Symphony No. 29 in A major
According to contemporary witnesses, Mozart was an enthusiastic and agile dancer. The desire for ingenious movement and pronounced physicality is also clearly perceptible in Mozart’s music, and it easily spills over to the listener. This piece, which combines Mozart’s Symphony No. 29, one of the masterpieces of his youth, with the impetuous energy of the young dancers of the Gärtnerplatztheater, is about listening and dancing. During the rehearsal process, the dancers have internalised the Symphony No. 29 down to the last detail, partly with the help of the score, and can now play along with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Ton Koopman using their bodies as instruments, so to speak, anticipating the sound instead of reacting to the music.
The choreographic group movements that emerge from the dynamic and playful symbiosis with the music are complex networks of temporally and spatially coordinated movements and could be seen as a continuation of the tradition of abstract choreography. But in contrast to those dances, which are usually fixed, the highly “polyphonic” structures are created before the eyes of the audience through improvisation on stage. The dancers create order out of disorder, form out of the formless, a group out of individuals, using the special quality of attention, perception, presence, creativity and musicality that improvisation enables and requires.
The choreography unfolds here without the intervention of a central authority. It forms an integrated dynamic system of unpredictable behaviour in which some dancers initiate a movement and others react to it, with this reaction triggering another movement within the same structure or initiating a new development. The dancers draw freely from a shared repertoire of physical principles acquired in the rehearsal process that define specific relationships in space, time and form. The dancers are responsible for inventing and realising their own movements on stage, but also for initiating and developing group structures. They have to adapt their individual roles within a dynamic constellation whose mechanisms are constantly changing. This “team play” is extremely kinetic and a cognitive and physical challenge. From all the individual initiatives and reactions, a virtuosity of the group emerges that makes it clear that the cognitive abilities of such a system far exceed the mere sum of the individual abilities of the dancers. Intuition plays a key role here: a neurophysiological ability that is developed through experience.
This form of instant choreography appears like a microcosm in which individuals move in a dichotomy between their creative freedom and their desire to connect with others. It plays with the concepts of free will and responsibility and seems to reflect the negotiations, conflicts, tensions and solutions at work in social systems. In each attempt at these improvisations there is indeterminacy, retrospective justification, the experimentation of the tinkerer, limited vision, possibilities discovered too late, the temptation to follow familiar paths, and an open future – in a sense the forces we face with our human condition. Imperfection becomes the personal signature of commitment and the index of a search for virtue rather than a public sign of failure.
14 June 2021
Concept & choreography Thomas Hauert
Choreographic assistant Daniela Bendini
Created & performed by Sara de Greef, Jana Baldovino, Mikayla Lambert, Clara Cafiero, Alexander Hille, Pier-Loup Lacour, Janne Boere, Rodrigo Juez Moral, Lieke Vanbiervliet, Amelie Lambrichts, Ariane Roustan, Hikaru Osakabe, Alexander Quetell, Joel Di Stefano
Music W.A. Mozart, Symphonie Nr.29 in A-Dur KV 201
Costume Thomas Hauert in collaboration with Tanja-Seri Dollinger
Light Thomas Hauert in collaboration with Johannes Lübcke
Repetitor Elena Sokolovskaia
Production Joint Adventures “Tanzwerksatt Europa Festival”, Gärtner Platz Theater, ZOO/Thomas Hauert