This year, the grand master of Dutch dance Hans van Manen will turn ninety years old. To honor him, The Dutch National Ballet will present an extensive and diverse program of his work. Alongside, the exhibition Dance in Close-Up at Galerie Ron Mandos celebrates a forty-year friendship between Hans van Manen and Erwin Olaf. The project includes a series of photographs and videos in which Hans van Manen directs moments from thirteen different choreographies, captured in detail by Erwin Olaf himself.
Olaf was only 24 years old when he first met Van Manen working on a photoshoot for the Dutch magazine Sek – the official publication of LGBTQ+ activist organization COC. At the time, Van Manen was not only one of the world’s leading choreographers, but also a celebrated photographer. Taking Olaf by the hand, Van Manen introduced him to the world of fine art. The American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe was one of their biggest inspirations. This influence reappears in the series, exemplified in the square photographs shot with a Hasselblad camera – the same camera Olaf brought with him when first photographing Van Manen in 1983.