Hans van Manen

About Hans van Manen

Hans van Manen (Nieuwer-Amstel, the Netherlands, 1932) is internationally recognised as one of the grand masters of contemporary ballet. Including his works for television, he has now created more than 150 ballets. His choreographies bear a distinct signature, characterized by the great clarity in structure and refined simplicity.

About Hans van Manen

Besides being in the repertoire of Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater (the two main performers of his works), his ballets are also danced by over ninety companies outside the Netherlands. The international stars with whom he has worked over the years include Anthony Dowell, Marcia Haydée, Natalia Makarova, Rudolf Nureyev, Ulyana Lopatkina and Diana Vishneva. Besides being a choreographer, Hans van Manen has also been active as an extremely successful photographer for ten years. His work has been published in books and shown at international exhibitions.

Van Manen had his first ballet lessons in the late forties from Sonia Gaskell, who engaged him in her group Ballet Recital in 1951. Van Manen went on to dance with the Netherlands Opera Ballet and Roland Petit's Ballets de Paris. In 1955, he made his debut as a choreographer with Olé, Olé, la Margarita. His third creation, Feestgericht, received the State Award for Choreography. From 1960 onwards, Van Manen has worked alternately with the two main dance companies of the Netherlands. After co-directing Nederlands Dans Theater, he became a resident choreographer – first with the Dutch National Ballet (1973-1987), and then with Nederlands Dans Theater (1988-2003). Since 2005, he has held the post of resident choreographer with the Dutch National Ballet.

Hans van Manen

To celebrate his seventy-fifth birthday in 2007, the Dutch National Ballet organised the Hans van Manen Festival, a tribute in which twenty of his works were performed by leading ensembles and artists from the Netherlands and abroad. During the festival, Hans Van Manen was made a Commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. In 2000, Van Manen was awarded the Erasmus Prize, and in 2013 he received the Golden Age Award. Also in 2013, he was appointed patron of the Dutch National Ballet Academy (part of the Amsterdam University of the Arts). He became a member of the Society of Arts in 2015.

In Montpellier in 2017, in the presence of Jet Bussemaker, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Van Manen was made a Commander in the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. One year later, he was awarded the Honorary Medal for Arts and Science of the Order of the House of Orange for his ‘enormous contribution to the arts in the Netherlands and to ballet in particular’.

  • 2018: Honorary Medal for Arts and Science of the Order of the House of Orange

  • 2017: Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres (French Ministry of Culture)

  • 2013: Appointed patron of the Dutch National Ballet Academy

  • 2013: Benois de la Danse for Variations for two couples

  • 2007: VSCD Oeuvre Prize

  • 2007: Commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion

  • 2005: Benois de la Danse Life Time Achievement Award

  • 2005: Grand Pas Award

  • 2004: Musikpreis der Stadt Duisburg

  • 2004: Deutsche Tanzpreis

  • 2000: Erasmus Prize

  • 1998: Archangel, Edinburgh Festival Critics Award

  • 1996: Bob Angelo Medal from the COC

  • 1993: Deutsche Tanzpreis

  • 1992: Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau

  • 1991: Sonia Gaskell Prize

  • 1991: Choreography Award from the VSCD (Dutch Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors) for Two

  • 1957: State Award for Choreography for his ballet Feestgericht

Hans van Manen

About Van Manen’s Repertoire

Hans van Manen has an impressive repertoire, and his pieces are performed all over the world by some of the most eminent and esteemed ballet companies. Click on the button below for an overview of some of his most popular choreographies, which have been classified according to decade. Each category provides information about the piece, the original cast and the music, and features spectacular photos and video footage.


Sarcasmen | Dutch National Ballet (2021) | Photo: Hans Gerritsen
5 tango's
5 tango's | Dutch National Ballet (2011) | Photo: Angela Sterling
Grosse Fuge
Grosse Fuge | Dutch National Ballet (2021) | Photo: Hans Gerritsen
Two | Dutch National Ballet (2007) | Photo: Tamas Nagy
On the move
On the move | Dutch National Ballet (2017) | Photo: Hans Gerritsen
Adagio Hammerklavier
Adagio Hammerklavier | Dutch National Ballet (2021) | Photo: Hans Gerritsen
Frank Bridge Variations
Frank Bridge Variations | Dutch National Ballet (2017) | Photo: Hans Gerritsen
Déjà Vu
Déjà Vu | Dutch National Ballet (2021) | Photo: Hans Gerritsen
Variations for two couples
Variations for two couples | Dutch National Ballet (2021) | Photo: Hans Gerritsen
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Interesting articles
Hans van Manen

The international significance of Hans van Manen

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hans van manen_0_0.j

Hans van Manen: ‘Ik ben niet bezig met mooi, maar met goed’

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Hans van Manen as a performer

Hans van Manen


Mission & vision | Objectives | Strategy | Activities | Board | Staff | Finances | Remuneration Policy


The legal structure chosen for the Hans van Manen Foundation is that of a ‘stichting’. The Hans van Manen Foundation is registered with the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce in Amsterdam under the following number: 82388040. RSIN: 862448062. The foundation has filed for ANBI status.

Contact us
Please contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to stage a production from Van Manen’s repertoire.
Rachel Beaujean
Rachel Beaujean
Associate Artistic Director
Grosse Fuge
Grosse Fuge | Dutch National Ballet (2021) | Photo: Hans Gerritsen

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