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Portrait Hans Van ManenHans van Manen was born in Nieuwer. In 1951 van Manen had his first ballet classes from Sonia Gaskell, who invited him to join her group Ballet Recital. In 1952 he joined the Nederlands Opera Ballet, under Françoise Adret, for which he created his first ballet Feestgericht in 1957. Later on he was engaged as a dancer with Roland Petit’s company in Paris, returning to the Nederlands in 1960 as a dancer and choreographer and in 1971 as Artistic Director and choreographer. He created almost forty ballets for this company, bringing with them international recognition to the Nederlands Dans Theater. During the next two years he worked as a free-lance choreographer until 1973, when he joined Het Nationale Ballet in Amsterdam as producer and choreographer. In 1988 he returned to the Nederlands Dans Theater as Resident Choreographer. His ballets have been performed by the Opera of Berlin, Houston Ballet, Canadian National Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, the Royal Ballet, the Danish Royal Ballet, the Opera of Vienna, Transforum of Köln and Alvin Ailey.