Imre & Marne van Opstal


Imre van Opstal & Marne van Opstal are Dutch choreographers, renowned performing artists and siblings, who form a creative duo. Both artists have enjoyed successful and prominent careers at the prestigious Batsheva Dance Company and Nederlands Dans Theater 1 & 2, before focusing their creativity on choreography. The collaborative nature of their work often speaks to the human condition, limits and possibilities of the body and mind. Their work is known to be multi-layered and surrealistic, with a strong and outspoken dance language known for its eclecticism, theatricality and partnering elements.

They created LiNK (2014) and John Doe (2015) for Nederlands Dans Theater 2 program ‘Up & Coming Choreographers’, after which they debuted with their work The Grey (2017) for NDT2’s regular programming. They created Take Root (2019) for Nederlands Dans Theater 1, which received a nomination for the Swan Award for ‘best dance production‘. One of their latest works, Baby don’t hurt me (2021) created for NDT1 around the themes of identity, sexuality, gender and love was met with critical acclaim. After which the productive duo continued to create Eye Candy (2021) with Rambert Dance Company, The little man (2022) for Nationaltheater Mannheim and I’m afraid to forget your smile (2022) for Hessisches Staatsballett.

Van Opstals latest work Heart Drive (2022) is a co-commission and international co-production by Vancouver-based Ballet BC and Tero Saarinen Company. The creation premieres at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Canada, on 3 November 2022. It is set to have its European premiere at Dance House Helsinki in June 2023 as a part of a new double bill. The new creation explores themes of love, connection and pleasure, as well as the stigmas and moral taboos that exist within.

Photo: Rahi Rezvani

“The Dutch siblings have tailor-made moves that are both athletically and emotionally touching for their nimble physique [...] great individual body cinema“

Tanz / The little man (2022)

“You are taken into the surreal dance language of choreographers Imre and Marne van Opstal from the very first moment. With their first performance for NDT1, the duo immediately makes an indelible impression […] The choreographers show guts with Take Root [...] leave a strong impression [...] promises a lot for the future.”

Jury report of the VSCD on their Swan nomination / Take Root (2019)

“The last duet is beautiful [...] The movement language is versatile, virtuoso and yet has a lightness”

Theaterkrant / Take Root (2019)

“Indescribably good –– they not only brought what is “en vogue” in international dance [...] They also showed that they can be the future.“

Die Reinpfalz / The little man (2022)

“Dark, clever work about body image that was originally premiered online but looks more impressive live“

The Guardian / Eye Candy (2021)

“Violent and erotic, but at the same time it was gentle and emotional. –– The piece is able to comment on beauty standards and taboo issues without being too difficult to follow“

The Edge / Eye Candy (2021)

“Ingenious –– stands out dance-choreographically“

The Edge / I’m afraid to forget your smile (2022)

“★★★★★ These two young creators [...] asked seven dancers about their battle with gender, identity and sexuality [and] created a very strong choreography about these topics“

De Volkskrant / Baby don't Hurt Me (2021)

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