7 PORTRAITS with David Dawson

Each today should be lived with gratitude, that tomorrow is never guaranteed

David Dawson, Choreographer

  • How did the ‘7 PORTRAITS OF SOLITUDE’ project start? What is it for?
    All of my work had been cancelled or postponed during the lockdown. It felt as if time had stopped and that we were waiting for something to happen. I decided to stop waiting and create something new that would try to bring people together and find a different kind of focus. 
    I approached 7 composers, 7 dancers, a very talented filmmaker, and an amazing small production team with the idea to create a collection of short films that would combine dance, music, design and location. Creating 7 unique portraits, each different yet all connected. Everyone involved gave their time and art for no cost. It was also important for all of us that this project should try to help raise some awareness for theatre freelancers and artists who were beginning to struggle without secure work. It was a project full of unity, trust, solidarity and friendship.
Sangeun Lee
  • What is the difference ‘creating for theatre’ vs ‘creating for film’?
    Musically, physically, emotionally it was the same as all other creations – my aim was to bring these elements together within the choreography for each dancer to be able to reveal something personal of themselves, of how they were feeling during the lockdown. But through the lens of the camera it became very interesting how close we could get to the dancer – this created a beautiful intimacy where we could inhabit each world together with them, dance with them, and share in their solitude. 

TWO WORDS to describe each dancer?

Sangeun Lee Grace/Purity

Jon Vallejo Elegance/Force

Aidan Gibson Intelligence/Beauty

Alejandro Martinez Energy/Courage

Courtney Richardson Power/Wisdom

Houston Thomas Intensity/Confidence

Alice Mariani Strength/Emotion

  • How would you describe your choreographic language?
    Structurally fluid, emotionally driven, musical architecture. I am always trying to find a way to transform the historical, to create a pure timeless movement. I always search for a physicality where classicism becomes contemporary.
  • What does the word “perfection” mean to you?
    Perfection really only exists in nature – to me personally it is something to reach for but never to achieve. 

  • What are the qualities you look for in a dancer to work with?
    I enjoy working with dancers who love to dance – who enjoy musicality, who are intelligent movers and have an open mind. I like people who are confident but ready to learn something new about themselves, and want to experience the artistic journey.
  • What is the one thing you learned from this pandemic?
    That each today should be lived with gratitude, that tomorrow is never guaranteed. Love your friends, love your family – love what you do. Be kind – be true, be you.
  • What other hobbies do you have besides being a choreographer?
    Reading, writing, music, cooking, photography, and travelling.
  • Even now the arts aren’t stable yet. What are your future plans that you can share with us?
    Things remain uncertain for now and everything can change – but there are some tentative plans in place. Anima Animus is hopefully going to be performed by San Francisco Ballet, and I have been invited to stage A Million Kisses to my Skin for National Ballet of Japan. I will premiere my new ballet Four Last Songs at the Semperoper, and Dutch National Ballet will premiere The Four Seasons. There are some exciting plans for a new full length work at the end of 2021 – and maybe a few more film projects too! 

The 7 Portraits of Solitude can be seen as a full collection at https://www.daviddawson.com/work/7portraitsofsolitude/ – and also available on YouTube

查看中文版To Read in Mandarin Chinese: https://projectsaute.com/7-portraits-with-david-dawson-ch/

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