Realized with Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites are considered a milestone in the history of Western music. The intellectual and architectural elements continue to evoke contemporary appeal, with their rhythmic vitality and melodic intricacy.
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s affinity with Bach was already apparent in several previous creations, and she continues to pursue a choreographic écriture that captures the essence of Bach’s musical language.
In this production, Bach’s score, performed in its totality by the world-renowned cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, is faceted, challenged, and performed through a choreography for three male and two female dancers. Both the individual character of the six suites and their mutual interconnections emerge from this riveting symbiosis of music and dance.
This Italian premiere of Mitten wir im Leben sind/Bach6Cellosuiten is co-realized by Fondazione Fabbrica Europa, Fondazione Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Fondazione Teatro della Toscana
In 1980, after studying dance at Mudra School in Brussels and Tisch School of the Arts in New York, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (b. 1960) created Asch, her first choreographic work. Two years later came the premiere of Fase, Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich. De Keersmaeker established the dance company Rosas in Brussels in 1983, while creating the work Rosas danst Rosas. Since these breakthrough pieces, her choreography has been grounded in a rigorous and prolific exploration of the relationship between dance and music. She has created with Rosas a wide-ranging body of work engaging the musical structures and scores of several periods, from early music to contemporary and popular idioms. Her choreographic practice also draws formal principles from geometry, numerical patterns, the natural world, and social structures to offer a unique perspective on the body’s articulation in space and time.
In 1995 De Keersmaeker established the school P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) in Brussels in association with De Munt/La Monnaie.
Curiosity, diversity and a firm focus on the music itself characterize the artistic work of Jean-Guihen Queyras, an artist dedicated completely and passionately to the music, whose humble and quite unpretentious treatment of the score reflects its clear, undistorted essence. The inner motivations of composer, performer and audience must all be in tune with one another in order to bring about an outstanding concert experience: Queyras learnt this interpretative approach from Pierre Boulez, with whom he established a long artistic partnership. This philosophy, alongside a flawless technique and a clear, engaging tone, also shapes Queyras’ approach to every performance and his absolute commitment to the music itself. He is a founding member of the Arcanto Quartet and forms a celebrated trio with Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov; the latter is, alongside Alexandre Tharaud, a regular accompanist. Jean-Guihen Queyras often appears with renowned orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, working with conductors such as Iván Fischer, Philippe Herreweghe, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jiři Bělohlávek, Oliver Knussen and Sir Roger Norrington.
Jean-Guihen Queyras holds a professorship at the University of Music Freiburg and is Artistic Director of the Rencontres Musicales de Haute-Provence festival in Forcalquier.
choreography: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
cello: Jean-Guihen Queyras
created with Boštjan Antončič, Marie Goudot, Julien Monty, Michaël Pomero
danced by Boštjan Antončič, Marie Goudot, Julien Monty, Michaël Pomero and Femke Gyselinck (who replaces Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker)
music: Johann Sebastian Bach, Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, BWV 1007 – 1012
costumes: An D’Huys
lighting design: Luc Schaltin
dramaturgy: Jan Vandenhouwe
sound: Alban Moraud
artistic assistants: Carlos Garbin, Femke Gyselinck
rehearsal director: Femke Gyselinck
artistic coordination and planning: Anne Van Aerschot
artistic advice: Thierry De Mey
technical director: Joris Erven
costumes coordinator: Heide Vanderieck
wardrobe: Ella De Vos
technicians: Joris de Bolle, Clive Mitchell
coproduction: De Munt / La Monnaie (Bruxelles), Ruhrtriennale, Concertgebouw Brugge, Philharmonie de Paris – Théâtre de la Ville – Paris – Festival d’Automne à Paris, Sadler’s Wells (London), Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Opéra de Lille, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg), Montpellier Danse 2018
special thanks to Thomas Hertog, Palle Dyrvall, Anke Loh, Aurianne Skybyk, Mathieu Bonilla, François Deppe, Alain Franco, Kimiko Nishi, Maria Eva Rodriguez
world premiere: 26 August 2017, Ruhrtriennale
Mitten wir im Leben sind/Bach6Cellosuiten was realized with the support of the Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government, in collaboration with Casa Kafka Pictures Tax Shelter empowered by Belfius.
Rosas is supported by the Flemish Community.
Italian co-realization: Fondazione Fabbrica Europa, Fondazione Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Fondazione Teatro della Toscana
[photo: Anne Van Aerschot]