Thielman Susato’s “Musyck Boexken Danserye”, a collection of scores for dance music, was created for ballroom dancing events in 1551. During these performance parties, allemandes, gaillardes and branles were danced on the basis of the treatise. Through the varying constellations of the dances as solos, couples, or groups, roles could switch in a way that participants could be spectators and dancing partners at the same time. With virtuosity and skillfu l musical variations of the steps, dancers interweave with musicians and viewers into a music dance feast.
Together with eight musicians and dancers, „Danserye“ attempts to transfer this music dance feast into the frame of a contemporary dance performance, asking which forms of inclusion and interaction are possible amongst musicians, dancers and viewers. What constellations does the treatise instigate between them? What forms of invitations to dance? Do features of a feast of today emerge? The performers perpetually change their positionings, focusing on themselves and their interaction with the music, or configuring duets and group constellations, constantly altering their relation to the viewer. As the treatise builds the basis for both musical and dancerly material,
structures and qualities emerge that are inherent in both art forms. All this takes place within an installation developed by visual artists Awst & Walther, which includes the visitor and opens up new perspectives within the performance arena.
Sebastian Matthias’ artistic research is supported by a PhD grant at research training group „Versammlung und Teilhabe“ in cooperation with HCU Hamburg, Fundus Theater and K3 Centre for Choreography. This work – concerned with softening the boundaries between popular dance in club contexts and dance in the hierarchical space of theatre – also nutures „Danserye“. After „Dezett“ (2011), this is Matthias’ second collaboration with new music and instrumentalists, which he now enhances together with composer Michael Wolters.
Produced by Sebastian Matthias in Co-production with NDR das neue werk, Kampnagel Hamburg, Sophiensaele Berlin, Theater Freiburg, Kaserne Basel, Gessnerallee Zürich. Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin and Kulturbehörde Hamburg.