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Hans van Manen Variations

Dutch National Ballet livestreams six ballets from the Dutch master of dance, with musical accompaniment by the Dutch Ballet Orchestra


Hans van Manen's work holds a very important place in Dutch National Ballet's repertoire. An oeuvre the company can draw on again and again, and at the end of February Dutch National Ballet will do so again. The online programme features no fewer than six ballets from the choreographic vault of the great master of Dutch dance.

The programme, entitled Hans van Manen Variations, features six of his most iconic works: Adagio Hammerklavier, Sarcasmen, Trois Gnossiennes, Déjà Vu, Two pieces for HET and Variations for two couples.

Dutch National Ballet is dancing two online performances of the programme, both of which will be streamed live from Dutch National Opera & Ballet. A different cast will dance on each day, to give as many of the company's dancers as possible the opportunity to show the audience their interpretation of Van Manen's work.

The livestreams of Hans van Manen Variations are on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February at 3 pm CET. Tickets priced at € 12.50 and are available via

Hans van Manen's 'Adagio Hammerklavier' at Dutch National Ballet. Photo © Hans Gerritsen
Hans van Manen's Adagio Hammerklavier at Dutch National Ballet. Photo © Hans Gerritsen


  • Adagio Hammerklavier. Van Manen calls this work created in 1973 an 'ode to deceleration'. Inspired by an extremely slow adagio from a Beethoven piano sonata, he explores how slow a movement can be.
  • Sarcasmen was originally created in 1981 for Rachel Beaujean and Clint Farha. The two dancers challenge each other in a game of refined chic and eroticism. A duet to music by Sergei Prokofiev that has received worldwide acclaim.
  • Trois Gnossiennes (1982), set to eponymous music by Erik Satie, deals with the relationship between men and women. At the beginning, there is still some subcutaneous tension, but gradually the atmosphere changes to one of surrender and harmony.
  • Déjà Vu (1995), danced to Fratres by Arvo Pärt, was Van Manen's answer to critics who believed that the choreographer was repeating himself too much. The ballet is a sublime and virtuoso duet in which Van Manen knows better than anyone how to capture the essence of human relationships in dance.
  • Two Pieces for HET was created by Van Manen in 1997, marking his successful comeback at Dutch National Ballet after an absence of ten years. The first, dazzling part is performed at a breakneck speed. The second is a tranquil adagio that gradually decreases in movement density. Danced to music by Erkki-Sven Tüür (Illusion) and Arvo Pärt (Psalom).
  • Variations for two couples (2012) was awarded the 'Benois de la Danse' for best choreography, also considered the 'Oscar of dance'. The ballet shows two couples, each with their own speciality: the first lyrical and subdued, the second fiery and virtuoso.

Hans van Manen Variations, with musical accompaniment by the Dutch Ballet Orchestra, will be livestreamed from Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Amsterdam on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February 2021, starting at 15:00 CET. Tickets at €12.50 are available via

Posted 11 February 2021 by Richard Heideman




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