Born in Denmark. Joined Het Nationale Ballet as a dancer in 1981.His first foray into choreography was as part of Het Nationale Ballet's annual choreographic workshop in 1985, following which he started to create works for various dance companies in Holland.
In 1991 Ted Brandsen retired from dancing to focus on a freelance career in choreography. His first work, in this new phase, was Four Sections, for Het Nationale Ballet and was awarded the 1992 Perspektief Award for Creative Talent in Performing Arts. Since then other works have become part of Het Nationale Ballet's repertoire including Crossing the Border (1993), Blue Field and Bach Moves (1995).
Brandsen's works are widely presented at different festivals in Holland, on television, featured in the repertoires of many dance companies. Internationally Brandsen has worked with companies in Europe and the USA, including the National Ballet of Finland, Ballet West, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, the Istanbul State Ballet, Ballet —Theatre de Bordeaux, Israel Ballet, Donau Ballet, and the National Ballet of Portugal.
In 1998 he choreographed his first full length ballet, a new production of The Sleeping Beauty for The National Ballet of Portugal. Also in 1998, Brandsen was appointed to the position of Artistic Director of West Australian Ballet, in Perth, Australia. Under his directorship, the company had considerable success, and received several awards. Brandsen choreographed numerous ballets for West Australian Ballet, including Chairman Dances (1998), Rose Spirit (his first work for the Festival of Perth, 1999), Bridge Variations (1999, restaged for Ballet West that same year), Short Stories (2000), Romeo + Juliet (2000), Terrain of the Heart, Pulcinella and Driven (2001).
He received The Australian Dance Award for Choreography 2000 for his successful production of Carmen (1999), which was subsequently televised and released on video.
In January 2002 Ted returned to Het Nationale Ballet in the position of Associate Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer. From June 2003 he has succeeded Wayne Eagling as Artistic Director of Het Nationale Ballet.