music: J.S. Bach, Aria & wariacje 1–15, 16–30 performed by Glenna Goulda (recordings from 1982 i 1955),
colour, DVD, 53’ 23’’
dance improvisation: Steve Paxton; directed: Walter Verdin in collaboration with Steve’em Paxtonem;
camera: Serge Everdepoel,
sound: Bart Vanvoorden, Anne Van Aerschot;
coo production: The Kitchen (Nowy Jork), Audiovisuele Dienst KULeuven, Hebbeltheater (Berlin), Felix Meritis (Amsterdam), Nederlands Instituut voor de Dans (Amsterdam) we współpracy z/ in collaboration with: Antwerpen 93 Cultural Capital of Europe, The Dance Program at The National Endowment for the Arts;
filmed at Felix Meritis (Amsterdam,April1992)
Steve Paxton started to work on Jan Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations in 1986. As a dancer, he listened to the music with his body. He was listening to the performances by Glenn Gould, who has recorded the Variations twice: in 1955 and 1982. As Paxton observed, many things have changed over these twenty seven years: Gould stopped giving concerts and focused on the studio recording while the technology of sound realization and editing has greatly changed, becoming more precise.
Bach’s music, though known to us only through scores, allows a broad range of interpretation. The film was recorded in the oval Felix Meritis concert hall in Amsterdam, with sixteen shots. Walter Verdin, the director of the film, explored the structure of music with the use of the film, following the repetitions, inversions, rhythmic values of the subject matter. The use of the broad range of the editing possibilities allowed to achieve the coherence of sound and movement. The film analyzes insightfully the structure of music and the „logic” of improvisation, happening in the space between Bach’s score and Gould’s interpretation, accompanied by his characteristic, quiet vocalisations which are – as Paxton wrote – „a part of his mind apart the fingers”.