Sasha Waltz‘ choreography IN C is based on the revolutionary piece of the same name by the US American composer Terry Riley from 1964. It was not only a milestone of American minimal music, an avant-garde movement which originated back then. IN C was also one of the first pieces of music that was not set in its structure; Riley did not indicate either who should play his piece or how long ii should be. 53 musical phrases can be combined by the musicians ad libitum to form through improvisation a version of the piece. The music has an almost hypnotic pulse: the central note C is played continually while it is interwoven by thematic variations.
Waltz adopted the open building block principle of Riley’s composition: she choreographed 53 figures, which in every version of the piece are newly combined. The dancers translate into space the overpowering energy of Riley’s rhythmic textures, they react to group impulses, they fit into some coherent order or break out of the order.
All decisions are made on the spur of the moment by both dancers and musicians: do I follow someone else, or do I set my own impulse? Which space do I claim for myself, which do I yield to others? In what relationship does my own freedom stand as opposed to the freedom of the rest of the group? Terry Riley calls his piece a ›democratic‹ composition, an ordering in which the fundamental parameters of living together in society are newly negotiated in each performance.
This is especially the case for the performances which the Beethoven Festival Bonn and the Bonner Opera are making possible: Riley’s music will be performed live by the Ensemble Musikfabrik. The musicians from Cologne will together with Sasha Waltz & Guests will collaborate in the making of the Bonner versions: each of both performances will vary and be unique.
»Co-determination! Autonomy! Waltz’s success here is more than a fascinating, brilliantly the structure-of -the-music-fitting choreography full of almost casually presented, beautiful, unspectacular movement. It is a prospect of the freedom that we all long for.« [Wiebke Hüster, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2021]
A cooperation between the Beethoven Festival Bonn and the Theater Bonn. Supported in part by the Kunststiftung NRW.