“Goldberg-Variationen” (“Tabula Rasa” / “Goldberg-Variationen”)
Vienna State Ballet
Vienna State Opera
April 27, 2023 (livestream)
by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2023 by Ilona Landgraf
Since Martin Schläpfer took over the reins of the Vienna State Ballet in 2020, his pre-existing and new choreographies entered the company’s repertoire. Most of them I wouldn’t call assets. However, the most recent double bill is a gain. It combines Ohad Naharin’s “Tabula Rasa” (1986) and Heinz Spoerli’s “Goldberg-Variationen” (1993). Sadly, the livestream of the premiere began only after the break, omitting “Tabula Rasa”. Hence, I can only comment on “Goldberg-Variationen”.
I should have known better, but I was not prepared to read the name of Horst Koegler (1927 – 2012) in the piece description on the Vienna State Ballet’s website. It quotes Koegler who labeled “the Goldberg-Variationen as one of the works from Spoerli’s Bach ballet cathedral which describes people and life in a series of poetic, choreographed images and scenes (…)”. Koegler, one of Germany’s renowned ballet critics and the author of a book about Spoerli, was very well versed with the latter’s oeuvre. He loved “Goldberg-Variationen” – both Bach’s music and its interpretation through dance. Would he have liked Vienna’s one? (more…)