Dutch National Ballet presents
Dresscode: Black tie
Festive opening of the season
There’s no better way to open the season than with a big, festive gala. Dutch National Ballet’s exclusive annual Gala has grown into an extremely popular and greatly appreciated opening of the season.
This year, the Gala once again presents an exclusive surprise programme involving a total of around two hundred dancers. The focus is on performances by the stars of the company, one of whom occupies a very special place in this year’s Gala: Igone de Jongh. This year, she is celebrating her twentieth anniversary with the company. One of the things Igone de Jongh will be dancing in the Gala is a work created especially for her by Hans van Manen, who has regarded her as his muse for many years.
Parade of the stars
The Gala programme comprises a varied selection from the company’s extensive repertoire, which will include some ‘appetisers’ that give a taste of new ballets for the 2016 - 2017 season. The complete ensemble of Dutch National Ballet will take part in the Gala, including all the principals. This is a unique event, as there is no other production where all the stars of the company perform on the same evening. In addition, the young dancers of the Junior Company are making their appearance at the Gala in a piece from their own repertoire. True to tradition, the Gala will open with a Grand Défilé, performed by both companies alongside the youngest dance talents of the Netherlands: the pupils of the National Ballet Academy.
After the performance on 7 September, the festivities of the Gala will continue in the foyer, where you can take to the dance floor yourself, along with the dancers and choreographers.
Alexandra Radius Prize
As in previous years, the Alexandra Radius Prize will be awarded during the Gala. Since 1989, the Friends of Dutch National Ballet have awarded the prize to a dancer who – in the eyes of an expert jury - has shown exceptional talent in the previous season. The prize is presented to the winner by the namesake herself: former prima ballerina Alexandra Radius.
Igone de Jongh
Igone de Jongh (Haarlem, 1979) trained as a dancer at the National Ballet Academy and The Royal Ballet School. Her deputy director in London at the time called her an ‘enigma’: ‘A dancer with such a special quality that you just have to watch her’. Igone de Jongh has since performed all the leading roles in the classical repertoire and danced in neoclassical and contemporary ballets by a wide range of choreographers. In the Netherlands, Igone de Jongh is by far the best known ballerina of her generation. In 2015, she was a jury member in the popular television programme Dance Dance Dance, to which there will be a sequel this year.
Dutch Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Matthew Rowe
Matthew Rowe (1969, London, United Kingdom) was appointed musical director of Dutch National Ballet and principal conductor of Dutch Ballet Orchestra in January 2013. He is the first conductor to hold these two positions simultaneously. Rowe studied in London and in Baltimore. He was the musical director of the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, associate chorus director with the London Philharmonic Choir and Director of Orchestral Studies at San Diego State University. Rowe is a regular guest conductor with leading dance companies, including The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Royal Swedish Ballet and English National Ballet. He gives live commentary for BBC concerts and, following his successful appearance in the BBC series Maestro, has developed a format for a new digital television programme about a conducting course.
He is known for his versatility and his wide repertoire in opera, ballet, contemporary music and accompaniment of silent films, such as Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights and Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin.
Dutch Ballet Orchestra
Dutch Ballet Orchestra is Dutch National Ballet’s regular musical accompaniment partner. Dutch Ballet Orchestra combines music and dance into a magical experience: from classical ballet to modern dance, and from music education to talent development. Dutch Ballet Orchestra is proud of its close relationship with Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. The working method is unique in the Netherlands. Dutch Ballet Orchestra, with Matthew Rowe as principal conductor, consists of a regular core of 45 musicians, supported where necessary by highly qualified guest performers. This lends great flexibility and dynamism to the orchestra and ensures its high quality.
Dutch Ballet Orchestra is an orchestra with a unique character, passionate about continually achieving its mission: to move people through music.
‘Impressive as ever was the grand defilé, in which around two hundred dancers took to the stage’. - Noordhollands Dagblad about the Gala in 2015