The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
The Goldberg Variations belong to Bach’s late period, in which the composer pushes the boundaries of musical themes in a play of variations, canons and fugues. For this composition, he started from a simple and quiet melody, joined with an underlying bass line, which steadily unfolds into a musical cosmos that reveals itself with extraordinary variety and unparalleled complexity.
Together with pianist Pavel Kolesnikov, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker continues her journey with Bach in dialogue with these variations. The large casting of The Six Brandenburg Concertos – her previous creation to music by Bach – is now brought back to a solo performance danced by De Keersmaeker herself. In doing so, she stays true to the same principle of the musical score as the blueprint for choreography.
Spanning no less than one aria and thirty variations, the music challenges the choreography to a similar exercise in width: to find a form of dance capable of adaptation and flexibility while retaining an immutable core. To De Keersmaeker, it is above all an invitation to consolidate the road travelled as an artist, posing today’s questions in her ongoing search for a personal choreographic idiom.