Posted on September 21, 2022
In her ultimate weblog at the Dancing Occasions site, Barbara Newman sees
Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker at Sadler’s Wells
The Goldberg Permutations is the 6th piece Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker has choreographed to the tune of Johann Sebastian Bach, and there’s no approach to speak about it with out first taking into account the tune. A solo paintings for the keyboard, meant for the harpsichord, the composition is composed of a gap aria, which is repeated on the finish, and 30 diversifications advanced in a proper trend of canons and established musical types of extensively numerous persona.
The ranking’s general duration and elaborate construction provide enormous demanding situations to any dancemaker. When Jerome Robbins determined to take on it, having by no means set a step to Bach, he stated, “It was once like coming near a good looking marble wall. I may get no toehold, no leverage to get inside of that development.” But his ballet, made in 1971 and named for the ranking, met its calls for with ordinary sensitivity and creativeness; it stays within the repertoire of New York Town Ballet and has additionally been staged in Paris and Munich.
Since growing her first dance to Bach’s tune in 1993, De Keersmaeker has labored her approach in the course of the six Brandenburg concerti and the cello suites, frequently setting up her items for a big workforce. In 2018, she requested the bright pianist Pavel Kolesnikov to enroll in her in acting The Goldberg Permutations, no longer as an accompanist however as a solo musician sharing the level along with her on equivalent phrases. As soon as COVID-19 was once in retreat, they realised this dance in 2020 and just lately introduced it to Sadler’s Wells for its UK premiere.
The Goldberg Permutations.
All the way through her occupation, De Keersmaeker has deployed a minimalist vocabulary of herbal motion – strolling, working, skipping – to probe and enlarge easy geometric figures – traces, circles, spirals. Possibly she adopted the similar approach on this piece, however over the path of 2 hours, I couldn’t discern the relation of the actions to one another or, aside from in probably the most normal sense, to the tune.
Merce Cunningham’s dancers used to rehearse in silence, for the reason that choreography was once made to be unbiased of the ranking, whether or not fastened or organized unintentionally, to which they carried out. It by no means crossed my thoughts that De Keersmaeker anticipated her solo to satisfy Bach coincidentally, but I couldn’t discover a throughline connecting them. I spotted repeated words, a couple of sequences that joked affectionately with the tune, and lots of indications of spatial course in pointing fingers, crossed ft and speedy turns of the pinnacle. All the way through the one smash within the piece, she and Kolesnikov modified their costumes, which she endured to do via the second one part. The lights modified too, from dim to brighter, in short leaving us in overall darkness to pay attention, enchanted, with out the slightest distraction.
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Pavel Kolesnikov.
What a disgrace that her regard for Bach’s musical masterpiece and her aim in opting for it by no means emerged obviously. Even though my visitor deemed her efficiency brave, it struck me as totally indulgent. She appeared to be considering on her ft, testing motion to be able to form it, ultimately, right into a completed paintings. Lengthy earlier than the top, the dexterity and refined grace of Kolesnikov’s arms at the keyboard had change into way more attention-grabbing to look at.
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Pictures by way of Anne Van Aerschot.