Pianist Simone Dinnerstein Collaborates with Choreographer Pam Tanowitz on "New Work for Goldberg Variations"

October 11, 2017

New Work for Goldberg Variations, a collaboration between pianist Simone Dinnerstein and choreographer Pam Tanowitz, just had its world premiere this past weekend at Duke Performances. Upcoming performances include:

 

Performance Dates and Info

October 19-22, 2017 - Montclair, NJ at 
Peak Performances


November 15, 2017 - Lafayette, PA
 at Williams Center for the Arts, Lafayette College


December 1 & 2, 2017 - Tallahassee, FL
 at Opening Night Performing Arts, FSU


December 8 & 10, 2017 - Boston, MA at 
Institute of Contemporary Art
 

 

What People Are Saying

"Bach’s score is a well-known thing, but here it is a living, breathing thing. Dinnerstein, who has been playing Goldberg for years, treats it generously, giving each note a world unto itself. Through these seven dancers, Tanowitz’s choreography devises its own language, idiosyncratic yet entirely consistent. Gestures live on the cusp of familiarity, and the brilliantly differentiated cast is indefatigable in following the movement to its never-ends."
     - Indy Week



"When the music came back around to its initial theme, the musician was closely encircled by the dancers, the sense of wholeness and completion was so beautiful that it brought tears of joy. If I were giving out stars, this would be a 10-star event."
     - Classical Voice of North Carolina

 

About New Work for Goldberg Variations

 “The wonderful thing about great music is its sense of potential.  Masterpieces contain more than is possible to realize in one performance. That is the beautiful thing that keeps music fresh for me, even though I spend many hours every day living with it. As an interpreter, my goal is not to get a piece of music “right.” That final resting place of a fully and finally satisfying performance is an illusion. Instead my goal is to satisfy some of the potential in the music. By changing one thing, you quickly discover that other things have changed too. Through the accretion of those changes new aspects of the music reveal themselves.

I have been playing the Goldberg Variations for sixteen years. Recently I’ve begun to feel that there is no need to keep the piece solely to the keyboard. Last year I collaborated with some great string players to create a Goldberg Variations for string orchestra and this year I’ve had the joy of working with Pam Tanowitz to create a three dimensional Goldbergs with music and human bodies intertwined.  The many voices of the Goldbergs are so vibrant and distinct that it made wonderful sense for them to be embodied.

Pam has been the perfect person to discover a new Goldbergs with dance. She was not interested in a literal illustration of the piece and neither was she interested in a strict metrical response. I was thrilled to discover that she didn’t even want her dancers to count.  Instead she has looked for density and irregularity in her work. I find that a lot of discussion about music, whether through historical or harmonic analysis, has the effect of taking music from world of aural abstraction and placing it in something more ordered and prosaic: what kind of trills Bach would have used, for example, or which voice ought to have primacy at any one moment. Pam has ignored all of that and created her own physical world full of its own abstractions.

What a pleasure it has been to escape the solitude of the piano. Instead of experiencing the Goldbergs alone in a room I’ve done it in the company of dancers all of whom have their own response to the music and their own physical discipline that extends beyond ears and fingers. On the first page of the score Bach writes that the variations are written for the refreshment of the spirit. That has been my experience of this collaboration with Pam.”

  - Simone Dinnerstein 

For more information visit simonedinnerstein.com 

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