Hans van Manen
Born in 1932, the Dutch Hans van Manen discovered his talent and love for choreography in early ages. In 1960, he was one of the founding members of the Nederlands Dans Theater, for which he – in addition to the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam – still creates choreographies. Everyday gestures mingle with his movement vocabulary, which is precisely composed to the music as well as influenced by both classical and modern dance.
His productions are ballets for strong personalities, in which women and men have equal rights. Van Manen presents their (erotic) relationships in a very clear language. Nevertheless, his topics are abstract: "Dance represents dance", says van Manen; One looks in vain for stories in his pieces, but the never do the structures outplay the human being. In the lucid group performances, perfect form is revealed - it is not without reason that George Balanchine is one of his role models.
Hans van Manen was one of the first choreographers ever to work with new media, and the result - the piece Live from 1979 - sets standards till today. In the repertoire of the Bayerisches Staatsballett - as in many great companies worldwide – one can find several of his masterpieces, but also, and this is rare, a creation choreographed especially for the Munich company: the duet Nacht.