In November 2004, Dawson caused a stir in Moscow when Het Nationale Ballet showed his The Grey Area on tour. A Moscow critic wrote that in this ballet "dancing on pointes melts into a new choreographic language - enchantingly fluid, with no pauses, and not marking any difference between the 'old' and the 'new'." Reverence made a similar impression, except for the 'area'...the stage resembled a dark room with three blank walls that suggested hopelessness in the dramatic relations of the three duets. The incredibly beautiful dance composition for three couples - set to the nervous and fragile music of Gavin Bryars' String Concerto No. 3 - was created of lines that seem to flow into one another. This is an abstract but extremely passionate choreography, in which Dawson seems to have found hidden potential for elasticity in the human body. One example of this was the snake-like vibrating of the torso when the arms unwind from classical positions, which lends a heightened emotionality to the dancing. The expressive Natalia Sologub...brilliantly performed an exotic solo, full of 'Eastern' bends and curves. An impetuous adagio leading to a finale-parting, no less keen and vibrant than the finale of Balanchine's 'Serenade'.

Maria Ratanova |

The Stars close to Paradise... We fear that gala evenings, because they are usually too long, are repeating themselves. But this contains several surprises, revelations even. The rhythm in this presentation, the selected choreographies and its programme structure contribute to its success, but above all it is the extraordinary works which are shown. The evening begins with Reverence, a beautiful, deeply spiritual, “redemptive” dance piece from the choreographer David Dawson to music from Gavin Bryars.
In an unembellished neoclassical style Dawson takes us into a timeless universe. The dancers move on a black lined stage and conjure up the light. “One could assume this story is about death … but actually it is a story about the future,” says Dawson, undoubtedly one of the biggest talents in the post-Forsythe generation.

Celi Barbier
| Le Gala

They demonstrate it right away in the opening piece, Reverence from David Dawson to the third string quartet from Gavin Bryars, a sextet for three couples only recently first enacted in St. Petersburg. Dawson is English, currently still deputy head of the Dutch National Ballet, and from the next season resident choreographer at the Dresden Semperoper. The people of Dresden can be happy about this because the thirty-three year old is an extremely musical choreographer, basically classical but with a hint of Forsythe, with irresistible port de bras allurements and making the legs of the dancers appear a bit longer than they actually are. A poem, bathed completely gently in melancholy, full of parting moods – but: any farewell has a new beginning living inside it. An exquisite visiting card (and splendid replacement for “Les Sylphides”) for the dance of today and the dancers from the Newa.

Horst Koegler
| Tanznetz