Scottish Ensemble and Andersson Dance collaborate in new project
- Carol Main
- 6 November 2018
Classical music and dance come together to the sound of Beethoven
Increasingly recognised for its innovation in collaborating with other artforms, the Scottish Ensemble return to Swedish company Andersson Dance for their second project fusing classical musicians with dancers and blurring where the lines are drawn between the two. Taking the raw energy of Beethoven's astonishing Grosse Fuge – great fugue – as its central point, the project presents the instrumentalists and dancers as equal partners on stage. The piece itself, lasting around quarter of an hour, initially divided opinion. Reviewed when first heard as being 'incomprehensible, like Chinese', it was originally scored for string quartet and works as a double fugue with rather a lot all happening at the same time.
Following their first partnership, using the music of Bach, Jonathan Morton, the Ensemble's artistic director, says: 'It was an incredibly intense and rewarding experience for all of us, so it felt entirely natural to explore what another collaboration might look like. We wanted to build on the physicality of the musicians and push it further.' Undoubtedly, Beethoven, plus the compositional company he keeps with Bach's Art of Fugue and Lutoslawski's Preludes and Fugues for 13 Solo Strings, will do as Morton envisages. Bringing together music and movement, the project explores how humankind needs to seek order from chaos and puts the musicians and dancers way out of any mainstream classical music comfort zone.
'We experimented with the idea of the performers blurring their roles,' says Örjan Andersson, who choreographs Prelude. 'With this second piece, we want to challenge them to perform in a way they've never done before. I'm very much looking forward to breaking new artistic ground with these amazing artists.' Apparently, Beethoven went off to the pub when his Grosse Fuge was first performed. Not a good idea then and definitely not a good idea now.
Tramway, Glasgow, Fri 9 & Sat 10 Nov; Dundee Rep Theatre, Tue 13 Nov; Eden Court, Inverness, Thu 15 Nov.