Dutch National Ballet presents

The Dutch School Hans van Manen, Toer van Schayk, David Dawson, Ted Brandsen

Tickets on sale
02 Jun 12:00

World Premiere The Chairman Dances

world-class repertoire made in amsterdam

Duration 2:30

The Dutch School offers a wonderful sampler of the best that Dutch dance has achieved: dance that puts simplicity, clarity, musicality and the expressive qualities of the individual dancer at the forefront. It invites you to experience an incredibly wide range of vibes and emotions.

Hans van Manen: Kleines Requiem
Foto: - Hans Gerritsen
David Dawson - The Grey Area

Hans van Manen, Toer van Schayk, David Dawson and Ted Brandsen

In The Dutch School, you will meet four choreographers who made an important contribution to Dutch National Ballet: master choreographer Hans van Manen, 'the last renaissance artist' Toer van Schayk, associate artist David Dawson and Ted Brandsen, artistic director of the company, who is creating a world premiere for The Dutch School.

    Thu 20 Feb Trouw about Kleines Requiem, 1996

    'There are only a few companies where the ballets of Holland's greatest choreographer Hans van Manen are in such good hands. The musicality, the tension in electrifying duets, the seemingly casual interplay of lines and self-conscious steps; it also comes out in the performance of 'Kleines Requiem''

    Thu 20 Feb Volkskrant about Kleines Requiem, 2019

    '... during the allegro... ...the seven dancers briefly join together in an expressive formation that slides across the stage like a ball. Only to disintegrate again in pairs with a breathtaking trio to conclude ...'

    Thu 20 Feb Noordhollands Dagblad about The Grey Area, 2002

    "The [ballet] was tight, dark, menacing. The dance had been reduced to its purest form. Dawson did not need an extravagant décor or light effects to keep the spectators under his spell. The flowing movements and breathtaking combinations ensured that this world premiere will remain in the memory for a long time to come'.

    Thu 20 Feb Hans van Manen about Kleines Requiem

    ‘I knew it at once: that crazy third movement from Górecki’s Kleines Requiem für eine Polka had to stay in. It’s as though you suddenly come crashing on stage banging two pan lids together in the middle of a Shakespeare drama.’


Intense duet and impressive ‘runs’ – Hans van Manen
Back due to its enormous success is Hans van Manen’s Kleines Requiem, considered to be one of this master choreographer’s finest works. Three women and three men interact in short, intense duets. But when a fourth man is in danger of being left behind, Van Manen interrupts the tension — inspired by the music of Henryk Mikolai Górecki — with a circus polka, complete with impressive ‘runs’.

‘I knew it at once: that crazy third movement from Górecki’s Kleines Requiem für eine Polka had to stay in. It’s as though you suddenly come crashing on stage banging two pan lids together in the middle of a Shakespeare drama.’ - Hans van Manen

‘Dance’ symphony – Toer van Schayk
Another highlight of the Dutch National Ballet's repertoire is Van Schayk’s 7th Symphony. This choreograpy - awarded the VSCD Choreography Prize in 1987 — is a virtuosic setting of Beethoven’s famous Symphony No. 7, known as the ‘dance’ symphony because of its lively, rhythmic character.

Prize-winning work - David Dawson
The Grey Area (2002) shows convincingly that classical ballet is still capable of innovation. It rightly earned him the Benois de la Danse, the international ‘ballet Oscar’.

Energy and swing - Ted Brandsen
Artistic director Ted Brandsen creates a new work for The Dutch School, ‘The Chairman Dances’, on the work of the same name by John Adams from his opera Nixon in China. The same music inspired him in 1998 to create a ballet for twelve dancers. This time he uses John Adams' driving energy and swing for a completely new creation for a large dance ensemble.

Hans van Manen

Resident choreographer

Hans van Manen has succeeded in bringing modern ballet – as a combination of classical ballet and modern dance and movement techniques – to a wide audience.

David Dawson

Associate Artist

David Dawson (1972, London, United Kingdom) was resident choreographer with Dutch National Ballet from 2004 to 2006. Since 2015, he has held the position of ‘artistic associate’ with the company.

Kleines Requiem
Hans van Manen
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki

7th Symphony
Toer van Schayk
Ludwig van Beethoven

The Grey Area
David Dawson
Niels Lanz

World premiere
The Chairman Dances
Ted Brandsen
John Adams


Dutch Ballet Orchestra
led by Matthew Rowe

Dutch Ballet Orchestra
Since its foundation in 1965, the orchestra has been the proud orchestral partner of Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. This way of working is unique in the Netherlands. Dutch Ballet Orchestra, with Matthew Rowe as its principal conductor, consists of a permanent core of 45 musicians, supported where necessary by highly qualified guest players. This gives the orchestra a unique character: flexible, dynamic and of high quality. Dutch Ballet Orchestra combines music and dance to provide an enchanting experience: from classical ballet to modern dance, from music education to talent development. An optimal synthesis between music and dance is the orchestra’s mission. 

The orchestra masters a rich repertoire, which includes the crown jewels of ballet history such as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. This repertoire is always complemented by the best works of contemporary composers, selected by the leading choreographers of today. The orchestra reaches dance lovers and enthusiasts of ballet music as well as children and adolescents. The educational projects of the orchestra have won several (international) awards, including the Young Audiences Music Award in 2016 for Creatures, a collaboration with dance company ISH.


Dutch National Opera & Ballet offers an introductory talk 45 minutes before each performance. An expert will share background information, context and interesting details that can give your theatre visit more depth. The talks are in Dutch and are free to all the ticket holders. You can also find an abridged version of the introduction on our website as a podcast.

Time: 45 minutes before the performance
Location: Odeonzaal; ground floor entrance