Radio Dances: ‘Aux Printemps Romantiques’ by Dawson/Wallace Dance Project

February 26, 2014
Photo: 'Aux Printemps Romantiques' by Dawson/Wallace Dance Project
Chris DeVita

Artist Statement

This ballet was inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem “Dreams,” as well as daily working experiences in the historic Serta Mattress Company building in San Francisco, now home to the Center for Dance and Aerial Arts where the piece was created.

Born from a creative process reminiscent of early 20th-century Surrealists, the dance embodies the dream-awake state experienced by the choreographer when fully immersed in the creative process, interrupted by the interpretations of the composer, Alton San Giovanni, who collaborated on the piece. It is further shaped by contributions from the dancers.

Apropos to the dreamlike qualities evoked, the ballet was balanced by a second piece I created called "Brahms." Aptly named for its accompanying music by the 19th-century master of counterpoint and classic composer of lullabies, Brahms rounds out the performance with light yet electrifying passages that that leave audiences entranced while most certainly awake.

In this piece, the dancer’s vocalization of the physicality of dance is intentional as part of the choreography, and the force of his breath and strains are as much a part of the musical composition as the instrumental elements you hear.