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[en] We show that the adiabatic dynamics of a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) in a double-well potential can be described in terms of a dark variable resulting from the combination of the population imbalance and the spatial atomic coherence between the two wells. By means of this dark variable, we extend, to the nonlinear matter-wave case, the recent proposal by Vitanov and Shore [Phys. Rev. A 73, 053402 (2006)] on adiabatic passage techniques to coherently control the population of two internal levels of an atom or molecule. We investigate the conditions to adiabatically split or transport a BEC as well as to prepare an adiabatic self-trapping state by the optimal delayed temporal variation of the tunneling rate via either the energy bias between the two wells or the BEC nonlinearity. The emergence of nonlinear eigenstates and unstable stationary solutions of the system as well as their role in the breaking down of the adiabatic dynamics is investigated in detail.