1. 10. 2021 and still ongoing

Musical scores as a basis for working with dance, performance, script, and sound (hereinafter jointly referred to as the “Musical Scores as a Basis for Working with Body“) is used in this paper as a research form, as all the elements are naturally present when I am creating my performative productions. The pieces I have so far initiated and created along with other artists, initially came out of intuitive sensing of music, creating thus a breeding ground for reflections on other layers of a piece. I suppose that this stems from the fact that I have done piano interpretation for twelve years. Thus, I have gradually realized that linking musical piece or its elements with movement (in the case of synthetic, experimental sounds as well), is based on concentration of basic layers such as tempo, rythm, dynamics, agogic, but other fine nuances which make together a coherent whole and their potential is inexpressible in words. Still, it is tangible – as an experience. Having this in mind, I have decided to research into more detail corelations between music and “body“.

The research was done using musical scores by J. S. Bach “Harpsichord/Piano and Strings Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052“. Thanks to a piano interpreter Kamil Mihalov, with whom I have cooperated during our initial research of “Musical Work and its Expansion into Dance Performance“, we added another piece “Chaconne from Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor BWV 1004“ arrangement for solo piano by Ferruccio Busoni.

The research “Musical Scores as a Basis for Working with Dance, Performance, Script, and Sound“ is done by an artist collective Jana Smokoňová – dramaturgist/director and Marek Žoffaj – musicologist/musician, and Katarína Brestovanská/dancer, choreographer. We study the sheet music of “Harpsichord/Piano and Strings Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052” in multiple contexts. Specifically, in the context of movement, performance, script, sound and their interpretations in contemporary dance. In this particular musical composition, we read and analyse its graphical record, formal and composition parameters, interpretation principles and aesthetics that were embedded in these pieces by the composer. We intended to transfer such processes into movement scores and express them physically. In addition to our on-site work with dancers and actors, Marek Žoffaj, musicologist and musician, contextualised us with the period in which J. S. Bach composed his works. We perceive his work in historical and musical context, and in the context of psychoacoustic principles of musical perception, analysis of the piece itself and its potential to be transformed into physical expression. At the same time, we strive for the synthesis of musical and movement alphabet. All the attitudes are fully applied in our work with dancers.

When doing the research, I was motivated by an absolute excellence of Bach’s work. I would like to reach out to his excellence. If you have ever listened to Bach’s music, you might feel that it is absolute. When I listen to Bach, I feel as if my brain and body were in balance. I feel complete. As if I were an integral part of the work and historical moment in which the work originated. I am in accord. Of course, each can have a different perception and feelings. And so, following several consultations with musicians interpreting Bach, I have decided to get to the bottom of it. It all started when I had a piano lesson with a musician and piano pedagogist Fero Király. He served this Concerto d-minor by J. S. Bach, and I said, yes. Of course, I can no way perform masterly. But the experience itself helped me to understand and feel the work better. It was the driving force behind my research.

At the moment, we do several research programs with dancers and actors of a physical theatre. We present them informally, as work-in-progress samples

NOVEMBER 2021 / Public presentation: S.E.STA Centrum choreografického rozvoja, Žďár nad Sázavou / video
Jana Smokoňová, Marek Žoffaj, Katarína Brestovanská
Dancers / Katarína Hajsterová, Lukáš Záhorák

FEBRUARY – APRIL 2022 /  Public presentation: Nová Cvernovka, Bratislava /video
Jana Smokoňová, Marek Žoffaj, Katarína Brestovanská
Actress / Ela Lehotská
Dancers / Edita Antalová, Katarína Hajsterová, Viktória Malá, Barbora Murínová, Tomáš Janypka, Lukáš Záhorák

JUNE 2022 / Quartier am Hafen, Cologne, Germany
Jana Smokoňová, Marek Žoffaj, Katarína Brestovanská and members of MichaelDouglas Kollektiv.

The deliverable from the first research with Kamil Mihalov:
Musical Work and its Expansion into Dance Performance

Supporters and partners:

Supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council.
Tanzresidenz 2021 Quartier am Hafen, Köln, Germany.
Dance Research NRW, a scholarship of the NRW Kultursekretariat – funded by the Ministerium fur Kultür and Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen.
Rezidenčné centrum Telocvičňa.