We are currently booking a tour of HEAR EYES MOVE. Dances with Ligeti

– the OPUS KLASSIK nominated piece –

Please contact touring@elisabethschilling.com for more information.


Dances with Ligeti


Have ever two forms of art entered a closer and more intricate relationship than music and dance? But how does music actually move? How does dance sound? And where do these sounds and movements meet, once they are liberated from their purported duty to mimic or mirror, to illustrate, to produce an atmosphere, to provide a backdrop, or even to merely coexist, in neat separation?
The Hungarian composer György Ligeti said of his virtuosic Études pour piano that in the process of composition “tactile concepts were almost as important as acoustic ones”. The movements and developments of music, in other words, are not merely a matter of hearing but of sensation, they come to be felt “as a tactile form, as a succession of muscle tensions”. Through these forms and successions, Ligeti’s pieces thus behave like “growing organisms”, and it is following this line of thought that the choreographer Elisabeth Schilling has created an unprecedented take to choreographically interpret those Etudes pour piano. Treating dance and music as contiguous forms that grow alongside and into each other, she has produced, together with five dancers and the pianist Cathy Krier, a dance-concert and a concert-dance full of captivating multi-sensorial imagery.



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.




27th November 2023Goethe Institute Boston, USA (Screening)

21st October 2023 – Dance Live, Music Hall, Aberdeen, Scotland

17th October 2023 – The Byre Theatre, St Andrews, Scotland

7th October 2023 – Echter’Classic Festival, Echternach, Luxembourg

10th – 20th July 2023 – Les Hivernales, Festival d’Avignon, France

18th June 2023 – Harzburger Musiktage, Bad Harzburg, Germany

26th May 2023 – Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Ludwigsburg, Germany

1st April 2023 – Oster Festival, Innsbruck, Austria

8th September 2022 – Kunstfest Weimar

3rd October 2021 – Moselmusikfestival

Première: 1st & 2nd July 2021 – Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg