The label The Journey Productions, with artists living in Germany, specializes in bringing together live music and the art of dance in its mobile, full-length productions to tell stories that are rich in emotions, full of passionate intensity, lightness and sensitivity.
This describes the ensemble’s work and creative processes in which basic values such as integrity, truth and authenticity are to be respected, preserved and protected.
Therefore, the meaning of the word “journey” contained in the label’s name can be understood in several ways, for example very directly when it comes to traveling to different places with these creations. Performances that have already been performed and others that are planned will take the ensemble around the world. The premiere of the first production, a dance theater based on Franz Schubert’s cycle of songs »Die Winterreise«, took place in distant Marvão, Portugal, at the Festival International de Música. The first stop of the production in Germany was Leverkusen, from there it went to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, to Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi in Pakistan, and then back to Blaibach in Germany. That is why this »Winterreise« may also represent the core of this extraordinary group of artists. It is ultimately always about the journey to oneself, to the next, to the other, back to the creator of the music, in this case the songs of the lonely wanderer Franz Schubert, in order to then bring in the facets of personal life paths in the ingenious interplay of music, song and dance.
And it is a real stroke of luck who came together on these “journeys”:
Juliane Banse, the top-class soprano, is at home on opera stages and concert halls and now also devotes herself to the interplay of sound and movement, which is a highly individual concern for her, especially since she has a noticeable and unique talent as a dancer.
Alexander Krichel, in demand as a pianist on major concert stages or on those of chamber music, and present on CDs of well-known labels. Above all, he is not “only” an accompanist, but he gets involved, his playing forms an inner dialogue with the singer and the dancer, because that’s what they are, these journeys with one another, to oneself, to us, the audience.
István Simon is an internationally known and sought-after dancer. Again and again he proves his skills at brilliant gala performances and is a constant guest, for example, at the Slovenian National Ballet in Maribor under the direction of Edward Clug, one of the most sought-after choreographers at the moment. Simon is always looking for collaborations with other art forms and dance genres and can already look back on successful and personally grounded stations on these special journeys.
The expressive and excellent dancer Andreas Heise has meanwhile made a name for himself as a choreographer. Among other things, he created works for the Stuttgart Ballet and the Ballet Graz, where his new production of Franz Schubert’s »Schwanengesang« will soon be performed with a large cast. Regarding the premiere of his production »Die Winterreise« in Marvão, the review on beckmesser.com said that it was not just about the unique interpretation of the piece through singing, piano accompaniment and dance, but about a fusion of the arts that resulted in an unforgettable performance. The choreographer and his team have received the highest recognition for this physical, but above all highly sensitive connection between the figuratively existential stations of this journey. According to the reviewer Frank Weifen in the Leverkusener Anzeiger, there was something extraordinary to be discovered in Schubert’s cosmos when it came to the end of a love and the end of a life. It is about the last part on the path of earthly existence, marked by sadness, loneliness, disappointment, fatigue and increasing rigidity. Even brief, happy flashbacks and dreams make one aware of the transience which are caught up by the deep melancholy of this “winter wanderer“.
The world premiere of a new choreography by Andreas Heise »MOZART – SELIG NEBEN DIR«, partly created in Dresden and completed in rehearsals in Berlin, will take place on January 30th in the Stadttheater in Aschaffenburg.
After attending a rehearsal in Dresden with Juliane Banse, Alexander Krichel and István Simon, in which Andreas Heise was not only involved as a choreographer of this genre-spanning work of art, but also as a dancer, one can definitely say that this journey continues. According to Andreas Heise, it is once more about dealing with the topics of love, loss and letting go.
This time to a selection of Mozart songs and piano pieces, such as the great Sonata No. 12 in F major, KV 332: “Movement, voice and piano merge to form an overall expression and offer a gripping and highly emotional theater experience with Mozart’s music“.
Remarkable in the Dresden rehearsal is the selection of songs with repeated farewells, also sadness and experiences of loss. This is expressed in Juliane Banse’s wonderfully grounded voice, whose singing can transform into sensitive, dance-like postures and creates a spiritual connection to the pianist Alexander Krichel. Krichel captures the emotion of the movements and the singing in his playing, breathing with the singer and especially with the dancer. In the course of the rehearsal, István Simon increases into existential emotions of physical strength and is able to create moments of upheaval and outbursts as physical reactions to the incantations of Mozart’s songs, which sometimes sound like the inevitable transience. This, in turn, in that transience of the moment that is characteristic of dance, highly emotional, individual, but always committed to the technique of the dance just as the singer and the pianist are committed to theirs. Simon’s physical outbursts are reminiscent of the dawn of dance at the beginning of the last century. In this way, an arc is drawn, musically, dance-wise, and emotionally, always committed to the cosmic flashes of perception of unrepeatable moments, perhaps even from those guest performances of the Ballets Russes once in Dresden, now in a current process of dealing with current upheavals and outbursts of music, song, dance.
Now, blissfully, with Mozart next to us. But there is another figure, Andreas Heise in a striding, timeless gesture, as if he were leading a dance of death, as if this dance evening would now begin with a memento mori, where the sound journeys in Mozart’s great piano sonata lead to other horizons, more contemporary, past or forgotten perceptions to the spiritual foundations of this art.
No better title seems possible. That is the impression after the deeply emotional experience at the Dresden rehearsal and the absolute need to be alone afterwards. Alone yes, but not lonely: »MOZART – SELIG NEBEN DIR«.
Premiere, January 30, 6:00 p.m., Stadttheater Aschaffenburg.
»Die Winterreise«, next performance, February 25, 7:30 p.m., Wilhelma Theater, Stuttgart
(Via tanznetz.de, translated by Andreas Heise)