11-25 September 2024


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Running time



From € 17

Blake Works

Four generations, four dance sensations

From the mid-thirties to early nineties: the four choreographers in Generation Dance may vary widely in age, yet they are linked by their exuberant celebration of the power of dance, which they each express in their own distinct way. The youngest, rising star Rena Butler, is making her Dutch debut in this programme, in combination with two recent hit productions by Ted Brandsen and William Forsythe, and an all-time favourite by Hans van Manen.

Photo: Sasha Gouliaev

Four generations, four dance sensations

The American-based Rena Butler is not only a strikingly athletic and explosive dancer – “she eats up space”, in the words of one critic – but also a very talented choreographer. Although her roots are in the modern dance scene, she has now created her first works for ballet companies, including a very earthy, virtuoso pointework piece for The National Ballet of Canada, which caught the eye of artistic director Ted Brandsen.

From deliciously languid to sparklingly upbeat

Alongside Butler’s new creation, Generation Dance presents two highly acclaimed premieres from recent ballet seasons. In his swinging Blake Works I, William Forsythe creates an infectious ‘visualisation’ of seven numbers by singer-songwriter James Blake. In line with the songs, Forsythe varies the tempos and moods, ranging from deliciously languid to sparklingly upbeat. Ted Brandsen also chose for a pure music ballet when creating his Classical Symphony. The driving force of Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 inspired him to make an exciting ode to the male dancer, with a dazzling array of high jumps and dizzying turns.

Van Manen: beautiful and timeless 

The ‘godfather’ of Dutch dance, Hans van Manen, closes the Generation Dance programme with his contemporary classic Four Schumann Pieces. This beautiful, timeless ballet to Schumann’s String Quartet No. 3 is not only Van Manen’s most romantic work, but also one of his most frequently performed ballets worldwide. The challenging main role has previously been performed by such famous dancers as Anthony Dowell, Rudolf Nureyev and Han Ebbelaar.


Classical Symphony 
Choreography  Ted Brandsen 
Music  Sergej Prokofjev

World premiere
Choreography  Rena Butler 
Music  TBA

Four Schumann Pieces 
Choreography  Hans van Manen
Music   Robert Schumann

Blake Works I 
Choreography  William Forsythe 
Music  James Blake

Musical accompaniment  Dutch Ballet Orchestra conducted by Nathan Brock

Ticket prices

Discover ticket prices for each price category by following the link below.

Ticket prices

We provide discounts tailored for certain groups to ensure our performances are accessible to all. Please visit this page to determine if you qualify for a discount.



CJP | Stadspas |
Youth aged 16 and under


€ 66,00

€ 51,00


€ 58,00

€ 48,00


€ 45,00

€ 35,00


€ 34,00

€ 24,00


€ 23,00

€ 18,00


€ 17,00

€ 11,00

Dutch National Opera & Ballet uses a system of dynamic pricing. This means that tickets for popular performances may increase in price as the performance date approaches and more tickets are sold. All prices exclude the booking fee (€ 2 per ticket).

Student discount and student alert

Last-minute deal! When a performance isn’t sold out, students can purchase a ticket online for just € 19 on the day of the performance starting from 13:00.

To stay updated on more offers, sign up for our student alert. This way, you’ll be informed in advance about which performances you can attend for just € 19!

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Alexandra Radius Prize

The opening night of Generation Dance, on 11 September, is also the occasion of the presentation of the annual Alexandra Radius Prize. This prize, awarded by the Friends of Dutch National Ballet, will be presented to a dancer who, in the opinion of an expert jury, has stood out in their performances in the 2023 – 2024 season. The prize will be presented by its namesake, former prima ballerina Alexandra Radius.

Rena Butler

Getting to know choreographer Rena Butler

Who is this flamboyant American, who is making her Dutch debut as a choreographer in Generation Dance?

Classical Symphony - Ted Brandsen
Classical Symphony - Ted Brandsen - HNB (2020) | Foto's: Hans Gerritsen
Classical Symphony - Ted Brandsen
Classical Symphony - Ted Brandsen
Four Schumann Pieces
Four Schumann Pieces - Hans van Manen - HNB (2012) | Foto's: Angela Sterling
Four Schumann Pieces
dutch ballet orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra is the leading orchestra for dance in the Netherlands. In every performance, the orchestra searches for inspiring synergy between music and dance, in order to give the audience a magical experience. From classical ballet to modern masterpieces, and from music education to talent development, Dutch Ballet Orchestra inspires the movement in dance.

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

From 1 August 2024, the Flemish conductor Koen Kessels (1961) will be the new music director of Dutch National Ballet, and artistic director and principal conductor of Dutch Ballet Orchestra. He is taking over the baton from Matthew Rowe, who has fulfilled this special dual position since 2013 and who will be returning as principal guest conductor.

Since its inception in 1965, the orchestra has been the proud musical partner of Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. One important mission of Dutch Ballet Orchestra is investing in the youngest generation of dancers and musicians..

In 2023, for instance, the orchestra issued an open call for young composers, in collaboration with Dutch National Ballet, resulting in a new work that was presented in the Junior Company’s touring programme, Ten. The orchestra has also been working for some years already with the Dutch National Ballet Academy. For example, the orchestra members provide the music for the end-of-year performances Dancers of Tomorrow.

Dutch Ballet Orchestra has also collaborated regularly on innovative – and award-winning – family and school productions. Creatures, in partnership with ISH Dance Collective, won the international Young Audiences Music Award and the production Hansel and Gretel, received various Musical Awards. Last season, this tradition was continued in the production Beauty and the Beast.