“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” – the first Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can sound impossibly idealistic in today’s world of chaos and conflict. But seeing this statement brought to life in dance for “Voices”, the latest ballet by David Dawson and Staatsballett Berlin, it’s impossible not to feel some optimism. The acclaimed British choreographer has taken composer Max Richter’s 2020 album “Voices” – an orchestral piece that features readings of the Declaration – and created bittersweet, beautiful dance. Showcasing the full talents of the Staatsballett company, Dawson invites us to reflect on humanity – reminding us why it needs protecting.
Human rights also feature in “Citizen Nowhere”, the second Dawson work of the evening. Set to music by Polish composer Szymon Brzóska, the 2017 ballet is partly based on the story of the Little Prince. Dawson explores the idea of statelessness through the movement of a single dancer who – despite his loneliness of not belonging – fights to remain unabashedly human. The two choreographies combine for an evening that celebrates a truth that’s far too often questioned: the value and beauty of people.
Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Photos: Yan Revazov & GK Bose / Credit: Deutsche Oper Berlin & Staatsballett Berlin
Staatsballett Berlin at the Deutsche Oper, Bismarckstr.35, 10627 Berlin–Charlottenburg; map