Royal Ballet School’s David Dawson returns to create The Human Seasons
Melt, melt, melt,” David Dawson urges the Royal Ballet’s Marianela Nuñez as she arches back further and further in a precarious lift, one knee on fellow principal Federico Bonelli’s shoulder. The choreographer and his assistants ponder the next movement, an elaborate, spiralling way out and back to the ground for the ballerina: “It will feel like you’re going to fall over.” Undaunted, Nuñez dives headfirst into her partner’s arms, legs stretched in the air with expansive urgency, the image a mix of acrobatic daring and intimate trust.
Two decades after he graduated from the Royal Ballet School, London-born Dawson is back to create The Human Seasons, his first work for Covent Garden. The homecoming is long overdue: since his breakout early works for Dutch National Ballet, Dawson has become a well-known name in mainland Europe but has remained strangely absent from the stage in Britain.