Joseph Hansen (dancer)

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Joseph Hansen (8 March 1842 in Brussels – 27 July 1907 in Paris) was a Belgian dancer and choreographer.


Ballet director at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels from 1865 à 1871, he was its ballet master from 1871 to 1875, putting on the first production of Coppélia on 29 November 1871. He held the same role at the Opéra de Paris during the 1875-1876 season. He was in London in 1877-1878, then worked at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow from 1879 to 1882, where in 1880 and 1882 he put on his own version of Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky (1880) and directed Russia's first production of Coppélia (1882).

Original choreography[edit]

  • Une fête nautique (Brussels, 11 January 1870)
  • Les Belles de nuit (Brussels, 16 March 1870)
  • Les Nations (Brussels, 14 October 1871)
  • Les Fleurs animées (Brussels, 4 March 1873)
  • La Vision d'Harry (Brussels, 25 December 1877)
  • Pierrot macabre (Brussels, 18 March 1886)
  • La Tempête by Ambroise Thomas (Paris Opera, 26 June 1889)
  • Le Rêve by Léon Gastinel (Paris Opera, 9 June 1890)
  • Psyché et l'Amour (Versailles, 1 June 1891)
  • La Maladetta by Paul Vidal (Paris Opera, 24 February 1893)
  • Fête Russe, arr. by Paul Vidal (Paris Opera, 24 October 1893)
  • Les Cygnes (Paris, 5 January 1896)
  • L'Étoile by André Wormser (Paris Opera, 31 May 1897)
  • La Légende de l'or (Paris, 24 April 1897)
  • Danses de Jadis et de Naguère (Paris Opera, 11 November 1900)
  • Bacchus, ballet in 3 acts, 5 scenes by Alphonse Duvernoy, libretto by Hansen and Georges Hartmann after a poem by Auguste Mermet (Paris Opera, 26 November 1902)
  • La Ronde des saisons by Henri Büsser (Paris Opera, 22 December 1905)
  • Le lac des Aulnes by Maréchal (Paris Opera, was finished by Vanara, 25 November 1907)

Preceded by
Eugène Chapuis
Ballet Director of the Théâtre de la Monnaie
Succeeded by
Lucien Petipa
Preceded by
Lucien Petipa
Ballet Director of the Théâtre de la Monnaie
Succeeded by
Alfred Lamy
Preceded by
Alfred Lamy
Ballet Director of the Théâtre de la Monnaie
Succeeded by
Oscar Poigny
Preceded by
Louis-Alexandre Mérante
Director of the Ballet l'Opéra de Paris
Succeeded by
Léo Staats


  • Jane Pritchard. "The Great Hansen": An Introduction to the Work of Joseph Hansen, a Forgotten European Choreographer of the Late Nineteenth Century, with a Chronology of His Ballets. Dance Research. Winter 2008. Vol. 26 Issue 2. p73.