The Art Of Dancing The Fugue

- Composing Music By Dancing / Dancing A Concert

It was in 1751, that Johann Sebastian Bach's "The Art of the Fugue" was first published posthumously. "The Art Of The Fugue" is the final result of more than ten years of exercises with contrapunctal composing, put into a musical score for four voices.

Whenever Theater der Klange, the Theatre of Sounds, has created choreographies, especially those for the intermedial plays, it has been our wish and aim to apply contrapunctal techniques from musical composing to the creation of choreographies.

Contemporary choreographers who dealt with the musical work "The Art of the Fugue" so far mainly concentrated on dancing to Bach's music. Our interest has been deaper, touching the structual level: we have been seeking to acquire the contrapunctal techniques that Bach used for his work and to transform these procedures into patterns of movement, thus not only dancing to the music of the fugue but dancing according to the techniques of the fugue.

Our evening "The Art of Dancing the Fugue" has four parts:
Introduction: music made of the noises of the dancer's movements and of their breathings.
1rst dance: rhythm and orgue
2nd dance: with Bach's music on live orgue
Epilog: akusmatic orgue
The dancing movements and the sounds that the dancers produce are the first basis for an introductory sound composition in this piece, that is later complemented by the music of Bach's "Art of the Fugue".

The heyday of counterpoint composing was in the middle of the 17th century. 100 years later, in the middle of the 18th century, at the end of Bach's life (1685-1750), when the world of the pre-classical era turned towards "sensitive music", Bach's compositions and his general way of dealing with the counterpoint were considered to be outdated and unfashionable.

Another 100 years later, however, from the middle of the 19th century on, Bach's music was rediscovered and especially "The Art of the Fugue" became a guideline for the composers of the romantic era and even more so for those of modern times. No other musical work has had such a status, reason why Bach is considered to be the Shakespeare of Music - quite rightly!

Our way of dealing with dance has also been characterised by a will to pursue a certain style: our works are the result of a close cooperation of musical composition and choreography, we like to work with an abstract and high-quality design vocabulary and we aim at reflecting contemporary dialogues. In "The Art of Dancing the Fugue" we are examining if the structure supports the individual being or if it is the other way round: if the individual being supports the structure. We do this experimenting with mono-, poli- and heterophony and we apply this to the theme: Individual being versus collective body.

"The Art of Dancing the Fugue" is a choreography for four dancers - two women, two men. It is meant to examine how visual music can be created today by four moving bodies and furthermore how today's dance and motion technologies for modern dancers are an aesthetic prerequisit for such a creation. Polyphony in this context should be understood literally as several voices: in this case the expression of four body languages in order to articulate this well ordered, punctuated and harmonized dialogue of four individuals to a collective body. This in itself is statement enough about the present social discourses concerning individual and society and also concerning questions of spirituality.

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