This is a sponsored post with input from our partner. Ballet images by Alain Honorez.
A city of art and inspiration
Famous as a centre of culture, Amsterdam always has something to offer, whether it’s an exhibition of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age or a music recital. If you love dance, be sure to experience Dutch National Ballet. This February, the company will debut Requiem, a monumental new work choreographed by David Dawson. Performed alongside Citizen Nowhere, this significant project brings together 70 orchestra members, four soloists, a chorus of 40 singers and 19 dancers.
Changing the world of ballet
Born in London in 1972, Dawson began his training at the Royal Ballet School and the Rona Hart School of Dance. In 1991, he received the Prix de Lausanne and joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Over the coming years, he performed with the English National Ballet, Ballet Frankfurt and Dutch National Ballet. Since 2002, he has focused on creating his own original works, which include Empire Noir, Morning Ground and timelapse/(Mnemosyne). David is one of the leading choreographers working today. Praised by critics and audiences worldwide, his productions transform classical ballet, taking it in an exciting new direction. With so many of his works in the repertoires of leading companies, his international standing is high and his ballets have been performed in more than 25 countries across the globe.
A requiem for the living
In his latest piece, Dawson continues confronting challenging themes. Though a requiem is usually performed in honor of the dead, this ballet is for the living, and it explores how we treat and relate to the world around us, and one another. Though it’s not a narrative piece, it is influenced by the soul and the role of faith in our lives.
Composer Gavin Bryars has created orchestral, chorus and vocal soloist music especially for Requiem, ensuring an extraordinary musical accompaniment to Dawson’s dynamic production. Working closely with Dawson, he studied the structure of traditional requiems for inspiration. However, both his music and the choreography are rooted in their unique life experiences and shared vision.
The search for belonging
Citizen Nowhere, the second piece of this double bill, opened to critical acclaim in 2017. A 20-minute solo piece, it is inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novella The Little Prince and shaped by contemporary issues, including the plight of refugees and the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. Music for the piece was composed by Szymon Brzóska, noted for his interest in the connections between theatre, film, contemporary dance and music.
A national treasure
Dutch National Ballet, where Dawson is an associate artist, was created in 1961, when Nederlands Ballet and the Amsterdam Ballet merged. It stages cutting-edge works and cherished classics, and is based at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, a theatre situated on the Amstel river. Within a few minutes’ walk, you’ll find restaurants, shops and beautiful canals perfect for a reflective stroll after the performance.
Requiem plays from 9 February to 1 March 2019 at the National Opera & Ballet. Buy your tickets now.