David Dawson

Anima Animus

World première: 21 April 2018
San Francisco Ballet
Unbound Festival, San Francisco, USA
Event information: www.sfballet.org/2018festival
Press Release

Choreography and Concept David Dawson
Music Ezio Bosso
Set Design John Otto
Costume Design Yumiko Takeshima
Light Design James F. Ingalls
Assistants to the Choreographer Rebecca Gladstone / Felipe Diaz

ANIMA ANIMUS is physically emotional virtuosity combined to make something human. In making this ballet, Dawson found himself responding to the idea of opposition – light and dark, humanity and architecture, individual and group – but wanted to explore the spaces between those opposites.

ANIMA ANIMUS offers a rich mix of contrasts, most meaningful among them Carl Jung’s concept of animus (the male aspect of the female psyche) and anima (the female aspect of the male psyche). Another contrast can be found in the music, Violin Concerto no.1 by Ezio Bosso, in which Dawson hears both hope and doom. The contrast between unity and the power of the individual.

Dawson sends his dancers skyward, but he wants them grounded too. This reads as a paradox—the dancers fly, gliding and slipping through intricate moves that do indeed make them seem as untethered as angels, and yet they have weight, and form, and mass.

“I want each person to dance more like themselves than they ever have – we’re energy and carbon and atomic – we embody what life is all about.”
— David Dawson

Requiem – Dutch National Ballet – Photo © Hans Gerritsen