“Image Battles” was 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 wished 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 have worked 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” began 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 has set 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 has progressed, the artists developed musical and choreographic “reveals”, as the composer Brigitta Muntendorf musically disentangled Zimmerman’s composition of samplings.
Choreographer/stage director: Stephanie Thiersch
Musical director/composition: Brigitta Muntendorf
Musicians: Les Siècles Orchester (FR)/conductor: Benjamin Shwartz
Asasello Quartett (RU, CH, PL, FI): Rostislav Kozhevnikov (1st violin), Barbara Streil (2nd violin), Teemu Myöhänen (cello), Justyna Śliwa (viola)
Costume design: Sita Messer
Light design: Begoña Garcia Navas (FR)
Choreography/performance: Fabien Almakiewicz, Neus Barcons, Alexis ‚Maca’ Fernández, Julien Ferranti, Gyung Moo Kim, Alexandra Naudet, Camille Revol, Joel Suárez Gómez
Production/co-production: MOUVOIR e.V. in cooperation with Théâtre de Nîmes (F), Beethovenfest Bonn, tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf, ensemblenetzwerk Freihandelszone
Composers: Bernd-Alois Zimmermann “Musique pour le souper du Roi Ubu” (1968) and Brigitta Muntendorf „Sechs Stimmungen, Diktatoren zu versetzen“ (2018/2019)