David Dawson

Associate Artist

David Dawson (1972, London, United Kingdom) was resident choreographer with Dutch National Ballet from 2004 to 2006. Since 2015, he has held the position of ‘artistic associate’ with the company.

Dawson was also resident choreographer with Semperoper Ballett and the Royal Ballet of Flanders. His ballets are performed in more than 25 countries and are included in the repertoire of a great many leading companies, such as The Royal Ballet, Boston Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, English National Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Staatsballett Berlin, the Hungarian National Ballet and Wiener Staatsballett.

Dawson trained at the Rona Hart School of Dance, Arts Educational Schools London and The Royal Ballet School. After his training, he danced with Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Dutch National Ballet (1995-2000) and Ballett Frankfurt, where he worked with William Forsythe. Since 2002, Dawson has been focusing completely on choreography.

In 2000, Dawson created his first large-scale work in The Amsterdam Music Theatre (now Dutch National Opera & Ballet), while he was still a dancer with Dutch National Ballet: A Million Kisses to My Skin. Dawson received a Benois de la Danse award for The Grey Area (2002), which was also created for Dutch National Ballet. In 2005, at the invitation of the Mariinsky Ballet, he created Reverence. He was the first British choreographer to create a work for this company, and he received a Golden Mask Award for the ballet. In 2006, he won another prestigious award for a piece created for Dutch National Ballet: the Choo San Goh Award for The Gentle Chapters.

For Dutch National Ballet, he has created timelapse/(Mnemosyne) in 2011, day4 for the programme Present/s, in 2012, and Overture, in 2013, for which he was nominated for a ‘Zwaan’ award for the best dance production. For the programme Cool Britannia, in 2016, he created Empire Noir.

In 2013, Dawson was a member of the jury for the Benois de la Danse award and the Dance Open International Ballet Festival (St Petersburg). In 2013, he created The Human Seasons, for The Royal Ballet, and in February 2015 he created a full-length Tristan + Isolde for Semperoper in Dresden. Since 1 January 2015, he has been associated with Dutch National Ballet again, as an associate artist. In April 2016, he created a contemporary version of Swan Lake for Scottish Ballet.


2013, Nominated for Golden ‘Zwaan’ for Best New Production, Overture

2010, Benois de la Danse for Best Choreographer, Faun(e)

2010, Critics’ Circle National Dance Award Nominee (United Kingdom) for Best Classical Choreographer, Faun(e)

2006, Golden Mask Award (Russia), Best Choreographer, Reverence

2006, Choo San Goh Choreography Award (China) for The Gentle Chapters

2005, Critics’ Circle National Dance Award Nominee (United Kingdom) for Best Classical Choreographer, The Grey Area

2003, Benois de la Danse Choreography Award (Russia), Best Choreographer for The Grey Area

2003, Nominated for Golden ‘Zwaan’ for Best New Production, for 00:00

1992, Nominated as Best Newcomer of the season, by Dance & Dancers magazine

1991, Winner of the Prix de Lausanne (Switzerland)

1991, Winner of the Alicia Markova Award


Photo: Patrick Wamsganz