Metamorphosis

By In Ballet

Based on classical ballet technique, the British choreographer creates contemporary, virtuoso and often emotionally charged works of art that endear him to the press, the public and leading ballet companies all over the world. On April 29, in celebration of International Dance Day, we are launching the film recording of Dawson’s latest creation Metamorphosis, a choreographic five-part about “hope and humanity, about finding light in darkness”.

We present the complete choreography for 23 dancers, on the piano five-part by Philip Glass of the same name, in a film by Altin Kaftira. Dawson – an Associate Artist of since 2015 – already devised the starting points for Metamorphosis before the corona pandemic, because he was originally going to make the production for the Junior Ballet Antwerp, of which he is patron. At the time, however, he could not have imagined how topical his ballet is now, given the recent developments in the world

After the rehearsals of Metamorphosis in Antwerp had come to a standstill due to the corona measures, Dawson decided to further develop his choreography via Zoom with the dancers of Dutch National Ballet. Because, he says: “I could not have made this work with any other group of dancers in this way.” Dutch National Ballet – where he had his major breakthrough as a choreographer over 20 years ago – is home to him, even though he has been living in Berlin for years now.

Philip Glass’s piano composition that Dawson chose for his new creation has intrigued him for years. Since he has mainly made large-scale works in recent years and Glass’ Metamorphosis has a very intimate atmosphere, there has never been an opportunity to use the music before. Until now, because, says Dawson:

Glass’ composition carries this new choreography, the music brings everything together, immerses you in one atmosphere, in one dream

David Dawson

Logistically, the realization of Dawson’s Metamorphosis was an enormous job. According to Dawson, it is thanks to his assistants Rebecca Gladstone, Raphaël Coumes-Marquet and Charlotte Chapellier that they succeeded in creating the entire choreography via Zoom between Amsterdam and Berlin. From an artistic point of view, however, Dawson sees creating via Zoom, recording on film and then streaming ballets online as a challenge and enrichment of the possibilities that dance offers. Especially because as a spectator you can get much closer to the dancers because of all the close-ups. This creates an intimacy that is usually difficult to achieve on stage. Dawson says about this:

In the theatre you can see the complete picture, with film we have the opportunity to step deeper into that world, to be part of the dance. We see more and we see clearly. Human beings are enlarged and we can discover new levels of beauty. The light in the eyes, the breath, the sweat, the skin – the person

David Dawson

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