“Image Battles” is the first part of a joint research project by the choreographer Stephanie Thiersch and composer Brigitta Muntendorf on the relationships between music and dance. The artists wish to upset our typical viewing and listening habits in connection with dance and musical formations such as choirs, orchestras or quartets. What kind of dependencies exist in music and dance? How do they influence each other? In this German-French collaboration, both artists are working with the renowned Asasello Quartet and the French orchestra Les Siécles, which is one of the most interesting and daring orchestras in Europe at present.
The “Image Battles” will begin with Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s “Musique pour le souper du Roi Ubu”, a piece often characterised as ballet music which has never been choreographed before. In this composition, Zimmermann integrated multiple references to other musical works of history; Stockhausen and Stravinsky meet Wagner, Bach, marches and polka. The choreographer Stephanie Thiersch sets Zimmermann’s musical barrage of samplings and allusions next to a “battle of images”, interweaving elements of contemporary dance, classical ballet, urban dance and 16th-century court dances. As the piece progresses, the artists develop musical and choreographic “reveals”, as the composer Brigitta Muntendorf musically disentangles Zimmerman’s composition of samplings.
Choreographer/stage director: Stephanie Thiersch
Musical director: Brigitta Muntendorf
Musicians: Les Siècles Orchester (FR)/conductor: François Xavier Roth (FR), Asasello Quartett (RU, CH, PL, FI): Rostislav Kozhevnikov (1st violin), Barbara Kuster (2nd violin), Teemu Myöhänen (cello), Justyna Śliwa (viola)
Light design: Begoña Garcia (FR)
Choreography/performance: F. Almakiewicz (FR), N. Barcons (ES), A. Fernández (ES), J. Ferranti (FR), M. Kim, A. Naudet (FR), C. Revol (FR), J. Suárez Gómez
Production/co-production: MOUVOIR e.V. in cooperation with Freihandelszone/Cologne, International May Festival Wiesbaden/Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Théâtre des Nîmes, Beethovenfest Bonn/Oper Bonn, tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf
Composers: Bernd-Alois Zimmermann “Musique pour le souper du Roi Ubu” (1968) and compositions by Brigitta Muntendorf
Théâtre des Nîmes, Nîmes: 9 – 10 May 2019; Beethovenfest, Bonn: 22 Sep. 2019; tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf: 24 Sep. 2019