Having stood the test of time, these works are regarded as cultural highpoints the world over and are enduringly popular with audiences. They are equally important in the challenge they pose to classically trained dancers, testing their technical prowess to the limit while also helping to develop their stage personalities.
In the 1960s, the Dutch National Ballet mounted the first complete productions in Holland of classics such as La Sylphide, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, although the absence of a Dutch ballet tradition at the time meant that all these productions were imported from abroad.
Ever since Rudi van Dantzig was appointed artistic director of the Dutch National Ballet, however, the company has regularly distinguished itself with its own highly individual versions of the classical repertoire, including a ‘Dutch’ Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake [both by Van Dantzig], Giselle [Beaujean / Bustamante] and Nutcracker and Mouse King [Toer van Schayk / Wayne Eagling].
At the same time, Van Dantzig and his successors, Eagling and Brandsen, also acquired internationally acclaimed productions of The Sleeping Beauty [Sir Peter Wright], La Sylphide [Dinna Bjørn], Onegin [John Cranko] and La Bayadère [Petipa/Makarova].