Chorus Dutch National Opera Leads World Premiere of REQUIEM By Gavin Bryars
The Chorus of Dutch National Opera sings in the world premiere of Requiem, composed by Gavin Bryars for orchestra and a new ballet choreographed by David Dawson. Gavin Bryars composes a new Requiem for orchestra, the Chorus of Dutch National Opera and solo vocalists. De world premiere of the composition is played by the Dutch Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Matthew Rowe.
Gavin Bryars: "This is by far my most personal Requiem. It consists of five movements, of which only two are set to original texts: the 'Kyrie' and the 'Agnus Dei'. I also combine medieval texts with modern instruments. David Dawsons idea to portray dancers as angels, as beings between heaven and earth strongly appeals to me. It is a beautiful image that offers a certain comfort: musicians and singers that make the dancers float through the space."
Requiem will be presented as a double bill together with Citizen Nowhere, the critically acclaimed ballet Dawson created in 2017 for Dutch National Ballet. Dancer Edo Wijnen was nominated for a Dutch Swan award for most impressive dance performance for his role in Citizen Nowhere.
Requiem will be presented in Dutch National Opera & Ballet, in Amsterdam, from Saturday 9 February to Friday 1 March 2019.
Composer Gavin Bryars and choreographer David Dawson studied the impact and structure of earlier requiems for this new composition, but ultimately it, like the choreography, is a product of their own life experiences and personal vision.
Requiem is a monumental new work that explores the essence of faith as a fundamental belief in life. Assuming no answers, Requiem seeks to find the human and spiritual connections between past generations and those of the eternal future. In observation of time and life passing Dawson considers 'what we have learned and what we are leaving behind.' His choreography explores the behaviour of angels and the concept of separating the soul from the body while imagining an existence free from the fear of death. Considering 'the body as a tool for the soul to inhabit its higher self,' Requiem is an acknowledgment that the human miracle exists.
British Gavin Bryars is one of the world's leading contemporary composers. He got his start in the 1960s as the bassist of the Joseph Holbrooke Trio, a modern jazz ensemble that rapidly branched out into improvisation, which sparked Bryars' interest in composition and minimal music. He has written many pieces for musical theatre as well as for orchestra, voice and chamber ensemble. In 2005 David Dawson used a string orchestra arrangement of Bryars' Third String Quartet for his ballet Reverence (Marijinski Ballet), and in 2010 they co-created a new work, titled Third Light, for Royal Ballet Flanders.
David Dawson is one of the leading dance makers working in classical ballet today. His choreography transforms classical ballet in new ways, and his signature works have been praised by critics and audiences worldwide. He was resident choreographer with Dutch National Ballet from 2004 to 2006. Since January 1st 2015 he has held the position of Artistic Associate with the company.
Dawson was resident choreographer with Semperoper Ballett and the Royal Ballet of Flanders between 2007 until 2012.
His ballets are included in the repertoire of a great many leading companies, including The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Staatsballett Berlin and Wiener Staatsballett.
He has been awarded many times for his choreographic work including the prestigious Benois de la Danse, the Golden Mask and Choo San Goh Award.