British choreographer David Dawson is one of the leading dance makers working in classical ballet today. His choreographic style transforms classical ballet in new ways, and his signature works have been praised by critics and audiences worldwide.
Dawson was honoured with the Prix Benois de la Danse Award for choreography and nominated for the UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for The Grey Area. He created Reverence for the Mariinsky Ballet, for which he was awarded Russia’s highest theatre prize for visual art, the Golden Mask Award, while becoming the first British choreographer to create a ballet for this legendary company. He received the Choo San Goh Award for The GentleChapters and was nominated for The Golden Swan Award, for Overture and 00:00. For his re-imagining of Faun(e), created for English National Ballet, Dawson was nominated for the UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Award and the Prix Benois de la Danse Choreography Award.
Born in London, David Dawson trained at the Rona Hart School of Dance, Arts Educational School and The Royal Ballet School. In 1991 he won the prestigious Prix de Lausanne and the same year he was offered a contract by the Birmingham Royal Ballet. He joined the English National Ballet in 1994 as a soloist, and a year later moved to Amsterdam to perform with Dutch National Ballet. Subsequently, he joined Ballet Frankfurt in 2000, where he worked with William Forsythe and performed for two more years before deciding to devote his time to creating his own new works.
Dawson has created numerous ballets internationally, including his full-length creations of Tristan + Isolde, Swan Lake and Giselle. Amongst other significant works are Requiem, The Four Seasons, Anima Animus, Citizen Nowhere, On the Nature of Daylight, A Million Kisses to my Skin, Empire Noir, The Human Seasons, Day4, The Third Light, Morning Ground, Das Verschwundene|The Disappeared, A Sweet Spell of Oblivion, The World According to Us, dancingmadlybackwards, 5, Opus.11, Styx, At the End of the Day, and his highly acclaimed timelapse/(Mnemosyne).
Between 2004 and 2012 David Dawson was Resident Choreographer for the Dutch National Ballet, the Semperoper Ballet and the Royal Ballet of Flanders. Since 2015 he holds the position of Associate Artist with the Dutch National Ballet.His creations have been introduced to the repertoires of many ballet companies including Boston Ballet, Ballet National de Marseilles, Dutch National Ballet, Semperoper Ballet, English National Ballet, Aalto Ballet Theatre Essen, Finnish National Ballet, Hungarian National Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Royal New Zealand Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Slovenian National Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Staatsballett Berlin, Bayerisches Staatsballett, Staatsballett Karlsruhe, Singapore Dance Theatre, Ballet du Capitole Toulouse, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Ballett im Revier and West Australian Ballet.
Dawson has been invited as a Jury member of the Prix Benois de la Danse in Moscow and Dance Open International Ballet Festival in St Petersburg. Since 2019 Dawson has been given the honoured position of Artistic Patron to Junior Ballet Antwerp.
Dawson and ESB
Since 2018, Dawson has agreed to have Esquerre include workshops on his style taught by ESB teachers/ballet masters Christiane Marchant and Cédric Ygnace – both stagers of his works – to the school’s programs as well as during ESB Winter and Summer Schools.
In 2019, David Dawson accepted the position of Choreographer Laureate of European School of Ballet.