© Erwin Olaf

Hans van Manen

Dutch-born Hans van Manen is one of the most significant choreographers of our time. He started his career in 1951 as a member of Sonia Gaskell’s Ballet Recital followed by engagements at the Nederlandse Opera Ballet and Roland Petit’s company in Paris. In 1960 he began to work with the Nederlands Dans Theater as a dancer, choreographer and from 1961 to 1971 as Artistic Director. In 1973 he was appointed Choreographer in Residence at the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam. From 1988 he was again associated with the NDT as a resident choreographer before returning to Dutch National Ballet in 2003.

Hans van Manen’s œuvre counts more than 120 works, carrying his unmistakable signature. His ballets belong to the repertoire of many well-known companies in Europe, Canada, the USA, Japan and Russia. In addition to his choreographic work, the artist achieved a high reputation as a photographer. In 2003 he founded the Hans van Manen Foundation.

In 1991 Hans van Manen received the Sonia Gaskell Prize for his entire work and the Choreography Prize from the Association of Directors of Schouwburg and Concertgebouw Amsterdam. In 1992 Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands made him an officer in the Order of Knights of Orange-Nassau. In 1993 he was awarded the German Dance Prize. In 1996 the Dutch COC awarded him the Bob Angelo Medallion for »the way in which he portrays men and women, human relations and sexuality in his ballets and photography«. In 1997 he received the Gino Tani International Prize in the category of Dance. In 1998, at the Edinburgh International Festival, Hans van Manen was honoured with a retrospective and the Archangel Award. In 2000 he received the Erasmus Prize, in 2004 the Music Award of the German city Duisburg, in 2005 the Prix Benois de la Danse for Lifetime Achievement and the Grand Pas award. In 2007 the city of Amsterdam honoured the artist on his 75th birthday with the appointment as Commandeur in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw and a three week festival. In 2013 he was named Patron of the National Ballet Academy, received the Golden Age Award and another Prix Benois, and in 2017 with the title Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres the French State’s highest honour in the field of arts.