Logos – Diálogos and the six cello suites
Bach gives the beat for Brazilian dance
DEEP DIVE INTO BACH’S WORLD
The dance music of the baroque era has been in the mind of Johann Sebastian Bach when he composed his six suites for unaccompanied cello. He gave an enigmatic and refined form into the social dances of his time. Historically informed music performance and contemporary dance have a dialogue in the fascinating project by the top class Brazilian artists: Logos-Diálogos – 6 suites para violoncelo solo e dança de J. S. Bach.
Hardly ever before have all the six suites been used at the same time in a dance performance. The Greek cellist, Dimos Goudaroulis, invited six choreographers to work with him and chose a suite for each one of them. The result of the work done in several parts of Brazil was performed in Teatro Alfa, São Paulo in May 2012. The audience of Brazil’s leading contemporary dance scene was totally charmed by the performances where all the six cello suites were divided into two trilogies.
THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE MUSIC AND DANCE
The rich symbolism of Bach’s music is brought to the stage in Logos – Diálogos. The Greek word logos means word, speech, reason etc. In Christianity logos started meaning the holy word, indicating Jesus. The word dialogos combines the words dia (=through, between) and logos. The work itself is a dialogue between the sound and movement, past and present and above all, between the cellist, choreographers and dancers.
“The intimate music of Bach ‘speaks’ according to the rules of the rhetoric. The choreography can also be seen as a speech where movement carries several different meanings”, says Goudaroulis who thanks the whole team for an exceptionally deep devotion.
“We all six choreographers tried to show physically what music tells us.” To the question how symbolism can be seen in dance, choreographer Tindaro Silvano gives an answer: “Solo, trio, sextet, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The numerology can be seen in the number of the dancers. However the character of dance is abstract. One single dancer can represent the whole universe.”
MUSIC IN MOVEMENT
”The music of the suite No. 4 was a kind of a question mark for me in the beginning”, remembers Silvano. “Although music is very serious, I wanted to create a balletic choreography full of joy and lightness, steps, lifts and jumps. My choreography creates a contrast to the dramatic next part of the trilogy.”
”I worked with the youngest dancers of the project, they were like an angel choir”, tells Silvano, whose choreography was performed by Grupo Vórtice from Uberlândia, Minas Gerais. Among the eight talented dancers were recent finalists from Lausanne and Youth America Grand Prix.
“I made research about the baroque dances and I brought their principals into the contemporary dance, respecting the source. The suite begins with mystical Prelude. The arms started having more importance in baroque time Allemande. In my own choreography I combine the idea of arms and some aspects of today’s hip hop.”
“Courante is a running solo exploring the accents of the original courante. Sarabande is a noble solo for one female dancer in contemporary style and it shows respect to the cellist, audience and Bach himself.”
”Bourrée is full of pas-de-bourrée. The ABA form of the music dominates also the choreography: solo, ensemble, solo. The final part, Giga, is based on folkloric sailor dances and jig. The choreography I made is very fast and I use lots of chains. At the end the dancers create a circle and a round image is projected to the floor of the stage, symbolizing the crown of Christ.
THE COMPANY OF CHOREOGRAPHERS
The youngest choreographer of the project, Jorge Garcia from São Paulo, opens the first trilogy with his own company. The second suite is choreographed by Luis Arrieta, an Argentinian, who has made a long and prolific career in Brazil. He dances his piece together with Ana Botafogo, the most beloved ballerina of Brazil. The third suite was interpreted by Quasar Dance Company from Goiânia, close to the capital Brasília. The choreography is made by their residence choreographer Henrique Rodovalho.
Tindaro Silvano and his young dancers opened the second trilogy of Logos-Diálogos. This is not the first time Bach’s music has made Silvano to move. The famous Goldberg variations, interpreted by Jacques Loussier trio from France, can be heard in Silvano’s choreography for Ballet Jovem do Palácio das Artes, a company from his home town Belo Horizonte. Goldberg was awarded as the best choreography of the year 2011 in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Ismael Ivo, a performer with great international career, interpreted the suite No. 5 with his own dialogue between the dancer and the cellist. At the moment Ivo works as a curator of the Venice Biennale among other engagements. The second trilogy and the whole Logos-Diálogos were finished with a choreography for six dancer by Deborah Colker, who is famous like a pop star in Brazil nowadays. In addition to her own company she also has made a full length choreography for Cirque du Soleil.