In early October, Hans van Manen, resident choreographer with Dutch National Ballet, was a guest at the Fall for Dance Festival in New York with four of that company's dancers. The performance of his choreography Variations for Two Couples was received with great enthusiasm in a twice sold-out New York City Center.
It was the first time in decades that Dutch National Ballet performed a work by Hans van Manen in New York. The four dancers, Maia Makhateli, Olga Smirnova, Constantine Allen and Jakob Feyferlik, amazed the audience with a flawless performance. The grand master and the dancers were showered with thunderous applause from a delirious audience.
"The two couples, ..., performed the classical dance with its fascinating romantic and playful elements impeccably. It was a delight to see ballet at its best with Dutch National Ballet's signature grace and style."
"Van Manen is now 90, and his prolific body of work is well-recognized in Europe. It’s long overdue for his simple but pristine dances to be featured in programs by American companies."
Reaction from the audience:
"How can balletic movement seem so innately organic to a human body?"
A surprise behind the scenes
Dancers Jakob Feyferlik, Maia Makhateli, Olga Smirnova and Constantine Allen had a surprise waiting for them. They were unexpectedly visited backstage by film actor (a.o. Sex and the City) and former dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov!