Play the opening of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations to someone, and they’ve usually heard it before, whether in its original form, one of the many transcribed and transposed versions, or in a completely unique setting in a totally different genre. Originally composed 1742, it is not only one of the most celebrated and well-known pieces ever written—it’s also one of the most interpreted. In 2015, choreographer Örjan Andersson of Stockholm’s Andersson Dance and Jonathan Morton, Artistic Director of Glasgow’s Scottish Ensemble string orchestra, banded together to create their own take, inspired by Dmitry Sitkovetsky’s world-famous 1985 transcription for strings. Eleven musicians and five dancers perform Goldberg Variations as equal partners, resulting in 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?
Made possible with support by City of Stockholm, Creative Scotland & the Swedish Arts Council.