The Chair Dance: chamber version

Sound and dance performance, 4. November 2021, Villa Medici, Rome.

The Chair Dance derives from a research upon a dance by forgotten German choreographer Elsa Enkel. 

The Chair dance was created by Elsa Enkel –  a German dancer, and a performer in the Viennese operetta scene of the early 20th century. In 1913 she travelled to Greece with an operetta troupe, and decided to continue her life in Athens. In the very same year of her arrival, she created a choreography which was performed as part of a satirical revue theatre piece, which was commenting on the first balkan war that was happening at the time.

A very little documentation can be found upon the practice of Enkle. As part of a research at the Literary Archive in Athens, dance historian Anna Leon found a musical score  and lyrics in Greek that accompanied Enkel choreography “The dance of the Chairs”. As a result of a research we discovered that the musical score was appropriated from an operetta by Franz Lehar, that the lyrics in Greek a tells the perspective of the women of Athes ironically waiting feo the soldiers to return from war.

Following this research composer Marta Gentilucci created a sonic reconstruction to the chair dance, while reconstructing 

The chair dance, performed at the Kotopooly theatre in Athens in parallel Netta Weiser in collaboration with Mira Hirtz developed a somatic practice, aiming to let the chair dance to re-appear through the meeting point between a body, a chair, and the melody.

The Chair Dance radio composition was first broadcasted on july 2021, in November 2021 it was performed as part of a white night events at Villa Medici in Rome. In September 2022 it was adapted into an 8 channel version including live dance as part of the hereafter performance. In march 2023 it will be unfolded into a workshop for composers and performed at the Cambridge University UK.

The piece was created with the kind support of the Studio for Electroacoustic Music of the Akademie der Künste.

Dance and initiation: Netta Weiser
Composition: Marta Gentilucci
Historical input: Anna Leon
Soprano: Tehila Nini Goldstein
Pianist: Michaela Catranis
Somatic research in collaboration with Mira Hirtz

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