In accordance with Article 2 of the constitution of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation concerning the enhancement of the position of the humanities, social sciences and the arts and the promotion of appreciation of these fields within society, His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands has confirmed the decision of the Board of the Foundation to award the Erasmus Prize for the year 2000 to Hans van Manen, representing the art of ‘Dance in the Netherlands’.

Dance in the Netherlands refers to a broad group of professionals in the world of dance: the large and small companies, the dancers and choreographers and all those who through their work contribute to dance as a professional performing art. Through the manner in which dance is organized and the great professionalism of its practitioners, the art of dance in the Netherlands is of the highest international level.

The Erasmus Prize for the year 2000 is awarded on the following grounds:

Choreographers such as Rudi van Dantzig, Toer van Schayk, Jirí Kylián and Hans van Manen have given the art of dance in the Netherlands depth and character. Through their creativity, their freedom in experimentation and their ability to innovate, these choreographers have made this art world-famous in all its diversity.

Through their choice of different repertoires, the large and small dance companies created a broad range of dance in the Netherlands and acquired a wide public.

From the 1950s onward, Hans van Manen played a major role in the artistic development of the two large dance companies in the Netherlands. His work is characterised by its great originality, the simplicity of its concept and its compelling power of emotional and artistic expression.

Through his work and personal attitude, Hans van Manen has inspired a young generation of dancers and choreographers. His work has had an emancipating effect on dance as a professional performing art.

The choreographies by Van Manen are performed and admired all over the world; Van Manen’s dance has become classic dance and is cited in many other choreographies.

In the person of Hans van Manen the Board of the Foundation has found an influential and inspiring artist invaluable to the world of dance and to dance in the world.