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David Dawson


British choreographer David Dawson is one of the most innovative dance makers working in classical ballet today. His personal choreographic style transforms classical ballet in new ways, and his signature works are atmospheric, emotionally phys­ical, abstract/narrative pieces that have been praised by critics and audi­ences worldwide. Dawson’s works have been performed in more than 25 countries and entered repertoires of many ballet companies.

Dawson was honoured with the Prix Benois de la Danse Award for choreography and nominated for the UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Award as Best Classical Choreographer for The Grey Area. The process of choreographing this ballet was vividly illustrated in Tim Couchman’s film The Grey Area’ in Creation. Dawson created Reverence for the Mariinsky Ballet, for which he was awarded Russia’s highest theatre prize for visual art, the Golden Mask Award, as Best Choreographer, and became the first British choreographer to create a ballet for this legendary company. He received the Choo San Goh Award for Choreography for The Gentle Chapters and was nominated for The Golden Swan Award, as Best Choreographer for Overture and 00:00. For his re-imagining of Faun(e), created for the English National Ballet’s Ballets Russes Festival at the Sadler’s Wells in London, Dawson has been nominated as Best Classical Choreographer for the UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Award and the Prix Benois de la Danse Choreography Award.

Dawson has created numerous ballets internationally, including his full-length Giselle, which had its world premiere at the Semperoper. Amongst other significant works are The Human Seasons, day4, The Third Light, Morning Ground, Das Verschwundene | The Disappeared, A Sweet Spell of Oblivion, On the Nature of Daylight, The World According to Us, dancingmadlybackwards, 5, Opus.11 and his highly acclaimed timelapse/ (Mnemosyne).

Born in London, David Dawson began to dance at the age of seven and received his training at the Rona Hart School of Dance, Arts Educational School and The Royal Ballet School. In 1991 he received the Alicia Markova Award and won the prestigious Prix de Lausanne and the same year he was offered a contract by the Birmingham Royal Ballet. He was nominated as Best Newcomer of the Season by Dance & Dancers magazine in 1992. He joined the English National Ballet in 1994 as a Soloist, and a year later moved to Amsterdam to perform with Dutch National Ballet. Dawson choreographed his first ballet in 1997 at the annual choreographic work­shop while with the Dutch National Ballet. This experience resulted in Dawson’s first major creation for the main company, A Million Kisses to my Skin, in 2000. Subsequently, he joined Ballett Frankfurt, where he worked with William Forsythe and performed for two more years before deciding to devote his time to creating his own new works.

Between 2004 and 2012 David Dawson was Resident Choreographer for the Dutch National Ballet, the Semperoper Ballet and the Royal Ballet of Flanders. His creations have been introduced to the repertoires of many ballet companies including Boston Ballet, Ballet National de Marseilles, Het (Dutch) Nationale Ballet, Semperoper Ballet, English National Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Hungarian National Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, West Australian Ballet, Aalto Ballet Theatre Essen, Slovenian National Ballet, Ballet du Capitole, Vienna State Opera Ballet.

In 2013 Dawson was a Jury member of the Prix Benois de la Danse in Moscow and Dance Open International Ballet Festival in St Petersburg.