Commissioned by the Dutch National Ballet, choreography by Ted Brandsen

  • 2(pic).2(ca).2(ebcl, bcl).asx.2(cbn)/4.3.2+btbn.1/timp.3perc/pf.cel.2hp/str
  • 2(I:pic.II:pic,afl).1(ca).2(I:Ebcl.II:bcl).2(2cbn)/2.2.1+btbn.0/timp.2perc/pf[cel,epf].hp/str
  • 1 hr 40 min

Programme Note

The turbulent life of the Dutch spy and dancer Mata Hari is at the heart of a large-scale production by Dutch National Ballet. Margaretha Geertruida Zelle – as Mata Hari was really called – is one of the most iconic women in Dutch history.

Mata Hari was born to a well-to-do Frisian family in 1876 as Margaretha Zelle. Following an unhappy marriage, Zelle went to seek adventure in Paris. As the exotic, mysterious Mata Hari, she became one of the most famous dancers of her day. She travelled throughout Europe and had highly placed lovers everywhere, which made her an ideal spy during World War I. She was accused – rightly or wrongly – of being a double agent, and she died in front of a French firing squad in 1917.