Special Professor Ballet and Dance (Hans van Manen chair)

Special Professor Ballet and Dance (Hans van Manen chair)

Published Deadline Location
19 Apr 20 May Amsterdam

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Job description

Nature and content of the Special Chair

The Hans van Manen Ballet and Dance Special Chair has been established in the Faculty of Humanities by Dutch National Opera & Ballet (Nationale Opera & Ballet), through a decision of the Executive Board of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Dutch National Opera & Ballet is the largest opera house in the Netherlands and home to the only classical ballet, and largest dance company, in the Netherlands. Dutch National Opera (De Nationale Opera) and Dutch National Ballet (Het Nationale Ballet) have been producing opera and ballet of the highest quality for the broadest possible audience for more than 50 years. The Special Chair bears the name of the person who has developed and shaped ballet, and the character of ballet, the most in the Netherlands: Hans van Manen.

It is one of the key objectives of Dutch National Opera & Ballet, and a growing ambition, to play a leading role within the performing arts in the field of academic research into ballet and dance, as well as giving this research a place within the UvA. At the same time, the archiving, protection, accessibility and analysis of the cultural heritage of ballet and dance is of the utmost importance to the development of the performing arts in the Netherlands and to the positioning of the arts in society, and ballet and dance in particular. The aim also is to let the artistic and technical developments of ballet and dance, and of Dutch National Ballet in particular, be the subject of and inspiration for research. With the establishment of the Special Chair, the intention is to stimulate the interaction between practice and theory, and between production and research. The relatively brief history of ballet and dance in the Netherlands, the analysis of this history, the analysis of the character of ballet and dance in the Netherlands, and the international positioning of Dutch National Ballet are all topics of research.

The research within the context of the Special Chair will make a relevant contribution to the field of Dance Studies, which is still in its infant stages. This contribution includes theory building, dance and ballet history, research into the social and historical context of dance and ballet, into choreography, notation systems, the materiality of the performance practices, and the institutional and cultural conditions thereof. The focus of the research will focus in particular on the Netherlands in an international context. The establishment of the Special Chair will provide a powerful boost to the interdisciplinary research into historical, current and future developments of ballet and dance in the Netherlands in an international context.

The University of Amsterdam is a very suitable place for this Special Chair. There is growing interest within the Faculty of Humanities, and particularly the Arts and Culture department, for classical and experimental manifestations of ballet and dance. The Dual Master’s programme International Dramaturgy and the interdisciplinary Research Master Art and Performance Research Studies are both relevant within this context. The Special Chair is a significant addition to the existing collaboration with Dutch National Opera and the Amsterdam University of the Arts. Furthermore, the efforts to preserve immaterial heritage by Special Collections of the University Library of the UvA (particularly the Netherlands Theatre Institute (TIN) collection) are of major significance to the envisaged relevancy of the Special Chair, particularly with regard to the accessibility of the ballet archive. Finally, the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) also offers a suitable interdisciplinary research context for this Hans van Manen Special Chair.

The Hans van Manen Ballet and Dance Special Chair is part of the Arts and Culture department and is incorporated within the Theatre Studies capacity group. The disciplines Musicology, Art History, Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Studies are also represented in the department.

Research and teaching

In addition to Dance Studies, the Special Chair primarily encompasses the disciplines Theatre Studies and Musicology. The professor by special appointment will contribute to the courses offered in the field of ballet and dance in the form of BA and/or MA modules. Apart from electives in the Bachelor’s phase and in the (dual) Master’s programme, thesis supervision will be part of the teaching to be provided by the professor (for the complete study programme of the Faculty, please see http://studiegids.uva.nl). She/he will also fulfil a stimulating role in terms of attracting and supervising of PhD candidates, and the professor will participate in the academic networks for relevant research. She/he will also be the liaison between the ballet and dance practice and the world of academic research. The ballet and dance practice will inspire and stimulate the deepening of academic research and vice versa.

The professor by special appointment will conduct research in terms of the remit of the Special Chair and will publish the results in professional journals and in the media for a wider audience. The research in the field of ballet and dance will be housed within the interdisciplinary research school ASCA, which is part of the Faculty research institute Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research.

What are you going to do

The tasks of the professor by special appointment are broadly as follows:

  • teaching in the field of ballet and dance with a focus on the Netherlands in an international context;
  • supervising theses;
  • being the liaison between the ballet and dance practice and the world of academic research, while deepening the scientific knowledge;
  • conducting research and supervising doctoral research;
  • (partly) applying for research grants;
  • acting as a link between Special Collections, Dutch National Ballet and the UvA;
  • being responsible for the greatest possible ‘presence’ of the Special Chair by playing an active role within and outside the UvA;
  • stimulating academic research, and analysis of other disciplines and subjects within the performing arts in the Netherlands.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


What do we require

The professor by special appointment must satisfy the following job requirements:

  • excellent research abilities, as evidenced by an academic dissertation, high-profile international academic publications and other activities;
  • broad and demonstrable expertise in the field of dance and ballet, both in the Netherlands and abroad, and knowledge of and experience with digital research methods and valorization;
  • a very good command of English. Proficiency in Dutch or a willingness to learn Dutch is appreciated;
  • good teaching skills (i.e. an enthusiastic, inspiring and appealing lecturer) in Dutch and in English, as evidenced by e.g. a University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) obtained from a Dutch university (candidates who do not yet hold this qualification must obtain it after their appointment);
  • good interpersonal and organisational skills and leadership qualities;
  • able to function as a linking pin between National Opera & Ballet and the UvA.

Conditions of employment

Our offer

In order to perform the duties associated with the position, the professor by special appointment should be available for an average of one day per week. Candidates must have acquired expertise in the field of dance studies.

Please note that this professorship by special appointment will not lead to employment at the UvA and does not come with a formal salary. However, to cover the costs associated with the performance of the duties, a sum of €20,000 per year is available to spend in consultation with the Curatorial Panel. It is also intended to enable the availability of the professor by special appointment.

The professorship by special appointment is not compatible with any form of employment at the UvA Faculty of Humanities. The professor by special appointment will be appointed for a period of five years at a time.


University of Amsterdam

With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.  

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


Faculty of Humanities

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strongly international profile in a large number of disciplines in the field of language, history, and culture. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the Faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutions in the capital city. Almost 1,400 employees are affiliated with the Faculty, which has about 7,000 students. The Faculty of Humanities consists of eight departments.


  • Professor; Research, development, innovation; Education; Lecturer
  • Language and culture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • 21-252


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX, Amsterdam

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