I fall, I flow, I melt

Choreographer: Benjamin Millepied in collaboration with LA. Dance Project

In my work I have never been one to pursue stylistic continuity. My intention is to respond to the score instinctively, methodically,  and attempt to find its heart and reveal it.  An important part of my interest lies in freeing the dancer, allowing him to explore further the sheer independence and freedom that motivated him to dance in the first place, and allows further discovery and exploration of time and space in its purest form.  In my dances the dancer is asked to focus solely on his own experience. While the audience is present, the artist’s performance is never directed towards the public, the audience should be absent in the mind of the dancer. It is only with a sincere and felt experience of music, of space, and with a sensible emotional response to the other individuals on stage, that the work comes to life and pulls in the interest of the public. Then only, can we truly engage the audience in a profound layered experience. 

I love Bach’s music for the sublime beauty of its melodies, the immaculate perfection of its harmonies,  its subtle rhythms, driving onward, like the cosmic pulsation of the mystical motor of the universe. In these Bach Studies I  explore different aspects of Bach’s music. I reference the religious, the ceremonial, I transcribe in the choreography’s structure methods of compositions such as counterpoint, canons and fugues — I did this particularly in the Chaconne, where the single violin conveys the large sound of an orchestra. I am not sure I know of another work for a single instrument to be as monumental.  In the Stokowski transcriptions I explored choreographing in opposition to the musical architecture, seeking no repetitions, no structure, just a free-flowing river of ideas, as if the dancer is improvising in the moment, depicting the ever changing choreography of life. 

Before the Passacaglia I felt the need to suspend time with the sound of another composer; David Lang. I often feel the need to bring the old and the new together, and showcase the line of history. I find the voices timeless and connected to the rest of the evening by their mystical quality.

Bach’s music is emotional, yet never sentimental. It depicts humanity with piercing truth.  It is filled with life with all its mystery , and hope. The partita no2 is a journey of joy, sorrow, reflection, and one can not avoid feeling its powerful spiritual voice. The Passacaglia to me is the work of a visionary, it is so deep and powerful — few are the works of art in history that have expressed in clearer ways our humanity, our potential for love and compassion, as well as the darkness inherent in our tragedies.

-Benjamin Millepied

January 12th, 2019 at L.A. Dance Project’s performing space in Los Angeles

Johann Sebastian Bach:
-St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244 No. 1, Chorus I II Kommt, Ihr Töchter, Helft Mir Klagen
-Partita for Violin No. 2 in D Minor: Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue, Chaconne (Arthur Grumiaux)
-Was Mir Behagt, BWV 208, _Hunt Cantata__ Aria_ Sheep May Safely Graze (arr. by Leopold Stokowski for Orchestra)
-Komm sußer Tod, BWV 478 (Arr. by Leopold Stokowski for Orchestra)
-Orgelbuchlein: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 599 (arr. by Leopold Stokowski for Orchestra)
-Mein Jesu! Was Vor Seelenweh, BWV 487 (arr. by Leopold Stokowski for Orchestra)

David Lang:
The National Anthems: Our Common Fate

Johann Sebastian Bach: 
Passacaglia in C minor for Organ  (Tom Koopman)

Costume and Video Design
Alessandro Sartori for Ermenegildo Couture

Lighting Design
Roderick Murray

75 minutes
1st section: 33 minutes
2nd section: 42 minutes

In Honor of Richard D. Colburn

I fall, I flow, I melt