Dates

8-16 Dec 2022

Location

Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Running time

1:45, incl. 1 interval

Tickets

n.a.

The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons and a world premiere

“David Dawson’s work is so recognisable and extraordinary not just for the great originality of his movement idiom, but also for the special, intimate atmosphere he creates”, is how the leading magazine Danza International recently described Dawson’s work. In this December programme, we shed light on how Associate Artist David Dawson innovates and enriches classical ballet technique in a radical and very personal way. Besides his inspiring The Four Seasons, the programme also includes an important new creation by Dawson: Legacy Variations.

Photo: Marta Syrko

The Four Seasons and a world premiere

The ties between Dutch National Ballet and Associate Artist David Dawson date back to 1995, when he joined the company as a dancer. Soon after that, however, the British dancer developed into one of the most interesting and innovative choreographers of his generation. In his complex works, which are always inspired by human emotion, he asks for total commitment from his dancers, in order to transport both them and the audience to a different, poetic, yet virtuoso reality. 

 

Standing ovations 

This also applies to The Four Seasons, set to Max Richter’s atmospheric reinterpretation of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, which was received with standing ovations at its Dutch premiere in June 2021. In this large-scale, incredibly athletic ballet for sixteen dancers, Dawson explores the cycles of life. The result is a continually changing spectacle of form, colour and light, in which he bridges the gap between past, present and future. 

 

World premiere of Legacy Variations

Besides reviving The Four Seasons, David Dawson is also creating a new ballet for three male dancers for this programme. With Legacy Variations, Dawson has created a homage to the company that has been his home for 27 years: Dutch National Ballet. He made the work for dancers James Stout, Edo Wijnen and Joseph Massarelli, with whom he has been working since the day each of them joined the company. In this very personal ballet, set to a new commissioned work by composer Alex Baranowski, Dawson and his dancers reflect on their journey together.

Credits

The Four Seasons 
Choreography  David Dawson
Music  Max Richter
Violin  Isabelle van Keulen (read more)
Set design  Eno Henze
Costumes  Yumiko Takeshima
Light design  Bert Dalhuysen

Legacy Variations
Choreography  David Dawson
Music  Alex Baranowski (world premiere)
Set design  John Otto
Costumes  Yumiko Takeshima
Light design  Bert Dalhuysen
Film  Altin Kaftira

Musical accompaniment  Dutch Ballet Orchestra
conducted by Koen Kessels

David Dawson: “Legacy Variations is dedicated to Ted Brandsen and Dutch National Ballet, for all the wonderful and creative years shared together. With special thanks to Merel Laseur for her constant support and love.”

Online programme

Along with the printed programme book, we also offer online programme information for this performance. The online programme will take you behind the scenes with in-depth stories, articles, and interviews with the creators and cast.

awson - Legacy Variations
Dawson - Legacy Variations - Dancers: James Stout, Edo Wijnen and Joseph Massarelli | Photo: Michel Schnater
Dawson - The Four Seasons
Dawson- The Four Seasons - Dancers: Jan Spunda, Alexandria Marx and Conor Walmsley | Photo: Michel Schnater
Dawson - The Four Seasons
Dawson- The Four Seasons - Dancers: YuanYuan Zhang and Jakob Feyferlik | Photo: Michel Schnater
Dawson - The Four Seasons
Dawson- The Four Seasons - Dancers: YuanYuan Zhang and Jakob Feyferlik | Photo: Michel Schnater
Dawson - The Four Seasons
Dawson- The Four Seasons - Dancers: Connie Vowles, Alexandria Marx, Arianna Maldini, Floor Eimers | Photo: Michel Schnater
Dawson - The Four Seasons
Dawson- The Four Seasons - Dancers: Salome Leverashvili and Joseph Masarelli  | Photo: Michel Schnater
Dawson - The Four Seasons
Dawson- The Four Seasons - Dancers: Salome Leverashvili and Joseph Masarelli   | Photo: Michel Schnater
Dawson - The Four Seasons
Dawson- The Four Seasons - Dancer: Jakob Feyferlik | Photo: Michel Schnater
Dawson - The Four Seasons
Dawson- The Four Seasons - Dancers: Conor Walmsley and Arianna Maldini | Photo: Michel Schnater
Dawson - The Four Seasons
Dawson- The Four Seasons - Dancers: Constantine Allen and Floor Eimers | Photo: Michel Schnater
Dawson - The Four Seasons
Dawson- The Four Seasons - Dancers: Constantine Allen and Floor Eimers | Photo: Michel Schnater
Dawson - The Four Seasons
Dawson- The Four Seasons - Dancers: Floor Eimers and Constantine Allen | Photo: Michel Schnater
Dawson - The Four Seasons
Dawson- The Four Seasons - Dancers: Floor Eimers and Constantine Allen | Photo: Michel Schnater
awson - Legacy Variations
Dawson - Legacy Variations - Dancer: Joseph Massarelli | Photo: Michel Schnater
Promo Dawson
Legacy Variations
The Four Seasons in the studio
David Dawson 25 years
Makers
Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra’s mission is ‘to inspire movement in dance’. Since its inception in 1965, the orchestra has been the proud musical partner of Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. In every performance, the orchestra searches for inspiring synergy between music and dance, in order to give the audience a magical experience.

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Led by principal conductor Matthew Rowe, Dutch Ballet Orchestra is the leading orchestra for dance in the Netherlands. The orchestra accompanies performances ranging from traditional ballet to modern dance, alongside and is active in music education and talent development.

Besides performances with Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater, Dutch Ballet Orchestra has a long tradition of innovative – and award-winning – family performances. For instance, Creatures (in collaboration with ISH) received the international Young Audiences Music Award, and the production Hansel and Gretel (in collaboration with Orkater) won various Musical Awards. In these productions, the musicians play from memory, without a conductor and in costumes, so that they form an integral part of the performance. In 2022, the tradition will be continued with the production Beauty and the Beast, which will premiere in Philharmonie Haarlem. And finally, Dutch Ballet Orchestra has a long-term partnership with the Dutch National Ballet Academy. They are therefore involved in the music curriculum for pupils and students, facilitate student visits to orchestra rehearsals and provide music for the academy’s end-of-year performance, where possible. 

hetballetorkest.nl/en

Podcast

Isabelle van Keulen

‘ It’s Vivaldi with a twist’

Top violinist Isabelle van Keulen on The Four Seasons

Photo: Isabelle van Keulen | © Marco Borggreve

Rave reviews
In the media
12 December

David Dawson makes Dutch National Ballet move meekly to melancholic music

9 December

In beautiful, decorative tableaux, Dawson sometimes pauses the three, heads resting on each other's shoulders, or in a sculptural pose, like three male graces (Legacy Variations)

9 December

What a gift, what an indulgence, high-level ballet, with the most wonderful live music imaginable.

11 December

With Dutch National Ballet's Dawson programme, David Dawson brings a moving love ode to the company with his ballet Legacy Variations, created especially for Dutch National Ballet. 

9 December

Richter's hectic Vivaldi mix gets a glowing performance by Dutch Ballet Orchestra, with a starring role for solo violinist Isabelle van Keulen. (The Four Seasons)

9 December

With Dawson, we see everything Dutch National Ballet is good at; athletic, well-trained dancers, grace, partner work and high-level classical ballet.

17 June

He is now, quite rightly, in popular demand across the globe and it’s not hard to see why. This is truly aesthetically stunning composition, at its finest. 

17 June

David Dawson’s The Four Seasons is one of those blissful moments when dance, music and design chassé into alignment to create a moment of sublime beauty.

17 June

Besides being balletic fireworks for the 21st century, Dawsons’ The Four Seasons also offers poetic depth.

Spotify playlist

Read more
Edo Wijnen - Legacy Variations (rehearsal)

‘A celebration of a shared legacy, beneath the majestic Dutch skies’

Read more
Isabelle van Keulen

‘Like pulling a square into a diamond shape’

Read more
David Dawson and James Stout

‘David pushes ballet technique to new extremes’

Read more