Ted Brandsen danced with Dutch National Ballet from 1981 to 1991. In 1991, he retired from dancing in favour of concentrating on choreography. As a freelance choreographer, Brandsen worked with companies in his native Holland as well as throughout Europe and in the USA.

In 1998, Brandsen was appointed artistic director of West Australian Ballet in Perth. At the beginning of 2002, Brandsen returned to Dutch National Ballet, initially in the position of associate artistic director and resident choreographer and since 2003 as artistic director of the company.

He has been the director of Dutch National Ballet since August 2012, during which time the Company has made enormous progress. In recent years the New York Times ranked the Company in the top five ballet institutions in the world that presented new productions, and the Süddeutsche Zeitung ranked the group in the top three in the world.  The company currently has 76 dancers and a broad repertoire which is performed in its home base, Dutch National Opera and Ballet in Amsterdam, and around the world. In 2013 Brandsen started the Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company for 12 young dancers, which has been highly successful.

Brandsen is also a much sought-after juror for ballet competitions and dance awards including Prix de Lausanne, FEDORA and the Benois de la Danse. In 2017 he initiated the biannual international conference Positioning Ballet in which international leaders of the ballet world come together in Amsterdam to debate and reflect on topical themes.