The premiere of Rudi van Dantzig’s production of Swan Lake is held on 31 March. His version of this ‘ballet of ballets’ proves a milestone in Dutch dance history. Toer van Schayk designs the magnificent sets and costumes, besides choreographing the character dances in Act 3.
Wayne Eagling (1950), an ex-principal with The Royal Ballet, in England, is appointed successor to Rudi van Dantzig. Eagling’s emphasis on technical perfection raises the standard of Dutch National Ballet to even greater heights.
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, the brainchild of Wayne Eagling and Toer van Schayk, is premiered on 13 December. The production is still drawing full houses today.
In 2003, Ted Brandsen (1954) succeeds Wayne Eagling as artistic director, following a period as assistant artistic director from 2002. Brandsen, a dancer with Dutch National Ballet from 1981 to 1991, rejuvenates the classical repertoire, introduces new prominent choreographers and organises more foreign tours and a wider distribution of performances in the Netherlands.
Krzysztof Pastor (1956) is appointed resident choreographer, a position he holds until 2017. In 2009, the former dancer with Dutch National Ballet is also appointed artistic director of the National Ballet of Poland, in his home country. In 2011, he also takes up the position of artistic director of the National Ballet of Lithuania.
In 2005, Hans van Manen returns to Dutch National Ballet as a resident choreographer, after leaving the company in 1987 and working with Nederlands Dans Theater from 1988 to 2003.
To celebrate the 75th birthday of choreographer Hans van Manen (1932), Dutch National Ballet organises the ‘Hans van Manen Festival’. Over the space of three weeks, no fewer than twenty of the master choreographer’s works are performed by leading ensembles and artists from the Netherlands and abroad.
At the premiere of the Hans van Manen Festival, Van Manen was made a Commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. He was pinned and hung with the decorations by Job Cohen, the Mayor of Amsterdam. Fifteen years earlier, in 1992, Van Manen had already been made an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau.
Dutch National Ballet celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. One of the highlights of the anniversary celebrations is the programme Present/s in February 2012, which premieres nine new works by leading choreographers.
Former artistic director Rudi van Dantzig dies on 19 January 2012. His biography 'Memories of Sonia Gaskell' is published posthumously.
Els van der Plas is appointed general director of the Amsterdam Music Theatre. Truze Lodder leaves after 25 years as director. In recognition of her great services, Lodder is made Commander in the Order of Orange-Nassau and also receives the Frans Bannick Cocq Medal from the City of Amsterdam.
On the occasion of Hans van Manen’s 80th birthday, Dutch National Ballet presents a gala for the ‘Mondrian of dance’.
Through a merger, Dutch National Opera, Dutch National Ballet and the Amsterdam Music Theatre take the final step in establishing the leading national institute for opera and ballet. Els van der Plas becomes general director, Ted Brandsen director of Dutch National Ballet and Pierre Audi director of Dutch National Opera..
In January 2013, the British conductor Matthew Rowe is appointed musical director of Dutch National Ballet and principal conductor of the Dutch Ballet Orchestra. He is the first person to hold both positions.
Christopher Wheeldon receives a ‘Benois de la Danse’ for his full-length production of Cinderella. Hans van Manen receives the ‘Benois de la Danse’ for Variations for Two Couples. This prestigious award is often referred to as the ‘Oscar of dance’.
Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company is founded in August 2013, resulting from an intensive collaboration between the company and the Dutch National Ballet Academy. The Junior Company coaches talented young dancers between the ages of 18 and 21 and gives them the opportunity to gain extensive stage experience. Ernst Meisner is appointed artistic coordinator of the Junior Company.
In 2014, the home of Dutch National Ballet, De Nederlandse Opera and the Amsterdam Music Theatre is given a new name: Dutch National Opera & Ballet. On the occasion, De Nederlandse Opera is rechristened Dutch National Opera.
The British choreographer David Dawson is appointed ‘artistic associate’ of Dutch National Ballet, after being resident choreographer with the company from 2004 to 2006. Dawson gives a completely new interpretation of classical ballet technique.
Head of the artistic staff Rachel Beaujean becomes associate artistic director of Dutch National Ballet. The annual gala to open the season is dedicated to her, on her 40th anniversary with the company. On the occasion, she is also appointed Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. The honour is presented by Amsterdam alderman Eric van der Burg.
For the first time, Dutch National Ballet appoints two Young Creative Associates: Juanjo Arqués and Peter Leung. This initiative aims to contribute to the development of choreographic talent, by offering young choreographers with a proven track record a long-term association with the company.
In 2017, Hans van Manen is made a Commandeur in de Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, in the French city of Montpellier. The occasion is attended by the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Jet Bussemaker. One year later, Van Manen is awarded the Medal of Honour for Art and Science of the Order of the House of Orange.
As part of Black Achievement Month, Dutch National Ballet livestreams Dancing Diversity, presented by Humbero Tan.
The Mayor of Amsterdam Femke Halsema presents artistic director Ted Brandsen with the Amsterdam Prize for Art, in the category ‘Proven Quality’. Brandsen immediately decides to use half of the prize money for a scholarship fund that gives children from disadvantaged families the opportunity to train at the Dutch National Ballet Academy. This Dance Talent Fund is set up a year later.
Like all cultural institutions, Dutch National Ballet is hard hit in 2020 by the consequences of the corona pandemic. On 12 March, from one day to the next, all the theatres in the Netherlands close their doors. Dutch National Ballet proceeds to set up an extensive online programme, in order to maintain contact with audiences and also expand them, as the livestreams, in particular, are watched and greatly appreciated by many international ‘visitors’.
Dutch National Ballet appoints three new Young Creative Associates: Milena Sidorova, Sedrig Verwoert and Wubkje Kuindersma, who will regularly be creating new works for the company from now on.
In January, Stijn Schoonderwoerd (1967) succeeds Els van der Plas as general director. This marks his return to Dutch National Opera & Ballet, as he was formerly managing director of Dutch National Ballet and director of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, which regularly accompanies Dutch National Opera.