World première: 9 February 2019
Dutch National Ballet, Nationale Opera & Ballet, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Event information and tickets: www.operaballet.nl
Choreography and Concept David Dawson
Music Gavin Bryars
Set Design Eno Henze
Costume Design Yumiko Takeshima
Light Design Bert Dalhuysen
Assistants to the Choreographer
Rebecca Gladstone / Christiane Marchant
Requiem was created as a lament for lost lives, but also for all of us who make the world what it is today.
“A Requiem is usually for the lives of those that have already passed – to remember, but I feel this Requiem is also for all of us now, today – to think. I think a lot about the way we treat and relate to our world, and to each other. It is not a narrative work, it is inspired by the behaviour of the soul and what is pure about being. It is a Requiem for our time. The Requiem became a way to acknowledge the past, to remember the past, so that we don’t make the same mistakes, again and again. I needed to find a way of channelling my own fears, about the world we live in today. I think we are amazing as human beings and I think we could all be supporting each other much much more, enhancing each other’s lives and nurturing each other’s growth. I hear too much shouting, and that makes sad. And maybe that’s part of the Requiem too, that feeling of feeling sad. That’s my Requiem. It’s questions. It’s hopes. It’s thank yous, It’s memories. It’s saying, I want to belong to the world.” – David Dawson
Dawson’s Requiem is a monumental new work that explores the essence of faith as a fundamental belief in life. ‘Assuming no answers, Requiem seeks to find the human and spiritual connections between past generations and those of the eternal future. In observation of time and life passing Dawson considers ‘what we have learned and what we are leaving behind.’ His choreography explores the behaviour of Angels and the concept of separating the soul from the body while imagining an existence free from the fear of death. Considering ‘the body as a tool for the soul to inhabit its higher self,’ Requiem is an acknowledgment that the human miracle exists. For this world première, renowned British composer Gavin Bryars wrote a new Requiem for orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists. He and Dawson studied the impact and structure of earlier requiems for this new composition, but ultimately it is an artistic view of their own life experiences and personal vision.
“In their Requiem, a compelling Requiem, Dawson and Bryars exchange the atmosphere of religion for that of spirituality and give way to the idea that life and death, present and past, are strongly connected. We’re watching beings that seem to have transcended the terrestrial and guide us to light, love and salvation” – review TROUW