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Cinedans 2022 Hans van Manen Just Dance the Steps

Hans van Manen - Just dance the steps

Willem Aertz / NL, 2022 / 60 min.

In July 2022, choreographer Hans van Manen turns 90. Director Willem Aerts followed an icon of the international dance world in the run-up to this milestone.

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Hans van Manen's unstoppable energy is evident in all scenes. Whether he rehearses a piece with his dancers, has lunch with the National Ballet (he gives them his ballets), or whether he decides after 40 years to move to a very spacious and luxurious apartment - his respectable age is far from getting in the way.

Hans van Manen (Nieuwer-Amstel, 1932) is internationally recognized as one of the great masters of contemporary ballet. Including his ballets for television, he has created more than 150 ballets. His choreographies have an unmistakable signature, characterized by great clarity in structure as well as refined simplicity.

From 1960, Van Manen worked alternately with the two most important dance companies in the Netherlands: for ten years he was co-artistic director of the Nederlands Dans Theater and then successively resident choreographer of the Dutch National Ballet (1973-1987) and Nederlands Dans Theater (1988-2003). . Since 2005, he has once again been associated with the Dutch National Ballet as a permanent choreographer.

Van Manen received many important awards and prizes. In 2007 he was promoted to Commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. In 2000, he was awarded with the Erasmus Prize and in 2013 with the Golden Age Award as well as appointed patron of the National Ballet Academy. In 2015, Van Manen joined the Academy of Arts as a member and in 2017 he was appointed Commander in the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in Montpellier. A year later, he received the Medal of Honor for Art and Science from the Order of the House of Orange, because of 'his enormous contribution to the arts in the Netherlands and to ballet in particular'.

Willem Aerts studied at the Visual Arts Academy Maastricht (audio-visual design) and at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy Amsterdam, where he graduated in direction in 2001. After his studies, he performed two seasons in the theatre in the productions Forgotten Faces and Future Lives and Body. (Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam - La MAMA ETC New York, U.S.A.)

After that he started directing short and long documentaries, music videos and art films. For the short documentary Looking for Curtis, he won a number of international awards. In recent years, he has worked for organisations such as communications agency Vandejong, ISH, Les Enfants Terribles, Go Public, Amsterdam & Co and museums such as Science Center NEMO, Hermitage Amsterdam, Bonnefantenmuseum Maasticht and Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam. He works as an editor for the art films of Melanie Bonajo, Dutch entry for the Biennale in Venice 2022. The documentaryHans van Manen - Just dance the stepsis his third long documentary after De tijd daarna and I will Speak, I will Speak, both broadcast on television. He currently works as documentary director, editor and film teacher.

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Willem Aertz

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Original title

Hans van Manen - Just dance the steps


60 min.







Part of

Cinedans 2022

In five full days, Cinedans presents the state of the art of international dance film in partnership with dancescreen - IMZ International Music + Media Center Vienna.

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