David Dawson has created seven short dance works – each between three and four minutes long – which have just been released online.
The British choreographer is the Associate Artist with the Dutch National Ballet and Semperoper Ballett, and it dancers from the latter company that perform these new pieces, available to watch on Instagram and Facebook.
Seven dancers unite with seven composers to provide seven very different worlds with contrasting atmospheres evoked by the music (Gavin Bryars, Max Richter, and others) with diverse locations (a theatre stage, a rooftop terrace, an underground garage). The message uniting them is to “offer you a message of hope, remembering that we are all connected, even when we feel so alone”.
In these uncertain times we find ourselves in our art, in our humanity, with our emotional life becoming more defined and more realised – as the new truths that we learn become our future history. Our stage industries risk losing a generation of talent if they are not offered the support they need, and we all hope that you will enjoy these portraits as much as we did making them.
Dancer Sangeun Lee performs Portrait #1 to music composed by Max Richter; Jon Vallejo performs Portrait #2 to music by Peter Gregson; Aidan Gibson dances Portrait #3 to music by Greg Haines; Szymon Brzóska’s music is used for Portrait #4 with Alejandro Martinez; Courtney Richardson dances Portrait #5 to music by Gavin Bryars; Houston Thomas’s Portrait #6 uses music by Robin Rimbaud-Scanner; and Alice Mariani dances in Portrait #7 to music by Alex Baranowski.
Cinematography and editing is by Thomas Bieszka, with costumes donated by YUMIKO Dancewear.
Everyone involved in the project has freely offered their time and talent and there are links to give donations “to help support our fellow artists during these challenging times”.
Choreography: Concept and Direction: David Dawson
Music: Alex Baranowski, Szymon Brzóska, Gavin Bryars, Peter Gregson, Greg Haines, Max Richter, Robin Rimbaud-Scanner
Dancers: Aidan Gibson, Sangeun Lee, Alice Mariani, Alejandro Martinez, Courtney Richardson, Houston Thomas, Jon Vallejo
Cinematography and Editing: Thomas Bieszka
Costume Design: Yumiko Takeshima
Choreographic Assistants: Rebecca Gladstone, Raphael Coumes-Marquet
Production team: Gj Smeenk, Jana Posth
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.