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5 Tangos

Hans Van Manen 1977


Choreography: Hans Van Manen
Lighting design: Jan Hofstra
Music: Astor Piazzolla

Van Manen is one of the few choreographers to have succeeded in popularizing modern ballet - as a fusion of classical ballet and modern dance and other movement techniques - across a wide audience. He also ranks as one of the groundbreaking dance-makers who, particularly in the 1960s, helped formulate the now commonly accepted synthesis of academic and other dance techniques. Certain aspects of Van Manen's choreography have gone on to become trademarks of his style: clarity and apparent simplicity, and the extremely balanced, almost mathematical, structure of his dance compositions. Generally speaking Van Manen's oeuvre is governed by formal and structural principles. Much of his work, for Netherlands Dance Theatre in particular, is experimental in character, with Solo for Voice I (1986) and Mutations (1970) as some of the most striking examples.

With The Dutch National Ballet Van Manen's choreographic style became more classical and the atmosphere of his ballets, particularly in the 1970s, more courtly and romantic in their mood-imagery. The romantic element of his works always focuses on human relationships, coloured by the erotic interplay of attraction and repulsion. Among his most lyrically romantic works are Adagio Hammerklavier (1973) - for many one of his artistic highpoints - Four Schumann Pieces (1975), Grand Trio (1978) and Piano Variations III (Trois Gnossiennes) (1982). The most striking of the more experimental ballets that Van Manen created for The Dutch National Ballet include the duet Twilight and the video ballet Live (1979).

Van Manen's international fame is widespread, as is borne out by the forty-odd companies around the world with his works in their repertoire. His ballets have been danced by many of the great international stars, including Anthony Dowell, Marcia Haydée, Natalia Makarova and Rudolf Nureyev.

In 1991 Van Manen was awarded the Sonia Gaskell Prize for his whole oeuvre, and in particular for the three pas de deux he created in the 1990/1991 season: Two, Theme and Andante. Also in 1991 the ballet Two was awarded the VSCD Choreographic Prize. Quite early in his career Hans van Manen achieved wide recognition in Germany; in 1993 he was awarded the German Dance Prize and in 2004 the prestigious City of Duisburg Music Prize . Furthermore, he received in 2000 the Erasmus Price and in 2005 the Benois de la Danse Prize for his whole oeuvre in the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

Hans van Manen’s 5 Tangos is a  sizzling work that combines classical ballet with the passion and dramatic flourishes of the tango.

 

Performances:

Autumn Season 2012

(performed with Forsythe's Workworhinwork and Lawrance's Run For It)
08 October – 17 October 2012

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