David Dawson

Legacy Variations

World première : 15 December 2022
Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam
For more information visit www.operaballet.nl

Choreography, concept and staging David Dawson
Music Alex Baranowski – Legacy Variations
Set design John Otto
Costume Design Yumiko Takeshima
Light Design Bert Dalhuijsen
Film Altin Kaftira
Choreographic AssistantsRaphael Coumes-Marquet
Balletmaster Sandrine Leroy

With Legacy Variations, David Dawson has created a homage to Dutch National Ballet, the company that has been his home for 27 years. He created this work for three dancers with whom he has been working since the day each of them joined the company: James Stout, Edo Wijnen and Joseph Massarelli. “I’ve been so lucky to get to know these dancers. In this new ballet, we reflect on our journey together, on what we’ve learnt and where we’ve arrived.”

“All our ideas and previous experiences come together in Legacy Variations; a piece that really reflects the essence of what we do, what we love and who we are.” – James Stout

“You have to be so focused that you reach a point where you let go of everything outside the choreography and all you can do is abandon yourself to the movement and the moment. What I then show on stage is so pure: at that moment all the audience sees is who I really am.” – Edo Wijnen

“It’s very special for me to be dancing alongside James and Edo, because I was already admiring them in David’s work as a young new dancer to the company. And now we’re dancing together, creating together, and supporting each other throughout the process. The piece really draws on the mutual bonds we’ve built up over the years.” – Joey Masserelli

This very personal ballet is set to a new commissioned work by composer Alex Baranowski. “I got to know Alex during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. We connected immediately and he was wonderful to work with. He has a very distinctive and special musical identity and his music is emotional, universal, vast and intimate at the same time; it’s music that speaks from the heart. The music tells a story of the heart, of a universal human love, of a certain longing and nostalgia. Legacy Variations takes you on a journey full of such expansive melodies they make you feel as if you could fly.”

In choreographing this ballet, Dawson has written a love letter to the company that has been his home for 27 years. “Legacy Variations is intended as a work dedicated to Dutch National Ballet, in honour of its 60th anniversary, and to our director Ted Brandsen, who has supported me so much over the years. It’s a huge honour to be able to create together with everyone at Dutch National Ballet, and to be part of this very special company.”

Legacy Variations trailer

photo credit: Yan Revazov

photo credit: Michel Schnater

photo credit: Yan Revazov

photo credit: Altin Kaftira