Rudy van

Jury member of Benois de la Danse

Benois de la Danse laureate

Rudi van Dantzig was born in 1933 in Amsterdam. He received ballet lessons from Ann Sybranda and Sonia Gaskell and made his debul as a dancer in 1952 in Gaskell's Ballet Recital, which later became The Netherlands Ballet. Here he wrote his first ballet, “Night Island”.

In 1959 Van Dantzig was one of the founders of The Netherlands Dance Theatre, but a year later he was with Sonia Gaskell.

In 1961 The Dutch National Ballet came into being and Van Dantzig became resident choregrapher. In 1965 he became an artistic director (together with Sonia Gaskall and Roberta Kassen) and since 1971 he has been the sole Artistic Director. In September 1991 he stood down as"Artistic Director, but remained a resident choregrapher.

Van Dantzig has wrote more than 50 ballets, almost all of them for The Dutch National Ballet and usually with Toer van Schayk as set and costume designer. Van Dantzig often makes use of music by Dutch composers like Jane Boerman, Chiel Meijering, Peter Schat and Sytze Smit. Many foreign companies have included Van Dantzig's ballets in their repertory.In part this is due to his close association with Rudolph Nureyev for whom he wrote the ballets “The ropes of time “, “Blown in a gentle wind“ and “About a dark house“.
Among his best-known works are “Four last songs“, “Monument/or a dead hoy“, “Under my feel”, „No man land”, „To bend or to break” and his verions of the classical ballets „Romeo and Julit” and „Swan Lake”. The premiere of his most recent works for The Dutch National Ballet took place in March („Archangels butcher heaven red”) and in June 1990.

In 1986 Van Dantzig published his first novel “For a lost soldier”. Mr. van Dantzig is author of 4 books. His first novel “In Memory of a Lost Soldier” (1986) was filmed and translated into English and German. He also wrote a book “Nureyev, the Trail of a Comet” about 25 years of friendship and cooperation with the great dancer. Rudi van Dantzig has been a jury member of many ballet competitions: in Moscow, Paris and New York. He worked closely with the National Ballet School in Toronto, Canada, coaching young dancers. He was also a member of the Benois de la Danse jury.