Based on the Partita for Violon n° 1 in B Minor of Johann Sebastian Bach, Ita Infinita is a is a choreographic work for three dancers by Elisabeth Schilling, accompanied live by contemporary music ensemble United Instruments of Lucilin. This 25-minute production combines dance, music and design within a trans-media creative process to offer a contemporary perspective on this highly established composition.

— 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? —

CONCEPT

In this way, to infinity. The melody, like an endless thread, weaves through three dancing bodies, and although they keep distancing themselves from each other, they are entwined by the interdependence of their movements. But is this really about three bodies? Or is it about movement and melody, in the context of which the bodies are, at times, one body, at times two, at times three…?
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Ita infinita, a collaboration between Elisabeth Schilling and the Ensemble United Instruments of Lucilin, allows the choreographer to draw on her earlier work and use Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Partita for Violin n°1 in B minor” (BWV 1002) in order to explore how movements and textures, both musical and physical, overlap, merging again and again, in such a way that the body does more than illustrate the music, and the music does more than merely score the body. Out of the simultaneity of dance and music emerges a unique form which grows and flourishes, blurring the boundaries between nature and art – for the Baroque was always in search of infinity and found it here and there, in vastness as well as miniature. Elisabeth and her team embrace this idea, drawing inspiration not only from Baroque art but also from the shapes and textures of nature. For example, the winding patterns of the dances – notably the Allemande and the Sarabande – not only reflect popular architectural and landscaping styles of the time, but also the abundance of small infinities such as those found in plants, snail shells or whirlpools.
Inspired by the lavish robes and ornaments of the baroque era, the close collaboration with costume designer Agnes Hamvas also brings about a visual atmosphere that produces another aesthetic level that is interwoven with dance and music, by combining the pomp of the baroque era with a more modern simplicity in the costumes. A more understated infinity, which still glows in radiant colours.

PREMIERE & TOUR

Ita infinita can serve as a gentle introduction to the world of contemporary dance. On the one hand, it follows more classical listening habits, and on the other hand, thanks to its compact format – the Partita has a duration of approx. 25 minutes – it offers great flexibility in terms of presentation. It can stand alone, or be integrated in dance or music festivals, providing great touring potential with comparatively little effort and great adaptability. The piece will be developed over the course of several residencies at TRIFOLION Echternach and TROIS-CL (Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois) before its premiere at the Echter’Classic festival in October 2022.

FRAMING PROGRAMME

WORKSHOP

Elisabeth plans to develop a speficically designed workshop adaptable for all ages and needs. This workshop aims at introducing the subjects of the dance work in a practical manner and will encourage a creative engagement with Bach’s music and an individual approach to movement and dance. Lastly, workshops with the dance department of the Music School are also in planning, which will give the students an insight into the life of a professional production process.

PUBLICATION

We furthermore envision to create a playful and attractive fold flyer in three languages (LU/E/FR), which is designed for all ages. From riddles and a quiz on the performance work to a specifically commissioned text by musicologist Jean- François Boukobza on Johann Sebastian Bach, from interviews with the creative team to images of the performance work and a specifically commissioned poem from a Luxembourgish author, the flyer will prolong the experience of the performance into the home and encourage reflection and offer a depth of experience.

HOLOGRAMS

As part of the stage work of Ita Infinita, it is planned to create Hologrames with Luxembourg-based multi-media company Mad Trix, that are to be placed in the heart of the city 3-4 montsh ahead of the premiere, to spark interest and intruige within the wider population of Echternach. The Holograms will display teasing scenes of the stage work. As with Elisabeth Schilling’s previous projects in Echternach, ‘Ita Infinita’ aims to strengthen
the relationship between the city, its inhabitants, dance and its space, the theatre. In order to introduce dance into the daily lives of the inhabitants and, figuratively speaking, to take them by the hand and guide them into the theatre, the mysterious and magical shadow figures will fire the imagination and hopefully feed the desire of passers-by to see the full play.

PROMENADE

It is furthermore planned to create a promenade performance in summer 2022, situated along the historic buildings that the city has to offer. This will furthermore enhance the consciousness of dance within the population of the city. The presentation of excerpts in architecturally important places in the city is intended to be a ‘stumbling block’ for passers-by, who will ‘accidentally’ come across dance in their daily lives. Dance is thus given a place in the public space and its presence will be extended.

AUDIENCE TALK

Every performance will be accompanied by Elisabeth Schilling herself, who will offer a short introductory presentation around the background of the work, the process and the subjects that the work is dealing with. This will include music knowledge as well as perspectives on the field of dance.

Concept & Choreography
Elisabeth Schilling

Dance
Brian Ca
Piera Jovic
Malcolm Sutherland

All movements have been developed together with the dancers. 

Music
Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita No 1 in B minor

Musical Accompaniment
United Instruments of Lucilin

Costume Design
Agnes Hamvas

Accompanying Holograms
Mad Trix

Graphic Design
Studio Polenta

Photography
Bohumil Kostohryz

Rehearsal Images
Ben Wagener

Documentary
Jerôme Reischl

Text
Moritz Gansen

Accompanying Poet
Florence Sunnen
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Accompanying Musicologists
Jean-François Boukobza, Stephanie Schroedter

Research support
Christiane Sietzen

Produced by
Making Dances asbl

Co-producer
Trifolion Echternach

Creation supported by
TROIS C-L, Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois, Kultursommer RLP, Fondation Indépendance
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Hologrammes supported by
Ministère de la Culture Luxembourg

Tour supported by
Fondation EME, Fondation Sommer, Stiftung für Kultur Wittlich, Mosel Musikfestival

Making Dances asbl is funded by Ministère de la Culture Luxembourg.