David Dawson

The World According to Us

World première: 3 May 2009
Dresden Semperoper Ballett, Saxon State Opera
Semperoper, Dresden, Germany

Choreography, Concept and Staging David Dawson
Music Johann Sebastian Bach / Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdi / Benjamin Britten / Antonio Vivaldi / 
Dmitry Shostakovich / Heinrich 
Ignaz Franz Biber / Igor Stravinsky / 
György Ligeti / Franz Schubert
Set Design John Otto
Costume Design Yumiko Takeshima
Light Design Bert Dalhuysen
Text Kate Strong / David Dawson
Assistant to the Choreographer Tim Couchman

In this piece of choreography specially created for the Semperoper Ballet and his last as Resident Choreographer for that company, David Dawson invites his audience to accompany him on a journey through a world of creativity that manifests itself everywhere and nowhere. Journey through the history of art, popular culture and its disintegration. Art in religion, art in politics, art in popular culture. Art that embodies history. Art, which encapsulates what it sees and re-creates it for us to see and understand. The art that is around us presented as an impression by drawing a fine line between what is narrative and what is abstract. Intended to represent itself as a gallery of works for the audience to witness and enjoy.

With music by various celebrated composers Dawson responds to and re-creates visual images that comment on our artistic human history by blending the worlds of the real and of fantasy. Art that absorbs, cloaks and reveals all the unspeakable occurrences that surround it.

‘The art, which has been created since the beginning of expressive thought, is tangible evidence of our own humanity. What is left behind by our ancestors is what defines us. For me it is something to feel constantly part of. No matter whose eyes we are looking through to see, or whoever shows us a different view, it is the looking that counts and understanding the value of this that connects us all. I wanted to create a piece that reflected this deep appreciation and commitment through the language of dance. Dance being something we cannot keep hold of. As it appears it is already gone. But it is the craft, training, talent, joy and pain that are all still on display there only a few feet away from the public we perform for.

THE WORLD ACCORDING US is the result of a journey that, with each stage image intended to become a visceral response to these inspirations and ideas, and that also question and search for the position of contemporary ballet in today’s world of modern art.’
— David Dawson

Fabien Voranger, Courtney Richardson - Giselle - Semperoper Ballett - photo © Ian WhalenRaphaël Coumes-Marquet, Esteban Berlanga - Faun(e) - Dutch National Ballet - photo © Costin Radu