He choreographed his first work, Nachteiland, for the Nederlands Ballet, a company that had grown from Gaskell’s Ballet Recital. This was followed by the foundation of the Dutch National Ballet, under the leadership of Gaskell, where Rudi van Dantzig became resident choreographer and in 1965 one of the three artistic directors. In 1971, he was the only one left and he remained sole artistic director of the company until 1991.
with Rudolf Nureyev
Throughout his career, he created over fifty ballets, which are still regularly performed by companies in the Netherlands and all over the world. He created three ballets for Rudolf Nureyev at the legendary Russian dancer’s own request. His ballets are often narrative in character with a high degree of social criticism. For many of his ballets, Van Dantzig collaborated with Toer van Schayk, who designed the sets and costumes. Van Dantzig’s best-known ballets include Four last songs, Monument for a dead boy, Onder mijne voeten and his versions of the full-length classics Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake.
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