Photography: Bohumil Kosthoryz⠀
HEAR EYES MOVE
Dances with Ligeti
The Hungarian composer György Ligeti (1923-2006) once described his etudes as “growing organisms”. But how does any organism or system – whether in natures or societies – grow in the first place?
Organisms and systems, the unpredictability of natural phenomena like clouds and the (apparent) predictability of clocks and other mechanical devices, were key inspirations for Ligeti’s Etudes. More generally, however, between the physical, the chemical, and the organic, every living entity still appears as a source of wonder.
Across Ligeti’s work, the wondersome growth of music is a matter of complex interactions and entanglements, where everything depends on something else, where causes have effects. Here, the movements and developments of music are not merely a matter of hearing, but also of sensation, they come to be felt “as a tactile form, as a succession of muscle tensions”. This music is already a dance, a dance where actions are interactions; each step of a dancer, moving with Ligeti, each action of a dancer, dancing with Ligeti, has consequences on individuals as well as on groups. The intricate entanglement of this virtuosic music in dance thus opens up a space for experimentation, a laboratory in which art shows its quality as a site of social negotiation: if I sense this, where will I move – and how will my sensation and my movements impact those of others, and theirs mine? Everywhere, across clocks and clouds, there is recursion.
HEAR EYES MOVE relies on intensive research into György Ligeti’s works and methods and produces an intricate nexus in which Ligeti’s complex music meets Elisabeth Schilling’s choreographies. Music and dance thus begin to grow alongside and into each other, as contiguous forms bringing about a dance-concert and a concert-dance full of captivating multi-sensorial imagery, where no form or medium ultimately dominates the other. Here, too, interdependence is the name of the game, and it is a condition of life. Can you hear your eyes move?
The project is being accompanied by a catalogue with commissioned texts by Jean – François Boukobza, Stephanie Schroedter, Luc Spada, Nathalie Ronvaux and Roísín O’Brien – soon on sale via the website.
Joan Clevillé, director Scottish Dance Theatre
‘Elisabeth Schilling and her company’s work HEAR EYES MOVE. Dances with Ligeti is an incredible testament to the marriage of emotion and intellect. We are asked to engage to every sound, and nuanced gesture so beautifully constructed and crafted that I am still thinking about the cumulative power of the piece.’
Kally Lloyd-Jones – Director, The Byre Theatre
‘We were delighted to present Hear Eyes Move: Dances with Ligeti to the Byre. Elisabeth Schilling has a knack of creating beauty and grace wherever she goes. Although appearing effortless, it is the result of incredible intellectual rigor, combined with a fiercely creative curiosity and a vast heart that freely and generously shares her passion and insight with everyone who works with her. We have been very fortunate to have worked with Elisabeth Schilling on a number of occasions and hope that our relationship continues to bring such stunning work, of outstanding quality, to the Byre Theatre and to audiences in St Andrews for a long time to come.’
Jan McTaggart, Deputy Director, The Byre Theatre
‘A turning point in the young choreographer’s career.’
Grégory Cimatti, Le Quotidien
‘HEAR EYES MOVE is a mammoth project. The choreographer Elisabeth Schilling ventures into the highly complex piano etudes by György Ligeti. Together with pianist Cathy Krier and five dancers, she follows the colours of the tones: a fusion of new music and contemporary dance at eye level.’
Anina Valle Thiele, d’Letzebuerger Land
‘Schilling’s entire very complex and sensitive choreography (…) test dance as a way of representing a good community all over again. This artistic bridge over the trenches of the present perhaps comes at just the right time.’
Helmut Ploebst – Der Standard Wien
‘(The audience) celebrated dancers and pianist with a standing ovation at the end.’
Berit Nachtweyh, Goslarsche Zeitung
‘Music and dance are indeed on an equal footing. Both genres form an almost perfect symbiosis.’
Gabrielle Seil, Revue Magazin
‘From sculptural arrangements to swirling expressions, Elisabeth Christine Holth, Piera Jovic, Cree Barnett Williams, Gonzalo Alonso and Brian Ca show their constantly interrelated figures, eurythmically enriched, an impressive repertoire of pictorial associations.’
Dietholf Zerweck, Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung
‘The sound and dance experience impresses on a musical as well as the dance level with perfect precision.’
‘They are magical images that (…) exude a moving aesthetic.‘
‘To the sometimes hard tones of Ligeti (…) the dancers float over the stage, sometimes like wind-up dolls, sometimes like birds, do pirouettes or slump and grow out of themselves and over the stage.’
Emma Appel, Luxemburger Wort
‘Hear Eyes Move proves that the meticulous preparation of the project by the choreographer has borne fruit. And how tasty they are!’
‘We can see in this determination, this tenacity, this creativity to adapt to the circumstances, the hallmark of the work of Elisabeth Schilling.‘
‘There is a lot of grace and liveliness in this writing, a substrate of classicism on which contrasting expressions fan out, distinct or flexible, tense or relaxed, adjusted to the millimeter and remarkably executed by a collective in symbiosis with the pianist.’
Marie-Laure Rolland, La Glaneuse
‘I was very impressed by Elisabeth’s fine, poetic and sensitive work. I would never have thought that one could imagine choreographies in such symbiosis with the music. What a wonderful work!’
Jean-Francois Boukobza, musicologist and Ligeti-specialist
‘What was presented in the small excerpt created an enormous appetite for more.’
Eva-Maria Reuther, Trierischer Volksfreund on preview performance at Mosel Musikfestival 2020
‘In general, Elisabeth Schilling’s dance language is the most sensitive fine drawing. The movements of her dancers create lineaments that develop solely from the energy of the music and its temperaments and moods. Lines of movement that take hold of space, unroll, condense into spatial bodies, only to separate again. At times, the outstretched limbs seem like expressionist exclamation marks. In a single gesture, an entire soul seems to be externalised.
Almost surreal, deprived of their physicality, reduced to their sign language, the dancers themselves, like the music, became poignant symbols of an incessant search in the vast, serious church space. At times, the silence of the church combined with the silence of the music in a way that was almost worldly. The dancers made visible not only the emotional explosions and the tender, pensive sound lines of the music, but also the silence within it and the resonance, which are just as significant for the Hungarian composer’s etudes.
It also set a striking example of what art is by its very nature: an expression of freedom, daring and symbolic power. The enthusiastic audience expressed its gratitude with “standing ovations” and prolonged applause.’
Eva-Maria Reuther, Trierischer Volksfreund on performance at Mosel Musikfestival 2021
Full length performance with close ups
Full length performance with full stage view
HEAR EYES MOVE. Dances with Ligeti – Trailer
Teaser HEAR EYES MOVE. Dances with Ligeti
Extended Trailer for professional audiences
‘My mouth stood open from beginning to end.’
Audience member, Bad Harzburg
‘I have so many thoughts – the movements, the connection, the music… it will stay with me for a while,’
Audience member, Bad Harzburg
‘I felt like in labour, at the birth of my first child – an overflooding of sensations, in the best possible sense.’
Audience member, Bad Harzburg
‘I keep thinking about this wonderful evening of your performance and a lot is still stirring in my heart. I really fell into the music and your dance choreography with a ‘bang’ and was so deeply impressed.’
Audience member, Bad Harzburg
The interviews were conducted by Anina Valle Thiele.
Interview with the Creative Team ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Interview with Artistic director Elisabeth Schilling (German)
Interview with Pianist Cathy Krier (German) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Interview with Lighting Designer Fränz Meyers (German)
Interviews with Dancers
Piera Jovic & Cree Barnett Williams (English)
Valentin Goniot (English)
Live piano Cathy Krier
Creative assistance & rehearsal direction Brian Ca
Dance Elisabeth Christine Holth, Piera Jovic, Brian Ca, Valentin Ganiot, Natalia Gabrielczyk / Cree Barnett-Williams .
All movements have been developed together with the dancers.
Costume & stage design Michèle Tonteling
Dramaturgy Moritz Gansen
Lighting design Fränz Meyers
Graphic design Annick Kiefer / STUDIO POLENTA
Photography & videography Bohumil Kosthoryz
Translation Moritz Gansen, Claire Mélot
Produced by Elisabeth Schilling / Making Dances a.s.b.l
Support in administration, producing & consultancy Veronika Meindl, Jana Robert, Aurel Thurn
PR & Production assistance Tyśka Samborska
Administrative assistance Johanna Schmitt
Funded by Ministère de la Culture Luxembourg
Coproduction Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Kunstfest Weimar, Mosel Musikfestival.
Supported by Philharmonie Luxembourg, Œuvre Nationale de Secours Grande Duchesse Charlotte, Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Weiterbildung und Kultur des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz / Kultursommer Rheinland-Pfalz, TROIS C-L Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois, European Commission, Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, Fondation Indépendance, FOCUNA, Monodrama Festival, Dance from Luxembourg.
Residencies at SPAM!_residenze e programmazione, Italy, WU Art Space, Sweden, Fiskars Artist in Residence Programme, Finland, Dance 4, Nottingham, England, Maison du Portugal Paris, France, TROIS C-L, Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois, Luxembourg, Moselmusikfestival, Germany, Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg.
Special thanks to MMK Rechtsanwälte, CASTEGNARO | Ius Laboris Luxembourg | Global HR Lawyers, Jürgen Greis, Frances Tipper, Roxanne Peak-Payne.
+49 160 5077605
Jon Roberts – Producer & Touring Manager