Liisa Hämäläinen & Le Wang
Liisa Hämäläinen & Le Wang ©Alice Blangero
Liisa Hämäläinen
Liisa Hämäläinen ©AB
Bernice Coppieters ©AB
Liisa Hämäläinen & Le Wang ©Alice Blangero
Liisa Hämäläinen ©AB
Bernice Coppieters ©AB



Created by Jirí Kylián to mark the 25th anniversary of the Queens Jubilee of her Majesty Queen Beatrix, Chapeau – which translates as a sort of «Hats Off!» in English – must above all be considered as a sincere and beautifully worked gift from the choreographer to the Queen of the Netherlands. The artist and the queen have always enjoyed cordial relations, and by opting to name his ballet thus, Jiří Kylián «raises his hat» to Queen Beatrix for all she has accomplished and for the choices she has made. The work was premiered on 27 October 2005, opening the tenth Holland Dance Festival at the Lucent Danstheater in The Hague.

In order to personalise his present, Jirí Kylián decided to take inspiration from, and to pay tribute to, Queen Beatrix’s passion for hats! Her legendary collection could not fail to impress the choreographer, who, for so many years, has pondered the subject of costumes and accessories. All of the hats made for the choreography are exact replicas of Queen Beatrix’s actual hats.

The music selected to bring the ballet to life is a song by Prince. The result is strikingly effective and modern and makes you want to dance! The performers are always hugely enthusiastic when preparing this choreography for the first time, as it is so full of humour, modernity and joy. But appearances can be misleading; they very quickly discover that Chapeau is something to be reckoned with; it’s a difficult piece of work. There are myriad minute details and innumerable tiny steps. It only looks simple. Dancing Chapeau is an amazing feat reserved exclusively for the very best dancers.

Choreography: Jiri Kylián
Music: Prince Musicology, On the Couch (CD, Musicology); The Work (CD, The Rainbow Children), Pu’uhonua Aloha Nō kalākaua
Costumes: Joke Visser
Scenography: Jiri Kylián
Lighting: Kees Tjebbes
Hats reproduced by Elizabeth van der Helm, adapted from the original hat collection of H.M. the Queen

World premiere by the Nederlands Dans Theater 2, on October 27th 27 2005, Lucent Danstheater, La Haye
Premiere by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, on April 28th 2016, Grimaldi Forum Monaco