‘She dives into this world of powerful sound in an incredibly sensitive way, powerful even in silence. (…). Fragile and stringent at the same time, her dance, between intuition and construction, is powerful, energetic, tender. Yet always somehow fragile. So clever and so touching.‘ Rando Hannemann
Freely translated into English:
Tanz*Hotel Wien, in persona Choregraf Bert Gstettner, accompanies choreographers and performers through a process of creation during his residency, coaching and mentoring programme AAR (Artists At Resort), which lasts several weeks and ends with an exhibition in the rooms of the Tanz*Hotel. The 17th edition of AAR was opened by Elisabeth Schilling with “Sketches on Ligeti”.
Dance and music are almost inseparable. Good, that is hardly surprising. But when a choreographer and dancer asks “how music moves”, “how dance sounds” and how both “free each other”, it makes me curious. If the musical part of these investigations is also by the Austro-Hungarian composer György Ligeti, one of the most important representatives of New Music, I am wide awake. His 18 “Études pour piano” from 1985 to 2001 are characterised by complex rhythmic structures that “create the illusion of different, simultaneously running layers of speed”.
In years of research, Elisabeth Schilling explored this music, which she first heard in 2011. Ligeti was also inspired by the polyrhythmic music of the peoples south of the Sahara. However, he weaved his etudes into vertical and horizontal, i.e. harmonically and rhythmically extremely complex textures. Elisabeth Schilling selected six of these pieces, each only a few minutes long, to present the first results of her work with this music in a solo.
All in black, she appears on the empty stage. The violence of the first recorded etude carries her (and me) away. Her movements are angular to chaotic piano music. When this music, comparatively softer, her arms also flow more gently. She breathes audibly in the silence before the next piece, whose character she anticipates for a few seconds with her dance. Dance and music seem symbiotically connected, organic and harmonious. In the further pieces she illustrates the music physically, it reminds me briefly of the aesthetics of an Oskar Schlemmer. Or she dives into this world of powerful sound in an incredibly sensitive way, powerful even in silence. From expressionism of the 1920s to free jazz, she quotes. The fact that she is also classically trained lets her sound out very briefly. When the music seems to disintegrate into shards, it dissolves, rears up trembling for a moment. Fragile and stringent at the same time, her dance, between intuition and construction, is powerful, energetic, tender. Yet always somehow fragile. So clever and so touching.
Based on these “Sketches for Ligeti” Elisabeth Schilling is currently choreographing her new piece “Hear Eyes Move. Dances with Ligeti” for five dancers and live piano.
Elisabeth Schilling with “Sketches for Ligety”, 16 to 18 October 2020 at Tanz*Hotel Wien.
Photos:
Martina Stapf
Ko-Produzent:

Tanz*Hotel

One of Elisabeth Schilling’s images of FELT was chosen to be the book cover of the recent publication ‘That time of year’ by Marie Ndiaye.

Photographed by: Martine Pinnel
Costume design: Mélanie Planchard

Elisabeth Schilling shows excerpts of choreographic works on György Ligeti’s Etudes pour Piano and Musica Ricercata at the Artist At Resort (AAR) at Tanz*Hotel Wien.

The performances are from 16-18th October 2020.

More information and tickets here.

Photo: Julie Freichel

Invited by PD Dr. Stephanie Schroedter Elisabeth will participate and speak about her current creation HEAR EYES MOVE. Dances with Ligeti at Symposium Music as an Experimental Field for Movement, St. Wolfgang, Austria – 14th – 16th September 2020.

 

Monday 20-22h:

Stephanie Schroedter: Interweaving of Music and Movement – Preconditions, Approaches and Consequences

Including Talks with Elisabeth Schilling (Choreographer), Dirk Haubrich (Composer) and Iván Pérez

(Choreographer and Artistic Director of the Dance Theatre Heidelberg)

 

Registration for Remote Access: L.Konnerth@stud.uni-heidelberg.de

TRIFOLION Echternach invited Elisabeth to create two new solos on music compositions Rêverie by Claude Debussy and Daphnis and Chloe: Lever du Jour by Maurice Ravel to be presented as part of the opening of the new season 10th September 2020, 19h.

Entrance FREE!

Photo: Bohumil Kostohryz

26 Performances / 85 Creatives / 14 Countries around the Globe

Discover. Experience and Dance Along.

Invisible Dances 2020.

Coming Soon…

Elisabeth Schilling is looking for 10 dance artists – based in rural areas or German cities with populations of less than 20.000 people – to commission them with a dance score which is inspired by, and respects, current medical guidelines regarding performance. Applicants should be well-organised as the project requires creating and co-ordinating a small team, as well as managing a small budget.
All expressions of interest should be sent with a CV and video of them dancing to dance@elisabethschilling.com until latest 13th September Midnight at latest.
Applications from all ages, physicalities, backgrounds, genders, ethnities, welcome.
This project is paid in lines with German artist’s rates and funded by Fonds Darstellender Künste.
Image: Martine Pinnel

 

Elisabeth and Company are currently in residence at the Maison du Portugal in Paris, where they will create the solos and duos of the piece HEAR EYES MOVE. Dances with Ligeti.

Photographer: Bohumil Kosthoryz

Press review by Eva-Maria Reuther on ‘Kopfhören’ at the Moselle Music Festival 2020:

‘What was presented in the small excerpt created an enormous appetite for more.’ Eva-Maria Reuther

Text freely translated by E.Schilling from German.

When dancers draw pictures in the room 
Here dance and architecture are combined: scenes from Hear, eyes, move in Trier’s Maximinkirche.
Photo: Bohumil Kostohryz
On Friday, the listeners were given an impressive taste of the Moselle Music Festival in St. Maximin in Trier.  Within the framework of the format “Kopfhören” (headphones) there was an excerpt from Elisabeth Schilling’s choreography of “Études pour piano” by György Ligeti (1923-2006).
The strict rows of columns in the quiet, powerful nave of the former Trier abbey church of St. Maximin seemed to give the movements of the dancers a foothold on the floor below. Movements that seized time and space, whirled, strove towards each other, only to break away again immediately, seeking closeness, only to distance themselves. Then again the dancers were completely on their own, turning and writhing, like sculptures that still have to experience themselves. We are talking about György Ligeti’s “Études pour piano”, for which Elisabeth Schilling is currently working on a choreography with her company.
The project entitled “Hear eyes, move” is a co-production of the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, the Kunstfest Weimar and the Moselle Music Festival. The dance piece by the dancer and choreographer from Wittlich, who now works internationally, will be shown in its entirety at the 2021 edition of the Moselle Music Festival. On Friday there was a foretaste in St. Maximin with the Etudes No. 1, No. 4, and No. 6 as part of the new festival format “Kopfhören”. To say it right away in advance: What was presented in the small excerpt created an enormous longing for more.
The second edition of the new format corresponded to a dance studio visit. In a ‘kind of performance’, the choreographer had first delimited the stage. While the dancers warmed themselves up and, as it were, took measure of the space, the audience could walk around and take a closer look at the space and the artists. Festival director Tobias Scharfenberger informed the guests via headphones about the composer and the work before they took their seats in the chairs provided for the Dance of the Etudes. For the time being, the music was canned.
Ligeti’s 18 etudes in three volumes, the “livres”, were written between 1985 and 2001. The late work of the native Hungarian, which is in the tradition of the piano etudes by Chopin, Debussy and others, is not only one of the most important piano works, but also one of the murderously difficult ones, with its diverse rhythms and multi-layered textures, its exoticism and countless stylistic references. However, it is extremely popular with listeners because there is never a moment of boredom.
The compositional labyrinth, on the other hand, in which even the most ambitious fail because “faster, higher, further” does not help here, is a true El Dorado for dancers. Elisabeth Schilling and her five-member troupe approached the music with all their senses – in other words: with emotional penetration as well as with the analytical sharpness of mind. Dynamic, supple and precise, the dancers made the temperaments and rhythms of the music tangible. As well as their contrary movements, which at the end conclusively condensed into a structure, as in the sonata-like Etude No.4 with the title “Fanfare”.  Right at the beginning, the young artists whirled in the fulminant supposed “Désordre” (confusion) of Étude No. 1. The choreographic excerpt ended almost serenely with the slightly melancholic Étude No. 6, “Automne à Varsovie” (Autumn in Warsaw), through which impressionistic clarity shines. However, the choreographer and her company not only disposed of the spiritual and mental energies of the music, they also left it its shape, the fine concise line of the pianistic touch, the sculptural, compact form of the chord. She had first drawn sketches, Elisabeth Schilling reported at a later audience discussion. In fact, the dancers’ slender bodies and their movements looked like dynamic drawings in space. This was also a wonderfully fitting image in the unwavering security of the church, which protectively surrounded the fragile, fleeting human dance.
Incidentally, Ligeti’s artistic aspiration was for eternity. What was once time and movement should be presented as timeless, he once said about the aim of his work. The composer’s danced etudes and the old abbey church of St. Maximin form a wonderful team.

Full article here:

https://www.volksfreund.de/region/kultur/kopfhoeren-mosel-musikfestival_aid-52672317

Photo: Bohumil Kostohryz

‘Whoever speaks with Elisabeth Schilling immediately shares her passion for her profession, which is much more of a vocation. When she says: “Dance is my life”, this does not have the slightest hint of self-empowering pathos. It is rather a clear statement, the very natural location of her existence, where she has always seen herself.’
Eva-Maria Reuther
Last week a portrait of Elisabeth by the journalist Eva-Maria Reuther was published in the Tierischer Volksfreund:

Full article in German HERE.

Photo: Stefio Ceccon

 

Freely translated to English by E.Schilling:

 

Eyes, ears and movement

By Eva-Maria Reuther

05th August 2020

“One, two, three, four – Elisabeth Schilling rehearses György Ligeti’s “Études pour piano” with her dancers. She will perform three of the 18 piano pieces by the Hungarian with her company at the Moselle Music Festival this weekend in the former abbey church of St. Maximin in Trier. The three Etudes are a small excerpt of a large project. As a co-production “Hear, eyes, move” of the Grand Théâtre Luxembourg, the Moselmusik Festival and the Weimar Art Festival, the dancer and choreographer is working with her international team on a choreography of the complete work. The etudes of the composer, who was born in 1923 and fled to the West in 1956 and died in Vienna in 2006, are regarded as both highly complex and virtuoso. A huge challenge, but nevertheless a dream job for someone who, like Schilling, says: “I am interested in the manifold body”.  This can unfold perfectly in Ligeti’s composition, in order to express in movement and gesture what is inherent in the Hungarian’s late “summit work” in terms of energies, diverse rhythms and multi-layered textures.

“I am interested in the different perspectives on the body,” explains Schilling. In her Ligeti choreography, it is the symbiosis of music and movement that makes such new perspective approaches and forms possible.

The choreographer describes her first encounter with the music of the modern classic as a “life-giving moment”. “I listened to Ligeti, and the music stood before my eyes as if drawn. The fascination has not diminished to this day. Just as little as that of dance.

Anyone who talks to Elisabeth Schilling immediately shares her passion for her profession, which is much more of a vocation. When she says: “Dance is my life”, this does not have the slightest hint of self-empowering pathos. It is rather a clear statement, the very natural location of her existence, where she has always seen herself. “I wanted to dance ever since I was a little child,” the choreographer recalls. “An inner voice told me I had to become a dancer.”

After her first ballet lessons, she completed her professional training whilst finishing her Abitur, first in Frankfurt, then at the TrinityLaban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London and at the renowned London Contemporary Dance School. In the meantime, the artist, who was born in 1988 and grew up in Wittlich, has a remarkable biography of Deborah Hay, the American icon of postmodern as well as experimental dance, among her great role models. The names of the more than 30 international companies and choreographers she has worked for so far read like a tour d`horizon through contemporary dance positions. Among them are repertoires of Sasha Waltz, Reinhild Hoffmann and Trisha Brown. But there are also art venues with cult status, such as Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London.

The cosmopolitan artist is not only on the road to dance and choreography. Her educational commitment is also remarkable. “I want to open up the audience to dance and promote awareness of it,” explains Schilling. In doing so, she focuses on interaction and discussions with the audience.

The artist also benefits from her joy in experimentation, which also drives her choreographic work time and again. With Ligeti’s “Etudes”, Schilling has turned to a work that stands in the long tradition of piano etudes, such as those of Chopin, and continues it in a contemporary way. The choreographer has long been involved with the work, reading secondary literature, tracing the history of reception, and delving into the life of the composer. Because this is also one of her working principles: “Research is very important to me as preparation”.

The rehearsal continues. Elisabeth Schilling now looks at the movements from a different perspective. After all, it is also clear that with Ligeti’s Etudes, the perspectives are almost limitless.