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Van Dantzig, Rudi (1933-2012)  
page: 1  2  

Van Dantzig subsequently created three more ballets for Nureyev.

Van Dantzig created modern versions of Romeo and Juliet (1967) and Swan Lake (1988), but he may be best known for his one-act ballets to a wide range of twentieth-century composers.

Critics may question the edgy elements of homoerotic tension and existential malaise that recur in van Dantzig's work, but they also appreciate the vigor with which he puts his politics out front-and-center without diminishing the theatricality of the dance.

Sans Armes, Citoyens (1987, with a score by Hector Berlioz) is one example of van Dantzig drawing inspiration from his complex personal life and extending it to address social issues through movement. Requiring ensemble dancing that demands great virtuosity, this piece is a virtual manifesto urging the ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity without resort to violence.

In its political and artistic vision, Sans Armes, Citoyens is also emblematic of the more than fifty provocative works van Dantzig created before leaving the Dutch National Ballet in 1991 to devote himself to writing and to staging his work with other companies.

In 2003 Van Dantzig published a biography of the Dutch artist and resistance fighter Willem Arondeus. In 2008, he published a memoir, Remembering Nureyev: The Trail of a Comet, about his collaborations with the great dancer.

Van Dantzig died on January 19, 2012 at his home in Amsterdam of complications from cancer. He was survived by his longtime partner Toer van Schayk.

John McFarland

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Campbell, R.M. "On Stage at PNB Dance Work from a Dutch Master." Seattle Post-Intelligencer (January 27, 1998): D1.

Dantzig, Rudi van. For a Lost Soldier. Arnold J. Pomerans, trans. London: Bodley Head, 1991.

Klooss, Helma. "Dostoyevski of the Dance." Dance Magazine 67.11 (November 1993): 92.

Loney, Glenn. "Evolution of an Ensemble: Rudi van Dantzig on the National Ballet of Holland." Dance Magazine 48.3 (March 1974): 34-39.

Perceval, John. "The Voice of the People." Dance and Dancers 448 (May-June 1987): 32-34.

Utrecht, Luuk. Rudi van Dantzig: A Controversial Idealist in Ballet. Nicoline Gatehouse, trans. Zutphen, The Netherlands: Walburg Press, 1993.

Utrecht, Luuk. "Rudi van Dantzig." International Encyclopedia of Dance. Selma Jeanne Cohen, ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. 2:346-348.


    Citation Information
    Author: McFarland, John  
    Entry Title: Van Dantzig, Rudi  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated August 4, 2012  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
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    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


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