concept / performance
Johann Sebastian Bach “Wariacje Goldbergowskie”
Tanzquartier Wien / with support of Slovenian Ministry of Culture
In 2007 I started looking at Walter Verdin’s video work, “Goldberg Variations”, based on Steve Paxton’s performance “The Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach, played by Glen Gould, improvised by Steve Paxton”. Through a chain of events and choices I began a continuous practice, working on processes that happen before and while the movement takes shape.
(an exert from an email to Steve Paxton written on 15.12.2009):
“After I got over the copying of your way of moving, which happened pretty fast, I started focusing more on what I could see you were busy with, beyond the form.
I saw you use the form as means to an end; which I find is an interesting thing to observe in a dance, or a dancer; but I really felt the form was just a piece in the puzzle. The real process I was witnessing was communication – the real-time flow of information, where we don’t only see the end product, but where the process is laid bare in front of us.
I felt in what you did there is no time; in the sense that there is no past and then the comment on the past, which would then be the future. There is only a series of moments, where any moment is opened to change at any point, once new information is taken into account. I was watching and what I saw was an ongoing moment.
In the same way time is not cut into small pieces, neither is the body. It’s a unity and within it there happens what I called “finding exits”; looking for a door to open and guide the movement through there, not running behind an idea conceived in the mind, but thinking from the body. If I’d have to name it in one word, I’d call it Patience.
I found if I was to address your work, addressing these themes was much more important then simply putting on black trousers and copying some movements.
These themes are also what interests me in your work now and, should we have a coffee or get in a studio tomorrow, this is what I would ask you about.”
With gratitude to Steve Paxton and Lisa Nelson for sharing, for their guidance and hospitality;
to Guido Reimnitz for his continuous support and friendship; and also to Emil Hrvatin and his “Fake It!” which stimulated this project and continuously challenged its values.
Sincere thanks also to Frans Poelstra, Dejan Srhoj, Ayse Orhon, Sevi Algan, Svenja Gassen, Marjeta Lavrič, Mala Kline, Gregor Kamnikar, Vivana Tobi, Magali del Hoyo, Sandra Noeth, Francois Pettiaux, Martin Kilvady, Angela Vadori and Naiara Mendioroz
Jurij Konjar (Slovenia)
After a training in Judo, Jurij began dancing in Ballroom in Slovenia and Europe, and then continued with education in Modern Dance. After studying in various dance centers in New York, he studied musical at The Urdang Academy in London’s Covent Garden and then – contemporary dance at PARTS in Brussels. He was twice a holder of the DanceWeb scholarship of the ImPulsTanz Festival in Vienna. Jurij worked with many choreographers such as Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui / Les Ballets C de la B; Roberto Olivan; Maja Delak; Janez Janša and Exodos/ Slovenia and lately with Boris Charmatz; he is presently practicing “Tuning scores” with Lisa Nelson. His own work includes several performances in collaborations with Gabrielle Nankivell (“The Right Mistakes”, “Documentary”, “Open Space Hotel”); trio “Catharsis for Beginners” with Peter Jaško and Milan Herich (2005 Best Performance Audience Award at Gibanica Slovenian dance platform), solo “Ulysses” . The latest creation, an improvisation solo performance “Goldberg Variations” premiered in November 2011 at Leopold Museum in Vienna. This solo performance is a result of a two year research into the 1986 Steve Paxton performance “Goldberg Variations”. Part of the practice was writing – an invention of a vocabulary and a language. A “Chapbook” publication on the process of “Goldberg Variations” creation was published by “Contact Quarterly” in May 2011.