David Dawson


Online world première: 29 April 2021 
Dutch National Ballet
For more information visit www.operaballet.nl

Choreography David Dawson
Music Philip Glass
Choreographic Assistants
Rebecca Gladstone Raphael Coumes-Marquet

Costume Design Eddie Grundy / David Dawson
Light Design Bert Dalhuijsen

Piano Olga Khoziainova
Altin Kaftira
Ballet Master Charlotte Chapellier


Metamorphosis; Change, growth, learning, understanding. Transformation. A ballet about hope. To hold on to innocence and the purity of wonderment. To believe in dreams. It is a light in the darkness, perhaps a way to pass toward a better time. I had wanted to create to the music of Philip Glass for a very long time, and this piano work had always intrigued me. I had begun creating this piece for Junior Ballet Antwerp with the intention to create a piece to help young dancers grow and develop as artists – to transform. Unfortunately everything was cancelled due to C19, with no clarity for the future. As an unfinished work I decided to complete it with the dancers of HNB as a film, and connect with all my colleagues in Amsterdam during this challenging time. This piece itself is created as a metamorphosis, as it includes fragments from a very early work, re-examined, re-arranged, and transformed new. Creating online is not easy, but this way we had a starting point to move forward from. It felt like the right moment to explore this kind of piece – this kind of creation.

During these times our theaters appear to the outside world to be dark, empty, frozen – and for some time we have had no chance to bring our art form to our audience. But inside these opera houses that we call our home, where we spend most of our lives, we are busy preparing to come back. Everyday. We work, we keep the light burning, and we try to find our way. It is not easy, not for any of us. We all have had to learn new ways of how to be, how to keep dancing and not give up. This metamorphosis is a lesson we all learn from, it is a revealing of what works and what doesn’t, and it is a new strength to discover. Always a challenge, but a challenge that we love. With this work I try to create inspiration, to bring unity and focus. To help us to discover that we can continue, that we must continue. That no moment can be wasted. Passion is a force for positivity. We love what we do, it defines us, and it gives us purpose. – David Dawson

Metamorphosis (full ballet)