Eleven musicians. Five dancers. Choreographed together as one in a new interpretation of the J.S. Bach masterpiece.
Play the opening of the Goldberg Variations to someone today, and usually they’ll have heard it – whether in its original form, one of the many transcribed and transposed versions, or in a completely different setting in a totally different genre. It started life as a study for harpsichord; a simple aria, and a set of 30 variations where the aria functions as a hard drive for the whole work.
Goldberg Variations is not only one of the most well-known, and most celebrated, pieces ever written, though – 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.
In 2015, Örjan Andersson (Andersson Dance) and Jonathan Morton (Scottish Ensemble) came together to add their own, resulting in a collaboration which has since toured across the globe. 11 musicians and 5 dancers perform Goldberg Variations as equal partners – both choreographed, the result is a singular experience of musician and dancer performing as one. It’s here that the subtleties of the interpretation come out; was Goldberg Variations intended to be a purely aural experience, or can we move to it? How do we, and how can we, experience these notes in the 21st century?
**** The Stage
Choreography Örjan Andersson
Musical direction Jonathan Morton
Music J.S. Bach – Goldberg Variations (arr. Sitkovetsky)*
Musicians Scottish Ensemble
Violin 1 Jonathan Morton (trio), Cheryl Crockett, Clio Gould
Violin 2 Rakhvinder Singh, Joanne Green, Laura Ghiro
Viola Jane Atkins (trio), Andrew Berridge
Cello Alison Lawrance (trio), Naomi Pavri
Double bass Diane Clark
Dancers Andersson Dance
Olivia Ancona, Jernej Bizjak, Jozsef Forro, Eve Ganneau and Ida Holmlund
Set and light design SUTODA
Video design Sam Salem
Costume design Bente Rolandsdotter
Dyer/painter Anna Lindqvist
Tailor Bitte Palm
Technicians Magnus Bergqvist & Albin Hallgren Åkerman / Lumination of Sweden
Production Andersson Dance, Scottish Ensemble and Nordberg Movement
Co-production Regionteatern Blekinge Kronoberg and Riksteatern
Made possible with support from Creative Scotland, The Swedish Arts Council, Stockholm Stad, Region Stockholm.
*Music by J.S. Bach. Arranged by Dmitry Sitkovetsky. By arrangement with G. Schirmer, INC. publisher and copyright owner.