The Goldlandbergs (2013) 50’
Emanuel Gat Dance
"The justification of art is the internal combustion it ignites in the hearts of men and not its shallow, externalized, public manifestations. The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but is, rather, the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.”
- Glenn Gould
GOLD is the story of a family.
Less a story of factual narratives, but more of a metaphoric comment on life through the intimate glimpse at the complex nature of human relations. The choreographic score stands as a threshold to the quiet ecstasy of individuals engaging with each other. Not aiming to reproduce the experience of reality, the work uses structural clarity immersed in a spontaneous way of being, proposing various observations on social structures and the way they effect individuals.
GOLD exploits the contrapuntal essence of choreography, in order to generate numerous possibilities allowing both performers and audience the freedom of artistic choice and interpretation.
The soundtrack used, is an overlaying of two distinct scores: "The Quiet in the Land", a radio documentary created by Glenn Gould in 1977, and Bach's "Goldberg Variation" played by Gould himself.
Described as oral tone poem, sound documentary or contrapuntal radio, "The Quiet in the Land" was the last of three such documentaries known as "The Solitude Trilogy" produced by Gould for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation between 1967-77. Gould conceived these documentaries as musical compositions.
A multi-layered contrapuntal structure of lines of speech, music and ambient sound, “The Quiet in The Land” is a complex and dramatic montage resembling a fugal form. A kind of music of the human voice which combines ideas and emotions, interpretation and imagination.
"The Quiet in the Land" is a Portrait of the Mennonite community at Red River, Manitoba in northern Canada. A religious group long separated from the mainstream, and how they are coping with the increasing strains and pressures that the Twentieth Century has placed on their community. It is constructed out of nine interviews, tapes of a church service, rehearsals by the Mennonite Children's Choir, and other sound effects and music.
This complex and thorough portrait touches directly issues, challenges, and conflicts, which are timeless, mainly the search for an effective, but perpetually delicate balance among opposing trends, influences, principles, and goals. It looks into themes such as separateness; materialism; fashion; complexity of life; faith; reluctance to question one's own culture; appearance; moderation; technology; theology; philosophy; humanism; isolation; conflicts; challenges; splits; unity; peace position; social concerns; politics and the arts.
This rich and dynamic sound scope is carefully layered in juxtaposition against Gould masterful recording of the Goldberg Variations from 1981, a few months before his death. The Aria (both the one opening the cycle and the one closing it), as well as some of the variations, are weaved into the dramatic textual environment, counter-pointing, enlightening and referencing it. It is an examination of the delicate and charged territory, which lies between the auditory and the visual, the sonic and the kinetic, the verbal and the sensory.
GOLD uses choreography as a method of organizing and articulating thought through the exploration of the complex and dynamic webs of human relations. It looks at people, observes their conduct and behavior, attempting to unveil their motives and the forces which rule them.
Emanuel Gat is as much a painter as an art director and a choreographer, all in one. He underlines that which may go unnoticed, a hand, a foot, a leap. In a subtle way, without mannerism. What evolves progressively to variations in harmony with Goldberg's variations from Bach, performed by Glenn Gould is refined. Gat's actions are never aimless. In plain underwear, the dancers seize the stage and transform it. They become icons. The whole scene is transcended, without a doubt, aided by the voice and the notes so delicately weaved by Gould. (…) The dance is deliberately performed standing and we are delighted by the adagios of duets and by the great passion that sweeps the entire quorum of their feet. Nothing religious about it, but undoubtedly, Emanuel Gat has a very close bond to what is Sacred.
- Libération, Marie-Christine Vernay
"The Goldlandbergs" features dancers evolving in a rectangle of light, without costumes or scenery. Gat portrays far more than their relationships, an exercise that is common enough in choreography. He shows the way in which their interaction, here or on stage, modifies and makes the space between beings vibrate. The play is written on the edge of the seat, on a shiver, with exquisite delicacy. Precise and perfectly performed. Emanuel Gat masters his very personal art of choreography like a science whose boundaries he keeps pushing further and further beyond to translate ever-subtler meditations.
- Le Figaro, Ariane Bavelier
Everything is round, fluid, floating. The freedom of constructing combinations in real time on predetermined rules that once let to some kind of ongoing electrified circle on stage, visibly give way to the quest of harmony. Instants of stillness let in a beam of eternity. « The Goldlandbergs » in fact are inner landscapes.
- Tanz, Thomas Hahn
Gat’s choreography found a subtle way to form a dialogue between the visual composition of the movement and the complex soundtrack. He did it with great sensitivity. Like a refined haute couture, it carries great sincerity and cohesion of elements. Gat was never concerned with show-off effects, but followed inner impulses and intensities, never loosing the human proportions of stage interactions.
- Jerusalem Post, Ora Brafman
Choreography for five dancers.
Choregraphy, lights and costumes : Emanuel Gat
Music: J.S.Bach, Goldberg variations. Piano, Glenn Gould.
Additional soundtrack: "The Quiet in The Land", prepared and written by Glenn Gould
Lights design: Emanuel Gat in collaboration with Guillaume Février
Sound design: Emanuel Gat in collaboration with Frédéric Duru
Production Emanuel Gat Dance
Coproductions 2013: Festival Montpellier Danse 2013, Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, deSingel- International Art Campus, Anvers, Lincoln Center Festival 2014, New York, CCN Roubaix Nord-Pas de Calais Carolyn Carlson.
With the support of SAN Ouest-Provence, Conseil Général des Bouches du Rhône and Fondation BNP Paribas.
Production 2015: Emanuel Gat Dance
GOLD is the version 2015 of "The Goldlandbergs" premiered in 2013 for Festival Montpellier Danse.