Dutch National Ballet

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Rudi Van Dantzig (b. 1933)

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(Dutch: Het Nationale Ballet)

The Netherlands' national ballet company. Based in Amsterdam, it was formed in 1961 through an amalgamation of Sonia Gaskell's Netherlands Ballet and the two-year-old Amsterdam Ballet, directed by Mascha ter Weeme. The two women ran it jointly for one season then Gaskell was sole director until 1965, when Rudi van Dantzig and Robert Kaesen joined her as co-directors. Van Dantzig created his seminal Monument for a Dead Boy for the company in the same year. Gaskell left in 1969, followed two years later by Kaesen. Harkarvy took the latter's place for one season after which van Dantzig remained as sole director until 1991. During its early years the company had an almost unmanageably large repertoire of 19th-century classics, major 20th-century ballets, and new works. The dancers were also expected to perform in Opera productions. Under van Dantzig there was a greater focus on work by its trio of resident choreographers—himself, Toer van Schayk, and Hans van Manen (who created Adagio Hammerklavier for the company in 1973)—thereby giving the company a more distinct identity. However, it retained its commitment to both classicism and the 20th-century canon, particularly Balanchine. (In 1996 it presented a two-week Balanchine festival, performing nine of his ballets.) In 1986 the company moved to the newly built Muziektheater and in 1987 van Manen left, but works from a new generation, including Maguy Marin and Édouard Lock, continued the company's commitment to new choreography. In 1991 van Dantzig was succeeded by Wayne Eagling who maintained the balance between old and new in the repertoire, introducing works by several European choreographers including himself, and also reviving classics of modern dance such as Graham's Errand into the Maze. In 2003 Ted Brandsen was appointed as Eagling's successor bringing in new repertory by Morris, Ratmansky, and by the company's resident choreographers, Brandsen himself, van Manen, Krzysztof Pastor and, from 2004, David Dawson. The company tours extensively in the Netherlands and abroad.

http://www.het-nationale-ballet.nl Website for the Dutch National Ballet

Subjects: Dance.

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