Het Nationale Ballet presenteert

Positioning Ballet Ballet Working Conference

Voorstelling voorbij

This conference took place from 16-17 February 2019

Ballet Working Conference

Dutch National Ballet is organising the second edition of Positioning Ballet: a working conference that gives artistic directors, choreographers and dance journalists the opportunity to exchange ideas about the future of ballet.

Look back on 2019


During the first edition of Positioning Ballet in 2017, the artistic directors of leading international ballet companies came together to reflect on their practices, discussing the themes of heritage, diversity and identity.

"The Positioning Ballet conference (…) was a welcome opportunity for a significant number of influential people with a stake in the future of ballet, to come together and open a conversation on where the art form is heading. - quote from Dancing Times, April 2017.

Flashback on 2017

Aftermovie 2019
Aftermovie 2017

Positioning Ballet 2019

During this second edition, we would like to discuss the challenges faced by artistic directors today. What sort of leadership is required today? The society in which ballet resonates today is different to the world in which the art of ballet originated. For this reason, while recognising the diversity of practices in the ballet world, we would like to address the following topics:

What is the working culture that ballet would like to embody? 

How should we deal with the changing relationship between ballet and audiences, so that ballet remains relevant to the public in the 21st century?


Additional food for thought

scottish ballet.co.uk/articles/behaviour-in-the-ballet-world - Christopher Hampson

the guardian.com/stage/2018/jul/16/dance-ballet-metoo-culture-bullying - Judith Mackrell

dance magazine.com/radical-reimagining-of-ballet - Theresa Ruth Howard

nytimes.com/2018/12/21/arts/dance/marius-petipa-bicentennial - Alastair Macaulay

dancemagazine.com/dance-company-culture - Claudia Bauer

Ballet Brexit - Maggie Foyer


In the first part of the conference, the artistic directors will enter into dialogue through break-out sessions and plenary discussions, moderated by Peggy Olislaegers. The guest keynote speakers are Jennifer Homans and Theresa Ruth Howard. A panel with panel members Laura Cappelle, Sarah L. Kaufman, Wendeline Wijkstra, Adesola Akinleye and Ernst Meisner will discuss the topics mentioned above.

In addition to the working sessions, there will also be ballet performances by Dutch National Ballet. The company will present David Dawson’s new work Requiem (world premiere on 9 February 2019) and the programme Ode to the Master, featuring ballets from the oeuvre of Hans van Manen.

Saturday February 16

Please note that the first part of the conference, from Saturday morning to Saturday afternoon, is only accessible to artistic directors.

09.30 – 10.00  Doors open  
10.00 – 10.30 Opening by the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, and artistic director of Dutch National Ballet, Ted Brandsen
10.30 – 11.00 Keynote speaker Jennifer Homans
11.00 – 12.15 Breakout session 1; including tea and coffee
12.15 – 13.15 Plenary discussion
13.15 – 14.00 Walking lunch
14.00 – 14.30 Keynote speaker Theresa Ruth Howard
14.30 – 15.45 Breakout session 2, including tea and coffee
15.45 – 16.30 Plenary discussion
16.30 – 17.00 Wrap-up

In the second part of the conference, the discussion will be opened up to the press, dance professionals and policy makers, and continued.

18:30 – 19:00 Doors open for the press reception
19.00 – 19.45 Press reception (optional)
19.15 – 20.15 Doors open and pre-performance drinks
20.15 – 22.00 Performance of Requiem (drinks during the interval)
22.00 – 23.30 After-performance reception

Sunday February 17

09.30 – 10.00 Doors open
10.00 – 10.30 Introduction by Ted Brandsen and Peggy Olislaegers
10.30 – 11.30 Panel discussion
11.30 – 12.30 Plenary discussion
12.30 – 13.00 Wrap-up
13.00 – 14.00 Walking lunch
14:00 – 16.15 Performance of Ode to the Master (drinks during the interval)
16.15 – 17.00 After-performance reception


Contact: conference@operaballet.nl

Positioning Ballet will take place at Dutch National Opera & Ballet, which is located at Amstel 3 in Amsterdam.

Dutch National Opera & Ballet is easy to reach by public transport, taxi, car or bike. See this page for more information about how to get there:

getting there



We would like to recommend the following hotel for your stay in Amsterdam:

The Grand Hotel


We can not guarantee a special rate for The Grand Hotel anymore. If you would like to book a room, please send an email to H2783-RE@sofitel.com. The Grand Hotel will give you the best price they can offer at that moment.

The Grand Hotel is within walking distance of Dutch National Opera & Ballet


Restaurants in the neighbourhood:

It is recommended to make a reservation

Brasserie FLO Amsterdam
Amstelstraat 9
1017 DA Amsterdam
+ 31 (0) 20 890 4757

Krua Thai Classic
Staalstraat 22
1011 JM Amsterdam
+ 31 (0) 20 622 9533

Restaurant Vermeer
Prins Hendrikkade 59-72
1021 AD Amsterdam
+ 31 (0) 20 556 4885

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Goldfinch Brasserie
Herengracht 542-556
1017 CG Amsterdam
+ 31 (0) 20 718 4600

Warmoesstraat 111
1012 JA Amsterdam
+31 (0) 20 428 1111

Mata Hari
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 22
1012 DM Amsterdam
+31 (0) 20 205 0919