Bayerisches Junior Ballett München


Music »Petite Symphonie Concertante« (1945)
Costume Keso Dekker
Set Design Keso Dekker
Stager Kerstin Feig, Norbert Graf

“However much people love one another, you never know what the other person’s thinking. You try to take account of them, but before you know it you’ve got it wrong again.” – Hans van Manen

At their core, Hans van Manen’s ballets are about the complexities of human relationships. His unique and immediately recognisable choreographic language highlights the subtleties that all too often go unnoticed in daily life. His ballets typically show dancers in postures of an almost electrically charged physicality, which celebrate the strengths of their individuality.

In the opening scene of van Manen’s ballet «Concertante», composer Frank Martin’s use of the harpsichord in «Petit Symphonie Concertante» suggests a sinister landscape. There is tension in the air as the dancers emerge one by one, gliding through the space in long, low, sinuous strides. What ensues is thriller-like in its levels of suspense: As eruptive bursts of directed aggression meet sly and sensually charged movements, something is always brewing just under the surface, but you can never quite put your finger on it.

Learning Van Manen’s articulated and gesturally rich choreographic language is a wonderful opportunity for young dancers in their development. Originally created for the young ensemble of the Netherlands Dance Theatre II in 1994, «Concertante» has lost none of its original charm. The timeless beauty of its group sections, trios and duets and the shimmering iconic unitards designed by van Manen’s longtime collaborator Keso Dekker continue to thrill audiences to this day.

Hans van Manen celebrated his 90th birthday in 2022. Het National Ballet Amsterdam, where van Manen remains resident choreographer until today, invited eight different ballet companies to present a selection of 19 of his most groundbreaking works. Alongside his choreographic career, personal creativity, friendship, humour and real life were always important to van Manen, and he held this viewpoint throughout his artistic life. His dance idiom is based on physical possibilities and the joy of dance, but it also reveals the knowledge that is alive in the bodies of the dancers who perform his work.

Uraufführung am 13. Januar 1994 beim Nederlands Dans Theater II

Erstaufführung am 28. April 2013 im Rahmen einer Matinee der Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung im Nationaltheater München

Rehearsal Trailer