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Mata Hari

Dutch National Opera and BalletWaterlooplein 22, Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
Dates/times in Amsterdam time zone
Saturday 16 October 202120:15
Sunday 17 October 202114:00
Tuesday 19 October 202120:15
Saturday 23 October 202120:15
Sunday 24 October 202114:00
Tuesday 26 October 202120:15
Thursday 28 October 202120:15
Saturday 30 October 202120:15
Sunday 31 October 202114:00
Tuesday 02 November 202120:15
Show 2 more dates
Programme
Mata HariMusic: O'Regan, Tarik (b. 1978)
Choreography: Ted Brandsen

The impressive and compelling Mata Hari is one of the recent hit productions by Dutch National Ballet. In creating it, director and choreographer Ted Brandsen delved into the turbulent life of the Dutch dancer and spy Mata Hari, along with a prominent artistic team. Like a ‘Lady Gaga of her time’, the eccentric woman from Friesland kept reinventing herself.

Over a hundred years ago, Margaretha Geertruida Zelle (Mata Hari’s real name) grew to become an internationally celebrated dancer. She was a star who wrapped all men around her little finger, but she was also a strong, individual woman, who was later accused of being a double agent and was executed in 1917. Her life had fascinated Ted Brandsen for years, mainly because of her ability to continually transform herself. As a young girl, wife, dancer, diva and spy, she threw herself into life and never gave up, despite many setbacks.

Working with librettist Janine Brogt, Brandsen developed a scenario that brings Zelle’s story to life in flamboyant, cinematic scenes. Act 1 sketches her youth and her unhappy marriage to officer Rudolphe MacLeod, which ended following the death of their two-year-old son. Thrown upon her own resources, Zelle leaves for Paris, where she creates a new version of herself as the exotic dancer Mata Hari. Her performances cause a sensation. In Act 2, which takes place on the eve of World War I, her success wanes and circumstances force her to offer her services as a spy – with fatal consequences.

The British composer Tarik O’Regan wrote the driving, rhythmic music for Mata Hari; a composition that encompasses her whole life, as it were. The sets by the acclaimed designers’ duo Clement & Sanôu transform the stage into a succession of different locations through ingenious scene changes. François-Noël Cherpin designed over three hundred costumes, which give a wonderful impression of the variety of cultures, circles and fashions in Mata Hari’s life.

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