HALf 6: 14 November - special guest Hans van Manen

We are very happy and proud that Netherlands’ master choreographer Hans van Manen was our guest at HALf6 on Tuesday 14 November!

Although Hans van Manen has celebrated his 85th birthday this summer, his work has never been outdated and is still relevant.

What is his magic?
We discussed his inspiration, the importance of tradition and repertoire, and his role as a visionary in the ballet scene.  Besides these items, we also spoke with a new generation of dancers who danced in one of his choreographies.

Column by Jurriaan de Vos - HALf6 Hans van Manen

One sentence kept bouncing through my mind the whole time, and it goes as follows. "Everything I did is not possible anymore, it's really not possible... Unless you really want it."

And I won't do a pep-talk about this everything-is-possible-follow-your-dreams-bullshit. Because it's not about that. It's not about that everything is possible, because it isn't. Really wanting it does help though.
To all the English speakers out here, I'll teach you a Dutch word. It has been used several times in this talk. Brutaal. There is not a single English word that I know, that has the same meaning, the same sound as brutaal.

Brutaal is boldly doing what you want. Brutaal is a performer who doesn't ask "what do you mean?", but who just grabs the opportunity of vagueness to make his or her own thing. Brutaal are the risky dancers, brutaal is a big bright middle finger at the audience. Brutaal is stealing whatever you can get your hands on.
And right at this point, while I'm writing, Jaïr throws the word Brutaal into the conversation. Dammit Jaïr! But it's for a reason, because it is an important word. Don't ever forget this word! Brutaal. It entitles you to steal from your dancers, steal from your music, steal from composers, it gives you the opportunity to take whatever is around, and Make. It. Yours.

And I don't mean you should neglect and see as worthless everything that was done before. But take it. Make it yours. And right here Hans also emphasizes the word I just taught you! BRUTAAL! Because it's fucking everything that you have to become something else then what's already there. To become a colour, take someone's colour, steal it, and make it yours. Be bright or dark or deep, be whiskey or rum or hot chocolate, be whatever you want, but don't ever forget the word. Brutaal.