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Repertory Archive

Keso Dekker


Keso Dekker, Dutch-born visual artist, has designed sets and costumes for over 500 theatre productions, with some 70 directors and choreographers across Europe and the United States.  Initially a painter, designer of private and public spaces and museum exhibitions, he also taught, published and wrote for television and organized exhibitions – always on the subjects of design, fashion, dance and the visual arts, plus their histories.  Foremost though, are his stage designs for modern dance and ballet, for which he has received the Dutch design award, followed by an overall one, for contribution to the world of dance in general.  Among his many collaborators are choreographers Nina Wiener, (Transatlantic Light, at BAM), Renato Zanella (Works for Viennese Opera), Bernd Bienert (Nutcracker, Zürich Opera), Heinz Spoerli (Goldberg Variations, Düsseldorf Opera), Nils Christe, (Before Nightfall, Paris Opera) and, more recently, a creative relationship with Martin Schläpfer in Germany, (Tanzsuite, Forelle).

Pivotal, throughout, has been his close bond with Hans van Manen, whose entire body of work, since 1978, (amounting to 70 creations, many of which have become classics worldwide) was given its look by him.  Dekker first met Alexei in early 2012, resulting in Souvenir, part of a two-day, nine premiere ballet marathon, to celebrate 50 years of Dutch national ballet, wholly designed by him.   Future projects include creations with Van Manen, Schläpfer and Ratmansky, a Massine-revival for Münich State Ballet, and designs towards a major celebration in the Netherlands of 500 years Hieronimus Bosch.

In 2013, Dekker designed costumes for American Ballet Theatre’s Chamber Symphony, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky.