Ed Wubbe

You might call him a chameleon-like choreographer. Of all Dutch dance artists, Ed Wubbe (Amsterdam, 1957) is probably the one who has dared to approach dance in the most varied ways, and in the process demonstrated such a good feel for themes that will attract large audiences. From traditional music ballets all the way to raw theatrical shows, experiments in form in collaboration with a firm of architects, or then again more impressionistic dance dramas that are almost anecdotal, inspired by literary or historical and sometimes also political themes. He is an omnivore in musical terms, too: baroque, hip-hop and everything in between – Wubbe is able to turn styles to his own ends. But however much the atmospheres may vary, his dance idiom is always recognisable, elegant and stylised, with a strong classical foundation but invariably with a quirky element as well. Nonetheless his choreographies are always human: in his work, dancers are never pawns in an abstract play of line but instead figures of flesh and blood.


Wubbe studied at the Scapino Dance Academy in Amsterdam, and then from 1978 to 1984 he danced as part of the first junior group of Nederlands Dans Theater. The directors of Introdans discovered him when he made his first choreography and in 1981 this led to Oppervlakte, his first work for Introdans. This in turn resulted in to a strong bond between Wubbe and Introdans. Initially he was a guest choreographer at the company, and then from 1987 to 1990 he was the house choreographer. In 1989 Wubbe received the Dutch Choreography Award for Messiah and The light of the sun, both created for and with dancers of Introdans. His ballet Death and the Maiden, also made for Introdans, is counted among the classics of Dutch dance art.

In 1990 Wubbe became the choreographer of Scapino Ballet. Two years later he was appointed as artistic director of this company, which in 1994 relocated from Amsterdam to Rotterdam and in the processed was renamed Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. In total Wubbe has created almost forty ballets for Scapino, including a large number of full-length productions. Since 2004 Wubbe has also been artistic director of the International Competition for Choreographers in Hannover. Besides this, he regularly makes choreographies for the live television shows of So You Think You Can Dance. In December 2013 Wubbe was honoured for his complete oeuvre with the Award of Merit of the Dancers’ Fund ’79.