photo credit: Alexander Iziliaev

Philadelphia Ballet Presents Hans van Manen’s Humankind, May 12-15

Philadelphia Ballet is pleased to announce Hans van Manen’s Humankind, a program of three works by one of the key figures of contemporary ballet. This final production of Philadelphia Ballet’s 2021/2022 season features a trio of van Manen’s acclaimed ballets, including Grosse Fuge, Variations For Two Couples, and 5 Tangos. The program runs five performances only, May 12-15, at the Academy of Music on the Kimmel Cultural Campus. Tickets are now on sale at

“It is nothing less than a thrill to be presenting ballets by Hans van Manen, one of the true international legends of the artform,” said Angel Corella, the Ruth and A. Morris Williams Artistic Director. “Van Manen’s choreography is elegant, indelible, and electrifying. Our company is privileged to share three of his most renowned works to our audiences here in Philadelphia.”

In this program, Hans van Manen’s fascination with interpersonal relationships is brought to the forefront in a series of most celebrated ballets. Set to Beethoven’s music, Grosse Fuge is an intense exploration of the push and pull of attraction and rejection that exists between humans, a theme that is reflected in the shifting emotionality of the dancers as they move from flirtatious to erotic, from tender to threatening. The award-winning Variations for Two Couples is a nuanced and inventive ballet that moves through shifting styles and mood, borrowing inspiration from the dancers themselves. 5 Tangos provides a vivacious finale to this program, fusing the steamy sensuality of traditional Tango with the poise and precision of pointe work. All works in the program will feature live musical performance by the Philadelphia Ballet Orchestra.

Hans van Manen’s Humankind also marks the final Philadelphia Ballet production for Jermel Johnson, the Deborah & Kurt Hilzinger Principal Dancer. Having begun his career with the company as a member of PBII in 2003, Johnson will retire after 19 trailblazing and impactful seasons with Philadelphia Ballet, and nine seasons as a principal dancer.

Hans van Manen is internationally recognized as one of the grand masters of contemporary ballet. The great clarity in structure and refined simplicity of his choreography have earned him the nickname the ‘Mondrian of dance’. His body of work features more than one hundred and fifty ballets and he has won a number of awards including the Sonia Gaskell Prize, the prestigious German Tanzpreis, the Bob Angelo Medallion, and the highly prestigious Erasmus Prize for his outstanding achievements in Dutch dance.

Hans van Manen’s Humankind opens May 12 and runs five performances only, through May 15, at the Academy of Music on the Kimmel Cultural Campus. Tickets start at $25 and may be purchased online at or by calling Ticket Philadelphia at 215-893-1999.

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