Ted Brandsen, the current artistic director of the Dutch National Ballet, has introduced and developed a number of important artistic initiatives. These include taking an innovative look at the full-length repertoire, presenting leading repertoire more widely throughout the Netherlands and introducing new world-class choreographers. In collaboration with the National Ballet Academy he initiated a closer link between dance training and professional practice. As a result of this strong laison, he initiated in the founding of the Junior Company.
Ted Brandsen (1959, Kortenhoef, The Netherlands) was a dancer 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 annual choreographic workshop. In the following years, he created works for various dance companies in the Netherlands.
Brandsen gave up dancing in 1991 in order to concentrate on his choreographic career. His first work in this new capacity was Four Sections, which he made for Het Nationale Ballet, and for which, in 1992, he received the Perspectiefprijs, an incentive prize for young artists. Following that, he also made Crossing the Border (1993), Blue Field (1995) and Bach Moves (1995) for the Dutch National Ballet.
Nowadays, there are works by Brandsen in the repertoire of several dance companies, including the Istanbul Staatsballet, the Ballet-Théâtre de Bordeaux, the Israel Ballet, the DonauBallett, the Nationale Ballet of Portugal, the American Ballet West, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and the Dutch companies Introdans and Djazzex. Brandsen has also had work commissioned by the Fonds voor de Kunst, the CaDance Festival in The Hague, the Holland Dance Festival and NOS Television.
In 1998 Brandsen was appointed artistic director of the West Australian Ballet in Perth. He created several pieces for this company, including Carmen (2000) and Pulcinella (2001). Brandsen shows great craftsmanship in his choreography. His style contains traces of a classical past but has developed into a lyrical, modern language of movement.
In January 2002, Brandsen returned to the Dutch National Ballet, originally in the position of assistant director and resident choreographer. The first work that he created in this new post, Light Journey, had its première in September 2002. Last February, Brandsen’s Carmen was added to the repertoire, with great success. At the start of the 2003 | 2004 season, Brandsen succeeded Wayne Eagling as artistic director. In august 2012 he became director of the ballet company. In 2013, Ted Brandsen will have been with the Dutch National Ballet for ten years as artistic director.
Brandsen will remain active as a choreographer. Since then he created Body (2004), Firebird (2004) and Stealing Time (2006). In 2007 he made Hallelujah Junction and in 2008 he premiered his remarquable version of Coppelia. In 2008 he created In Between for the program In Space, a cooperation between nine choreographers. In 2010 Brandsen created Duo for the Gala of the Nederlandse Dans Dagen. In February 2012 he created Raï, a new choreography within Present/s, the jubilee program for 50 years Dutch National Ballet, with new works of several internationally acclaimed choreographers.