch Ballet Orchestra has a long-term partnership with the Dutch National Ballet Academy. They are therefore involved in the music curriculum for pupils and students, facilitate student visits to orchestra rehearsals and provide music for the academy’s end-of-year performance, where possible.

Rehearsal Frida (2024) - Act 2 | Photos: Altin Kaftira
the Group
Rehearsal Frida (2024)
Rehearsal Frida (2024)
Group of men
Rehearsal Frida
Rehearsal Frida
Rehearsal Frida (2024) - Anna Tsygankova and Giorgi Potskhishvili| Photos: Altin Kaftira
Anna Tsygankova and Giorgi Potskhishvili
Rehearsal Frida (2024)
Rehearsal Frida (2024) - leaf women | Photos: Corneliu Ganea
Rehearsal Frida (2024)
Tim and Maia
Rehearsal Frida (2024)- Maia Makhateli and Timothy van Poucke | Photos: Altin Kaftira
Tim and Maia
Rehearsal Frida (2024) | Photo: Altin Kaftira
Male group
Rehearsal Frida (2024) - group of male Fridas | Photos: Corneliu Ganea
group of male Fridas
Frida rehearsal
Rehearsal Frida (2024) - Semyon Velichko and Riho Sakamoto | Photos: Altin Kaftira
Semyon Velichko and Riho Sakamoto
Kira and Sebia
Rehearsal Frida (2024) - Kira Hilli and Sebia Plantefève-Castryck | Photo: Altin Kaftira

Lecture around Frida - BALLET IS WOMAN?!?

The quote "ballet is a woman" by choreographer George Balanchine is one of the most famous statements in dance history. In ballet, modern and contemporary dance, the study of gender has always played a central role. In this lecture, Prof Gabriele Klein will discuss the role of women artists in dance and the relevance of choreography for understanding gender figures in the context of the ballet Frida.

When 23 February, 16:30
Where Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Souterrain
Who Gabriele Klein

On 13 and 20 March, there are two more lectures in the Universiteitstheater: How to choreograph? and For a coffee with Hans van Manen.

An interview with choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa - 2019, ahead of the world premiere of Frida

By: Lin van Ellinckhuijsen

Frida (2020) | Photo: Hans Gerritsen
Frida and her husband Diego Rivera
Photo: Hans Gerritsen (2020)
Diego Rivera and skeleton-dancers
Photo: Hans Gerritsen (2020)
Frida's husband with other women
Photo: Hans Gerritsen (2020)
Frida's tortures
Photo: Hans Gerritsen (2020)
couple and skeletons
Photo: Hans Gerritsen (2020)
Frida with her alter ego's
Photo: Hans Gerritsen (2020)
purple dancer with feather headdress
Photo: Hans Gerritsen (2020)

Frida - Trailer 2020

Maia Makhateli in Frida