The Goldberg Variations
The Goldberg Variations is known to us as Bach’s famous musical composition, but in contemporary dance history the title also refers to the iconic solo by Steve Paxton. Paxton is known for his solo improvisations and as the initiator of contact improvisation, a dance form where touch is central.
In collaboration with Oscar Stalpaert of Platform-K, a Ghent-based company for dancers with a disability, and ballet dancer Audrey Merilus, choreographer Michiel Vandevelde sets to work with the works of both Bach and Paxton. In doing so, he examines forty years of developments within various improvisation dance practices. Nowadays, Western contemporary dance is highly professionalised and, in a way, consolidated. But where is dance today, politically and socially? How open, democratic and accessible is dance? With different bodies that have varying possibilities, The Goldberg Variations aims to explore the potential of dance.
The music is played live by accordeonist Philippe Thuriot. He transposed Bach's music to accordeon in 2015. Thuriot is the result of an interesting mix: classical music, jazz and his parents' café.