Hans van Manen
Hans van Manen, from Nieuwer Amstel in the Netherlands, had his first ballet lessons at the end of the 1940s from Sonia Gaskell, who took him into her Company, Ballet Recital, in 1951. In 1957 he made his debut as a choreographer with Feestgericht which received the State Award for Choreography. From 1961 onwards van Manen has worked alternately with the two main dance companies of the Netherlands. Since 2005 he has once again held the post of resident choreographer with the Dutch National Ballet.
Van Manen has now created more than 120 ballets, which are performed by over 50 companies worldwide, illustrating the fact that he has become a household name in international ballet circles.
He has received many awards including the Sonia Gaskell Prize, the VSCD Choreography Award, the Deutsche Tanzpreis, the Benois de la Danse Lifetime Achievement Award and the prestigious City of Duisburg Music Prize. In 2000 he was awarded the Erasmus Prize for his special services to Ducth dance.
In 2007 the Dutch National Ballet held the Hans van Manen Festival in honour of the choreographer and his work on the occasion of his 75th birthday. During the festival he was made a Commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion.