Shanghai Concert Hall, Shanghai, International, China
11 musicians. 5 dancers. Choreographed together as one in a new interpretation of the J.S. Bach’s masterpiece.
It started life as a study for harpsichord; a simple aria, and a set of 30 variations. Today, it’s not only one of the most well-known of Bach’s works – it’s one of the most interpreted. From theories that its structure deliberately mirrors the ascent of the nine spheres of Ptolemaic cosmology, to the claim that the whole thing is a cleverly coded rebuke to a critic who had snubbed the composer, there is clearly something about this sprawling, complex piece which invites interpretation.
Now, Jonathan Morton (Scottish Ensemble) and Örjan Andersson (Andersson Dance) have come together to create their own. With 11 musicians and 5 dancers moving together as equal partners, the audience is given the singular experience of musician and dancer performing as one, casting a 21st-century light on the notes and the spaces between them. Should we simply listen to the music, or can we move?