Six Short Piano Pieces
Arnold Schoenberg wrote his sparse, tiny Sechs Kleine Klavierstücke (Six Short Piano Pieces) in 1911, at a time of great personal and artistic upheaval. It’s no coincidence that Ian Spink has chosen this particular work for his first choreographic project since leaving his long-term job as artistic director of Aberdeen’s Citymoves studio.
‘At Citymoves, my job was to do with enabling other people to be more creative. Moving to Glasgow is about shifting my focus back to my own creativity again, and this project is exciting because it’s the first fruit of that decision.’
Spink evidently feels a connection with Schoenberg. The finished production will evolve from a week’s choreographic residency with nine hand-picked dancers, during which time the dancers will research Schoenberg’s life, and the wider political and artistic situations in Europe at the time.
‘Actors always research their work first: it’s important to their process of building characters. I’ve begun working that way with dancers as well – it allows them a sense of ownership over the ideas. In my process it’s important that people can pursue or grab onto a line of research they feel comfortable with.’
Essentially, then, the end product should be something like choreography as biography?
‘I think so, yes. If I’m looking into what was going on in his life around about that period, his own internal creative flow and his family situation, splitting up with his wife – I think he probably had a sense of disillusionment – that feeds the landscape of the choreography. With the dancers, in the workshop, we have to discover how communicate those sensations through movement.’
CCA, Glasgow, Sat 10 Apr