Empire Noir


Greg Haines (2015)


David Dawson


Rebecca Gladstone

Scenic Design

John Otto

Costume Design

Yumiko Takeshima

Lighting Design

Bert Dalhuysen


24 minutes


June 17, 2015; Dutch National Ballet (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere

March 17, 2017

The 2017 Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of David Dawsons’s Empire Noir is generously supported by Chap & Eve Alvord, Katharyn Alvord Gerlich, David & Cheryl Hadley, Sharon Lee, and Jodi Wong.


Program Notes

The world of Empire Noir is a ballet designed as a blast of graphic energy—fast-paced and relentless in its own journey through the darkness of the night, the color black, the void of madness. Performed as a pure-dance event, Empire Noir works to allow each of its ten dancers to shine as individuals, but also to present themselves as a team. This dance is contained inside an architectural illusion created by John Otto, who as set designer manages to create simplicity in building a structural surprise. Completed with a upbeat original score by Greg Haines, an over-exposed light design by Bert Dalhuysen, and costumes that behave as a second skin by Yumiko Takeshima, Empire Noir is a force unto itself. An observed entertainment played at its fullest force aiming to leave its audience breathless.

Notes reprinted by permission of dawsonarts.net.