Philadelphia Ballet performs Humankind – Three works from iconic Dutch choreographer Hans van Manen at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA – May 12-15
Hans van Manen, the acclaimed Dutch choreographer, famously quipped, “As soon as I place two people in an empty room, I express a mood or relationship.”
In this program, Van Manen’s fascination with interpersonal relationships is brought to the forefront in a series of most celebrated ballets. Set to Beethoven’s music, Grosse Fuge is an intense exploration of the push and pull of attraction and rejection that exists between humans, a theme that is reflected in the shifting emotionality of the dancers as they move from flirtatious to erotic, from tender to threatening. The award-winning Variations for Two Couples is a nuanced and inventive ballet that moves through shifting styles and mood, borrowing inspiration from the dancers themselves. Five Tangos provides a vivacious finale to this program, fusing the steamy sensuality of traditional tango with the poise and precision of pointe work.
Hans van Manen is internationally recognized as one of the grand masters of contemporary ballet. The great clarity in structure and refined simplicity of his choreography have earned him the nickname the ‘Mondrian of dance’. His body of work features more than one hundred and fifty ballets and he has won a number of awards including the Sonia Gaskell Prize, the prestigious German Tanzpreis, the Bob Angelo Medallion, and the highly prestigious Erasmus Prize for his outstanding achievements in Dutch dance.