Dutch National Ballet presents
Dutch National Ballet Academy end-of-year performances 2019
For some years now, the Dutch National Ballet Academy end-of-year performances have formed an exciting highlight at the end of the ballet season in Dutch National Opera & Ballet. This year, the leading international classical ballet academy – the only Dutch dance academy affiliated with Dutch National Ballet – is presenting a programme that revolves around diversity. Besides classical showpieces like Marius Petipa’s nineteenth-century Paquita (in Rachel Beaujean’s version) and Gregor Seyffert’s spectacular Bolero, you will see Atomos, one of the highlights of the oeuvre of leading British choreographer Wayne McGregor, as well as some new works created especially on and for the students.
All the pupils and students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy will be taking part in Dancers of Tomorrow – from the ten and eleven-year-olds who have just started their training to the exceptionally talented young dancers who are part of the Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company. The Junior Company dancers will perform Ernst Meisner’s energetic and successful Revelry, a piece that evokes the atmosphere of a high-spirited party.
For the first time in the more than 30-year history of the Dutch National Ballet Academy (NBA), Het Balletorkest is set to accompany Dancers of Tomorrow. Het Balletorkest is the orchestra of Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. All the choreographies on the programme that are set to an orchestral score will be accompanied by Het Balletorkest.
Photo: Antoinette Mooy
The Dutch National Ballet Academy is part of the Academy of Theatre and Dance/Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK). Since 2018, it has been led by Dutch artistic director Ernst Meisner, a former dancer with The Royal Ballet and Dutch National Ballet, and since 2013 also artistic coordinator of the Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company. When Meisner joined the academy, a new managing director was also appointed: René Vlemmix, who previously worked with Springdance and Nederlands Dans Theater.
At the Dutch National Ballet Academy, pupils follow an integrated programme of dance and regular education. The school currently has around 140 students, including many talented Dutch youngsters, as well as guest students from such prestigious schools as l’École de Danse de l’Opéra National de Paris, English National Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet School, Canada’s National Ballet School and La Scala ballet school in Milan.
Since 2013, master choreographer Hans van Manen has held the position of patron of the Dutch National Ballet Academy. Ted Brandsen, artistic director of Dutch National Ballet, holds the position of artistic advisor to the school.
choreography: Marius Petipa, in an adaptation by Rachel Beaujean
music: Ludwig Minkus, Édouard Deldedez, Adolphe Adam, Riccardo Drigo, Nikolai Tscherepnin and Yuli Gerber, in an arrangement by John Lanchbery
In its original 1846 version, Paquita is a rather long-winded love story about a Spanish gypsy girl and a young officer. But the pure dance section added by Marius Petipa in 1881 remains a touchstone for ballet companies and principal dancers all over the world. The choreography – a wedding divertissement – contains all the elements of classical ballet at its best: virtuosity, turns, leaps and beautiful adagio.
Following in the steps of Dutch National Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet Academy students now dance this challenging choreography in an adaptation by Rachel Beaujean; a production that exudes elegance, grandeur, ‘schwung’ and flair.
New creation by Wubkje Kuindersma
music: Anthony Fiumara
The Dutch choreographer Wubkje Kuindersma has been attracting a lot of international attention recently. She was nominated one of the most interesting newcomers in the dance firmament by the leading American publication Dance Magazine, which listed her in its top 25 to watch in 2019. For Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company, Kuindersma has created Mångata, the internationally acclaimed duet Two and Only and, most recently, Mesmer. She is now choreographing her first work for Dutch National Ballet Academy, for classes 1 to 3, which will also be her first piece for such young dancers. Her new creation is inspired by the second section of Aerial, by the Dutch composer Anthony Fiumara. “The music expresses great hope and passion, reflecting the dream of these young dancers, who are starting out on such a big journey so early in their lives”, says Kuindersma.
Revelry – Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company
choreography: Ernst Meisner
music: Lowel Liebermann
In 2017, for the opening gala of Dutch National Ballet’s season, Ernst Meisner created a work for the dancers of the Junior Company, of which he has been artistic coordinator since 2013, alongside his position of director of the Dutch National Ballet Academy. The lively, energetic work to the colourful composition of the same name by Lowell Liebermann evokes the atmosphere of a high-spirited party. The guests arrive one by one and tumble over one another in every possible combination, in celebration of life. “Light and cheerful” and an “excellent vehicle for young dancers who have to clock up flying hours”, is how Theaterkrant.nl described it.
choreography: Wayne McGregor
music: A Winged Victory For The Sullen
Atomos is one of the masterpieces from the oeuvre of British choreographer Wayne McGregor. In Dancers of Tomorrow 2019, the Bachelor’s students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy will be dancing the final section of the work. McGregor is known for his great interest in technology and physics. In Atomos, he explores the smallest unit of matter, or in other words invisible structures, ‘atomising’ bodies, movements, film, sound and light into impressive, intense miniature fragments. For the students, the piece is one big voyage of discovery, both with regard to McGregor’s very distinctive, specific dance vocabulary and to the way of working. “The students have to give their own interpretation of the piece”, says former McGregor dancer Anna Nowak, who is rehearsing Atomos. “We want to see the person behind the dancer”.
New world dance creation
choreography: Iva Lešić
music: Goran Bregović and Hungarian music for Jew’s harp
One of the highlights of Dancers of Tomorrow each year is the world dance production choreographed by teacher Iva Lešić. Unlike previous years, this year Lešić is not creating a piece for the youngest pupils of Dutch National Ballet Academy, but for the pupils of classes 4, 5 and 6. The new creation consists of three parts, opening with a very rhythmic section for NBA 5 and 6, which is inspired by various dances from Russia, Hungary and Samoa. It is followed by a melancholy ‘trance dance’ for the girls of NBA 4, based on dances from Eastern Europe. The finale, once again for NBA 5 and 6, is a festive gypsy dance for couples.
New creation by Didy Veldman
music: Simeon ten Holt
The Dutch National Ballet Academy has previously danced two (existing) works by the Dutch choreographer Didy Veldman, who works in England. She is now making her first new work for the academy, taking inspiration from her Dutch roots: the meadows, the cows, the flat linear landscape and the horizon that is nearly always visible when driving through the Netherlands. And she is also using clogs, partly as a tribute to Hans van Manen and his ballet Clogs. But unlike Van Manen’s piece, here the clogs not only serve as footwear, but often as scenery too. Veldman uses her sources of inspiration with subtlety – “it won’t be folklore” – but she does describe her new work as a ‘mini ode to Holland’.
choreography: Gregor Seyffert
music: Maurice Ravel
The grand finale of Dancers of Tomorrow this year is Bolero by Gregor Seyffert, artistic director of the Staatliche Ballettschule in Berlin. It is a dazzling spectacle, set to Ravel’s iconic Bolero, in which the various classes of the Dutch National Ballet Academy present themselves one by one, to demonstrate their command of classical ballet technique. The piece begins with basic stretching and barre exercises, followed by simple turns and jumps. As the dancers progress in age, so the dance material – in parallel with daily practice – gets gradually more complex and demanding, ending in partner work, impressive lifts, fouettés and soaring leaps.
Ticket sales and prices:
Prices regular / with discount (Stadspas, students, children under 16, CJP, Pas 65):
Category 1: € 32.50 / € 27.50
Category 2: € 25.00 / € 20.00
Category 3: € 17.50 / € 15.00
Student alert (last-minute): € 10.00
Group discount 5% for groups of 15 or more
Group discount 10% for groups of 30 or more
Dansers van Morgen 2016: ‘The dancers took to the big stage like ducks to water, filling the stage not just in numbers, but also with a radiant, professional presence. Thoroughly enjoyable.’