Costume and set designer Keso Dekker has been made a Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. He received the royal honour from Alderman Marjolein Moorman on Friday 14 June, after the premiere of Van Manen, Forsythe, Arqués. The programme included Kleines Requiem, by Hans van Manen, for which Keso Dekker designed the sets and costumes.
Dekker received the title, which is awarded for exceptional merit in science and the arts, for his ‘contribution to the international reputation of Dutch dance’.
Besides being the regular set and costume designer for Hans van Manen, Keso Dekker (1946) has created designs for choreographers like Renato Zanella, Martin Schläpfer, Heinz Spoerli and Bianca van Dillen. Outside the dance world, he has worked with stage directors like Gerardjan Rijnders and Johan Simons, for example. Over a period of 35 years, he has created the designs for more than 600 dance productions, in the Netherlands and abroad.
In 2016, the annual Ballet Gala given by Stichting Dansersfonds ‘79 was dedicated to Keso Dekker, when dance critic Annette Embrechts wrote in de Volkskrant, “His trademark is bold simplicity, using contrasting colours and shiny materials like rubber, nylon and plastic, with an emphasis on physical tension”.buitengewone bekwaamheid in wetenschap en kunsten, ‘wegens zijn bijdrage aan de internationale reputatie van de Nederlandse dans’.
Photo: Michel Schnater