She skilfully blended music, visual art, poetry and dancing by her own Pam Tanowitz Dance in a piece that took the breath away; Culture Whisper awarded it a dazzled five stars.
Tanowitz followed that with Everyone Keeps Me, a piece for a Royal Ballet collaborative programme at the Linbury Theatre last July; again the choreographer demonstrated her intelligent combination of a sunny, relaxed surface with a wealth of intricate thoughts, alongside a shrewd assessment of the personalities of the Royal Ballet dancers cast.
Now, Pam Tanowitz returns to the Barbican for the European premiere of her 2017 ballet New Work for Goldberg Variations. It’s performed by seven dancers of her company to Bach’s masterpiece, played live on the piano by Simone Dinnerstein.
Bach’s Goldberg Variations is a monumental and fiendishly complex work, composed of Aria and 30 variations, where the composer intricately knits together a number of voices.
It’s hard work for a pianist, though by all accounts Simone Dinnerstein, playing on stage and, incidentally, barefoot like the dancers, is undaunted in what the New York Times described as ‘a free and unorthodox interpretation that by itself is well worth the price of admission.’
Tanowitz's choreography, which owes something to Merce Cunningham but has moved well forward from it, connects her dancers with the piano in a friendly interchange, the dancers skipping and grouping in seemingly simple steps that form a web of elaborate, but never forbidding patterns.
The New York Times called Pam Tanowitz’s New Work for Goldberg Variations ‘a rare achievement’. And The New Yorker stated: ‘… the “Goldberg” audience seemed very sorry to see the show end. We had gone a long way with these dancers – 75 minutes – and we could have gone longer.’
One past experience, and with that kind of acclaim from across the Atlantic, Pam Tanowitz’s New Work for Goldberg Variations promises to be one of the highlights of the dance year.
Age Guidance: 7+
|What||Pam Tanowitz Dance, New Work for Goldberg Variations, Barbican|
|Where||Barbican Theatre, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, E2CY 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
06 May 20 – 09 May 20, 19:45 Dur.: 1 hour 15 mins no interval
|Price||£16-£45 (+booking fee)|
|Website||Click here to book|