Rachel Beaujean (Helmond, 1959) has been working with Dutch National Ballet since 1977. Following her training at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, she joined the company as a dancer. In 1981, she was promoted to soloist. After exactly twenty years as a dancer, she said farewell to the stage in a performance of Hans van Manen’s Sarcasmen, which had been created on her and Clint Farha. She was then appointed ballet mistress with Dutch National Ballet. In 2003, Beaujean became head of the artistic staff, and has been associate artistic director of the company since 2017. In the same year, at the celebration of her fortieth anniversary with the company, she was made an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau.
As a dancer, Beaujean was known mainly for her interpretations of ballets by Hans van Manen, whose muse she was for many years. She also appeared often in ballets by Rudi van Dantzig, Toer van Schayk and George Balanchine, and danced striking roles in works choreographed by William Forsythe, Martha Graham and Edouard Lock, among others. In the classical repertoire, she stood out for her interpretations of the roles of Myrtha in Giselle and the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty.
In recent years, Beaujean has made various adaptations of major nineteenth-century productions for Dutch National Ballet. For instance, she created her own version of Les Sylphides, a revised interpretation of Giselle(along with Ricardo Bustamante) and a dazzling new production of Paquita. A new adaptation of Petipa’s masterpiece Raymonda is planned for the 2021/2022 season, created by her and Ted Brandsen.
For her excellence as a dancer, the Dutch Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors (VSCD) awarded Beaujean the Golden Dance Theatre Award in 1993, and she received the Merit Award from Dansersfonds ’79 in 1995. Beaujean has previously been a member of the board of the Dutch Dance Days, the Hans van Manen Foundation and the Toer van Schayk Foundation. As an assistant to Hans van Manen, she now coordinates and organises the teaching of Van Manen’s works to international companies, some of which she teaches herself.
- 1993: Golden Dance Theatre Award, VSCD
- 1995: Merit Award, Stichting Dansersfonds ’79
- 2017: Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau