Platform-K / Michiel Vandevelde / Philippe Thuriot
The Goldberg Variations

  • Dance

Demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, protests for climate protection or marches by extreme right-wing groups in the USA show societies in upheaval on the grand screen. Pictures of the famous Goldberg Variations solo by American dancer Steve Paxton stand in contrast to that. In 1986, to Bach’s music, he shaped postmodern dance by means of a different understanding of movement. Improvisations, everyday movements and spontaneity open up new avenues of expression.

How is art influenced by the socio-political context? How democratic, how accessible is dance today? Michiel Vandevelde’s collaboration with Platform-K, the Ghent centre for inclusive dance art, interweaves past and future, crises and creativity. Accompanied by Philippe Thuriot’s extraordinary accordion version of the famous variations, a staged trio combs through dance practices from the past decades and their connection to the present: Michiel Vandevelde, the choreographer responsible for this piece, dances, as do the outstanding Amanda Charmelo Barrio and Oskar Stalpaert, a virtuoso dancer with Down syndrome. Their version of The Goldberg Variations is a reflection on the state of dance today, about the state of democracy as well as about different forms of physicalness.

Michiel Vandevelde studied dance and choreography at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels. He works as a choreographer, curator, author, and editor, and is, among other things, member of the artistic team at performing arts magazine Etcetera. He was Artist in Residence at Brussels’ Kaaitheater from 2017 until 2021. He developed numerous projects both for public spaces as well as in art institutions.

Choreography: Michiel Vandevelde; Dance: Oskar Stalpaert, Michiel Vandevelde and Amanda Charmelo Barrio; Music: Philippe Thurion; Dramaturgy: Kristof van Baarle; Scenography: Michiel Vandevelde, supported by Tom Callemin; Costumes: Tutia Schaad; Costume assistance: Camil Krings; Tech: Maxim Van Meerhaeghe, Maarten Snoeck; Lighting advice: Tom Bruwier.

A production by Platform-K in coproduction with Vooruit and KAAP. With the support of Vlaamse Overheid, Nationale Loterij, Stad Gent, Konekt and de Koning Boudewijnstichting. Thanks to CAMPO and Kaaitheater.