David Dawson

On the Nature of Daylight

World première: 1 December 2007
Dresden SemperOper Ballett
Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz, Munich, Germany

Choreography, Concept and Staging David Dawson
Music Max Richter
Stage and Light Design David Dawson
Costume Design Yumiko Takeshima
Assistant to the Choreographer Tim Couchman

It is something we all seek in life: true love. Yet, how are we to find our ideal partner? By chance or by choice? And what happens if we simply fail to meet up with the right person? A piece about the perfectly ordinary yet extraordinary mystery of love, choreographed to music by Max Richter that is balm to the soul.

ON THE NATURE OF DAYLIGHT is a work that tries to explore the idea of love as both the ordinary and the extra-ordinary. I first thought about the many possibilities of finding pure love. A task that binds us as human beings, and a search that happens continually around the world on a daily basis. The need to find the ‘Other’. I asked myself the question, ‘does this happen so easily?’, or ‘what if I were passing my soul mate right now on my journey home and never even knew about it?’ It was this randomness that intrigued me. It seemed to be so ordinary, so simple, yet completely beyond my control. Yet I knew it did happen. I looked around my own reality, and saw evidence of this in all its many forms.

This wonderful emotion was what I had to try and capture, so I started working in the studio with Yumiko and Raphael, both dancers who I have worked with closely for many years, and began to devise a series of scenes that would show this. The first scene depicts two people, separate and alone, experiencing themselves at the same time and in the same way but still differently. Different in time, different in personality. Unaware of what is waiting around the corner for them. They pass or miss each other the first time and this act of missing and passing represents a habit of the unaware. When they meet, it is as if we have ‘lost time’ and missed the moment of meeting, finding them in a more private yet rapturous moment. A moment where they let go of who they are and show only their essential feelings. Their charisma becoming a kind of magic. Showing us parts or pieces from the puzzle of life. Many still miss these pieces, but theirs making a big part of the painting visible.

In the end we find that it does end. One does leave the other and this mystery closes as one is left running backwards and lost in circles serving as a metaphor for the search that continues like the rising of the sun every day, but also of the love lost that remains unforgettable.
— David Dawson

Duosi Zhu - A Sweet Spell of Oblivion - Semperoper Ballett - photo © Costin RaduFabien Voranger, Courtney Richardson - Giselle - Semperoper Ballett - photo © Ian Whalen