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Meet Gregory Dawson

Choreographer

A former dancer with LINES Ballet for 18 seasons, Gregory is the Artistic Director of dawsondancesf, Chair of Dance for the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) and is on faculty for the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA and Professional Training programs.  In 2011 he became the Artistic Director of the Dawson Wallace Dance Project in Denver, Colorado where the Denver Post named him the “best choreographer in Denver.” In the same year, Gregory participated in CHIME across borders spending a year-long residency with Elizabeth Streb. In addition to creating over 100 new works for LINES’ educational programs, Gregory has choreographed 22 evening-length creations for dawsondancesf.  He is regularly commissioned by companies around the country and his work has premiered on such organizations as Boston Conservatory, Menlowe Ballet, Robert Moses’ Kin, Webster University, Tacoma Metropolitan Ballet, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company.  In 2010 Gregory’s “Which Light in the Sky is Us,” (a commission for Company C Contemporary Ballet) was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award.

Gregory founded dawsondancesf in 2007 as an outlet for his choreographic vision.  With movement that is raw and deliberate, Gregory uses the classical vernacular to push choreographic boundaries in unpredictable ways.  Balancing grace with highly kinetic motion, he allows his dancers to utilize and showcase every ounce of their animal energy. The company debuted at the California State Summer School for the Arts in Valencia, CA, and has since performed at such Bay Area venues as the Black Choreographer’s Festival, TWDCC Winter Dance Festival Santa Cruz, Bayview Opera House, Zaccho Dance Theatre, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Grey Area SF, Dance Mission Theater, Z Space, Pixar Studios, and the BAN7 Festival.  The company has contributed to several summer residencies at CSSSA and has also been presented at Baruch College in New York.

Gregory frequently works with jazz musician, educator, and prolific producer Richard Howell.  In 2015 “Bird’s Eye View,” a collaboration with the Richard Howell Quintet, received an Isadora Duncan Award.  Other collaborations with Howell include “In This Moment” (2014) and “MANGAKU” (2018).  In 2015 Gregory presented “Intima,” a collaboration with Al’myra Communications and visual artist Ali Kaf, and in 2016 premiered “Lovechild” in a shared evening with Sidra Bell NY. Also in 2016 Dawson Premiered Punctus contra Punctum with the classical revolution quartet.  In 2017 Gregory’s “Les Vérités” was presented by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Also, in 2017 the company premiered “RITE 17,” Gregory’s reimagining of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

Fall of 2019 Gregory filmed excerpts of his work “Ungesehen,” commissioned by BalletX which premiered as a part of BalletX’s film series during the pandemic.  In 2021 Spring dawsondancesf Premiered its 7th collaboration with Richard Quintet Sponsored by the Bayview Opera House San Francisco. In Spring 2022 Gregory premiered “…. getting to something real” with Boulder Ballet. Gregory has contributed as a speaker at both TEDx SF 2016 and TedAI SF 2023. In August 2024 dawsondancesf will premiere New Work at the SF Aerial Festival at the Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason in SF. He will create his second ballet for Balletx this summer to be performed in February 2025 in collaboration with jazz pianist Luke Carlos O’Reilly.

Collaborators