Brandsen feels it is essential to take a fresh look at the classics. In his view, the Dutch National Ballet should not confine itself to devotedly reproducing existing productions, however successful these may be. New impulses and initiatives are vital. Brandsen therefore presents new versions or interpretations of the old classics, such as his recent version of Coppélia. He also introduces many new ballets by today’s leading choreographers.
Brandsen appointed Krzysztof Pastor as resident choreographer, and in 2005, Hans van Manen returned to take up that same post, after fifteen years with Nederlands Dans Theater. Brandsen also appointed David Dawson as a company choreographer, until he left the company in 2006.
With the current artistic team - Brandsen, Van Manen and Pastor - the Dutch National Ballet has some of the most prominent representatives of contemporary ballet within its ranks.
Ted Brandsen (Kortenhoef, the Netherlands) danced with the Dutch National Ballet from 1981 till 1991, and it was there, in 1985, that he took his first steps as a choreographer. In the years that followed, he created works for various companies in the Netherlands.
In 1991, he gave up dancing in order to concentrate on choreography. In 1992, he created Four Sections, which was awarded the Perspective Prize, an incentive award for young artists. Subsequent creations for the Dutch National Ballet included Crossing the Border (1993), Blue Field (1995) and Bach Moves (1995).
Brandsen’s works are in the repertoire of several ballet companies around the world, including the Istanbul State Ballet, the Ballet-Théâtre de Bordeaux, the Israel Ballet, the Donau Ballett, the National Ballet of Portugal, the American company Ballet West, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and the Dutch companies Introdans and the former Djazzex jazz dance company.
west australian ballet
In 1998, Brandsen was appointed artistic director of West Australian Ballet in Perth. For this company, he created many well-received works, including Carmen (2000) and Pulcinella (2001). He received the Australian Dance Award for Choreography for Carmen, and he was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 for his contribution to Australian ballet culture.
back with the dutch national ballet
In January 2002, Brandsen returned to the Dutch National Ballet, initially in the position of assistant artistic director and resident choreographer. In July 2003, he was appointed artistic director of the company.
Since his return from Australia, his successful ‘Australian’ ballets Carmen and Pulcinella have been added to the Dutch National Ballet’s repertoire. Brandsen’s other creations include Light Journey (2002), Body (2004), Firebird (2004), Stealing Time (2006) and Hallelujah Junction (2007).
In February 2008, the premiere took place of the full-length ballet Coppelia, a contemporary version of the ballet by Marius Petipa and Arthur Saint- Leon. In June of the same year, he created In Between for the programme In Space, on which nine choreographers collaborated.
In the anniversary season 2011-2012, he has created one of the works for Present(s), a festival of new works. In 2013 he created the work Verge for the National Ballet Academy.
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