Dutch-born Hans van Manen is among the most significant choreographers of our time. He started his career in 1951 as a member of Sonia Gaskell’s Ballet Recital. In 1952 he joined the Nederlandse Opera Ballet, where he created his first ballet, “Feestgericht” (1957). Later he joined Roland Petit’s company in Paris. He began to work with the Nederlands Dans Theater in 1960, first as a dancer (until 1963), next as a choreographer, then as Artistic Director (1961–1971). For the following two years he worked as a freelance choreographer before joining Dutch National Ballet Amsterdam in 1973. From 1988 to 2003 Hans van Manen was a resident choreographer of NDT, 2003 he joined the Dutch National Ballet as a resident choreographer. His body of work amounts to more than 120 ballets, each carrying his unmistakable signature. Many of his pieces have become standard repertoire of all companies of repute throughout Europe, Canada, USA and Japan. Hans van Manen is also an acclaimed photographer. His work was being exhibited all over the world. Hans van Manen has been awarded numerous prizes. At the occasion of his 75th birthday he was appointed as Commandeur in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw. The insignia were presented to him by Amsterdam’s mayor Job Cohen, concluding the gala premiere of the Hans van Manen Festival. In 2013, he was appointed Patron of the National Ballet Academy and received the Golden Age Award followed by the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in July 2017, which is the highest cultural state distinction in France in the field of art.