Three talents in one programme

Cool Britannia

Het Nationale Ballet, David Dawson,
Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon

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- with world premières -

In Cool Britannia, the Dutch National Ballet brings together three British choreographers who work all over the world: Wayne McGregor, David Dawson and Christopher Wheeldon. Superstar Wayne McGregor makes his Dutch National Ballet debut with his sensational contemporary masterpiece Chroma, featuring music by The White Stripes. A favourite choreographer of Dutch National Ballet, David Dawson, choreographs a new work with an original score by Greg Haines. Even more so than before, this work will be based on classical ballet technique. Lastly, Chistopher Wheeldon, artistic associate of The Royal Ballet and the first British choreographer to work with the Bolshoi in Moscow, will also create a new work


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‘Ravishing on all fronts: choreography, music and design’ – The Sunday Times over Chroma

In Cool Britannia, Dutch National Ballet brings today’s top three British choreographers together: Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon and David Dawson. Wayne McGregor makes his Dutch National Ballet debut with the contemporary masterpiece Chroma, which he made in 2006 for the Royal Ballet. Choreographers Christopher Wheeldon and David Dawson both create new works for Cool Britannia.

Wayne McGregor comes from the field of modern dance and has a fascination for science, architecture and technology. During the last twenty years, those interests have encouraged him to intensively explore and expand the possibilities of the human body. In the meantime, he has been discovered by the world of classical ballet: McGregor has made works for leading companies such as the New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet. In 2006, the Royal Ballet in London appointed him resident choreographer, after the success of Chroma. The piece was distinguished with an Olivier Award, the highest British award for a new dance production. McGregor couples amazing virtuosity with electrically charged duets in a minimalist decor. For Chroma, composer Joby Talbot made an orchestral arrangement of numbers by the rock band The White Stripes.

David Dawson’s career attained amazing new heights after his years as a Dutch National Ballet dancer and resident choreographer. For the 2013 Holland Festival, he created a new work for Dutch National Ballet called Overture. Precisely two years later, he returns with a new world premiere for which he again collaborates with composer Greg Haines known to the Dutch audience for his score to day4, created by David Dawson for the company’s 50th anniversary. In order to create an impressive result, Dawson returns to the techniques of classical ballet, even more so than in his previous creations.

Christopher Wheeldon – whose Cinderella is scheduled to be performed by Dutch National Ballet earlier in the season – will also make a new choreography for Cool Britannia. Because of his special connection with Dutch National Ballet, he agreed to accept this challenge, even though his schedule is especially full for the coming period of time.


Wayne McGregor (1970, Stockport, United Kingdom) is known for his revolutionary cross-overs between dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science. His work is characterised by power and raw emotions, presented by energetic, classically trained dancers. He is the artistic director of his company Random Dance, resident company at Sadler’s Wells, one of the most prestigious dance theatres in the world. Random Dance has performed in Dutch National Opera & Ballet repeatedly, most recently with FAR.
Simultaneously, he is guest choreographer at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Stuttgarter Ballett, the Bolshoi Ballet and The Royal Ballet. McGregor is also asked for video clips, including those for Radiohead and Atoms for Piece. Furthermore, he was the movement director in several theatre and film productions, such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In 2011, McGregor was appointed Commander in the Order of the British Empire (CBE, United Kingdom).

British choreographer David Dawson is one of the most innovative dance makers working in classical ballet today. His personal choreographic style transforms classical ballet in new ways, and his signature works are atmospheric, emotionally physical, abstract/narrative pieces that have been praised by critics and audiences worldwide. Dawson's works have been performed in more than 25 countries and entered repertoires of many ballet companies. Dawson was honoured with the Prix Benois de la Danse Award for choreography and nominated for the UK Critics' Circle National Dance Award as Best Classical Choreographer for The Grey Area. The process of choreographing this ballet was vividly illustrated in Tim Couchman's film The Grey Area in Creation. Dawson created Reverence for the Mariinsky Ballet, for which he was awarded Russia's highest theatre prize for visual art, the Golden Mask Award, as Best Choreographer, and became the first British choreographer to create a ballet for this legendary company. He received the Choo San Goh Award for Choreography for The Gentle Chapters and was nominated for The Golden Swan Award, as Best Choreographer for Overture and 00:00. For his re-imagining of Faun(e), created for the English National Ballet's Ballets Russes Festival at the Sadler's Wells in London, Dawson has been nominated as Best Classical Choreographer for the UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Award and the Prix Benois de la Danse Choreography Award.

Dawson has created numerous ballets internationally, including his full-length Giselle, which had its world premiere at the Semperoper. Amongst other significant works are The Human Seasons, day4, The Third Light, Morning Ground, Das Verschwundene|The Disappeared, A Sweet Spell of Oblivion, On the Nature of Daylight, The World According to Us, dancingmadlybackwards, 5, Opus.11 and his highly acclaimed timelapse/(Mnemosyne).
Born in London, David Dawson began to dance at the age of 7 and received his training at the Rona Hart School of Dance, Arts Educational School and The Royal Ballet School. In 1991 he received the Alicia Markova Award and won the prestigious Prix de Lausanne and the same year he was offered a contract by the Birmingham Royal Ballet. He was nominated as Best Newcomer of the Season by British choreographer David Dawson is one of the most innovative dance makers working in classical ballet today. His personal choreographic style transforms classical ballet in new ways, and his signature works are atmospheric, emotionally physical, abstract/narrative pieces that have been praised by critics and audiences worldwide. Dawson's works have been performed in more than 25 countries and entered repertoires of many ballet companies.
Between 2004 and 2012 David Dawson was Resident Choreographer for the Dutch National Ballet, the Semperoper Ballet and the Royal Ballet of Flanders. His creations have been introduced to the repertoires of many ballet companies. In 2013 Dawson was a Jury member of the Prix Benois de la Danse in Moscow and Dance Open International Ballet Festival in St Petersburg.

Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon (1973, Somerset, United Kingdom) holds a position as artistic associate of The Royal Ballet in London since 2012. He graduated from The Royal Ballet School (London, United Kingdom) in 1991, after which he joined the company. Two years later, Wheeldon was invited to dance with the New York City Ballet, and was promoted to soloist in 1998. He ended his dance career in 2000 to focus completely as choreographer. His first choreography was Slavonic Dances for the Diamond Project of the New York City Ballet in 1997. Wheeldon has been resident choreographer with the company from 2001-2008. He has worked for The Royal Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet, the Pennsylvania Ballet and The Metropolitan Opera (New York, United States), and was the first Brit to create a new choreography for the Bolshoi Ballet. In 2007, Wheeldon founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, which he left in 2010. The company is renamed Morphoses and continued by co-founder Lourdes Lopez. He then made two full-length productions: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2011) for The Royal Ballet and a brand-new première of Cinderella (2012) in co-production with Dutch National Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Wheeldon was awarded a Prix Benois de la Danse for Cinderella. He was also appointed artistic director at The Royal Ballet that same year. On top of that, he collaborated with Alastair Marriott for the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games in London, 2012.

Over the past 50 years, the Dutch National Ballet has evolved into one of the world's foremost ballet companies, and occupies a leading position in the cultural scene of The Netherlands. With a unique and wide repertoire, a tradition of innovation and around 80 dancers and the Junior Company from all over the world, the company is one of the major players in the Dutch cultural landscape – and well beyond. It is by far the largest dance company in The Netherlands. The Dutch National Ballet performs ballet at the very highest level: from classical to contemporary, from narrative to abstract, and from their own repertoire to international works. The company operates between tradition and innovation, combining respect and love for classical ballet knowledge handed down from generation to generation with an impassioned curiosity about new ways of experiencing dance. Ballet in all its manifestations, from historical works to brand-new creations – that is what the Dutch National Ballet stands for.

Dutch Ballet Orchestra, formerly known as Holland Symfonia, is the regular orchestra partner of Dutch National Ballet. The orchestra brings together music and dance into a magical experience: from classical ballet to modern dance, from music education to talent development. Het Balletorkest is conducted by chief conductor Matthew Rowe, and consists of 45 musicians, supported by highly qualified guest performers when necessary. This is what makes the orchestra flexible, dynamic and adept. Dutch Ballet Orchestra is an orchestra with personality, driven by one mission: to stir people with music.


David Dawson, Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon
Greg Haines, Jody Talbot
Het Balletorkest o.l.v. Matthew Rowe
Het Nationale Ballet
Het Nationale Ballet

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