Rachel Beaujean was born in Helmond in 1959, and trained as a dancer at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. She joined the Dutch National Ballet in 1977 and was promoted to second soloist in 1981. Rachel danced her farewell performance on 19 June 1997 in the ballet Sarcasmen by Hans van Manen, after which she became a ballet mistress with the Dutch National Ballet.
Beaujean is best-known for her interpretation of the work of Hans van Manen. She performed many of his ballets, including Situation, Twilight, Adagio Hammerklavier, Five Tangos, Sarcasmen, Corps and Opening. She also danced in works by Rudi van Dantzig (Onder mijne voeten and Romeo and Juliet) and Toer van Schayk (Pyrrische Dansen II and IV, and Het Mythisch Voorwendsel).
She also danced various roles in the classical repertoire, such as Myrtha in Giselle and the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty.
She danced in various ballets by George Balanchine, including Agon, Apollo, Symphony in C, The Prodigal Son, Diamonds and The Four Temperaments. Rachel Beaujean also performed in William Forsythe’s Artifact and in productions by Eduard Lock (Bread Dances), Martha Graham (Diversion of Angels), Ted Brandsen (Four Sections and Crossing the Border) and Wayne Eagling (Frankenstein).
In 1986, she was involved in Bacchanten, a collaborative project between the Dutch National Ballet and theatre director Gerardjan Rijnders.
On 24 October 1993, Rachel Beaujean was awarded the Golden Theatre Dance Award by the Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors, and in October 1995 she received the Award of Merit from Stichting Danserfonds '79.
Rachel Beaujean has held the position of Head of the Artistic Staff of the Dutch National Ballet since 1 May 2003. In this capacity, her main role is planning and coordinating rehearsals, monitoring the schedules of the artistic staff, making suggestions for casting and various other policy-related tasks. Rachel also continues to take rehearsals, give classes and coach dancers in her capacity as ballet mistress. Rachel is a board member of the Hans van Manen Foundation.
In the 2008/2009 season, she worked with Ricardo Bustamante on a revised version of Giselle for the Dutch National Ballet. Prior to that, she made her own version of Les Sylphides for the company. In the season 2012-2013 she will make a new production for the company of Petipa's Paquita.
Ricardo Bustamante (Medellin, Colombia, 1962) trained at the Academia de Ballet de Medellin and started his career in 1978 with the Ballet de Caracas in Venezuela. Two years later, he received a scholarship for the San Francisco Ballet School and after six months of training joined San Francisco Ballet in the rank of élève. In three years’ time, he was promoted to principal and danced leading roles in works by Maurice Béjart, George Balanchine, Eliot Feld, Jirí Kylián and Jerome Robbins, among others. At the invitation of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bustamante made the transition to American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in 1985, where he became a soloist in 1987 and a principal in 1989. With ABT, he danced main roles in all the big classical ballets and performed with famous partners like Alexandra Ferri, Carla Fracci, Cynthia Gregory, Cynthia Harvey, Susan Jaffe and Jekaterina Maximova. He also danced in works by Karole Armitage, George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Clark Tippet and Antony Tudor.
Bustamente also made regular guest appearances with other companies, including Ballet de La Scala in Milan, Scottish Ballet, Ballett der Deutsche Oper Berlin and Pacific Northwest Ballet. In 1988, he toured America and Europe with a group put together by Rudolf Nureyev. In the same year and the following year, he worked on two dance films for the TV series Dance in America. In 1990, he was invited by prima ballerina Carla Fracci to be her partner in Giselle, in a series of performances in Verona, where they also performed together in The Angels and the Peri, by Derek Deane.
In 1994, Bustamante became a teacher at the San Francisco Ballet School, for which he choreographed various works in the following years. Four years later, he was appointed artistic director of Ballet Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, and he directed Ballet de
Santiago de Chile from 2000 to 2003. For the latter company, he made his own successful versions of Nutcracker and Le Corsaire.
Since 2004, Bustamante has been working with San Francisco Ballet again as a ballet master and principal character dancer. With this company, he has rehearsed a great many classical ballets, as well as works by choreographers like George Balanchine, Jorma Elo, William Forsythe, Hans van Manen and Jerome Robbins.