Gerhard Bohner / Im (Goldenen) Schnitt I (1989)
In 1996, the dancer and choreographer Cesc Gelabert reconstructed the solo Im (Goldenen) Schnitt I by Gerhard Bohner (1936-1992), having studied the videos of Cosima Santoro. This work, inspired by the music of The Well-tempered Clavichord by Johann Sebastian Bach, was performed for the first time by the Berlin choreographer himself in 1989 at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.
Based on the original concept, Gelabert presents pieces and elements selected by Bohner from three different artistic disciplines – dance, visual arts and music – all of which are interrelated in their simultaneous execution, while they remain autonomous works of art.
In Im (Goldenen) Schnitt I, the dancer moves in a space designed by the sculptor Vera Röhm, formed by constellations of wood and mobile pillars of Plexiglas.
Gelabert and Bohner became acquainted and they developed a mutual respect for each other on both an artistic and a personal level.
In spite of adhering strictly to the essence of Bohner’s choreography, Cesc Gelabert maintains his artistic individuality as a dancer, in such a way that one is never given the impression that he is trying to imitate the German choreographer.
“Working on the solo “Im (Goldenen) Schnitt I” I am struck by its wisdom. In the apparent simplicity of its forms lies a deep understanding of movement. The tension between the geometrical possibilities of the body, and the human nature, are marvellously resolved. It is pure dance sustaining a human discourse.
The section “Kopf”, for instance, is analytical and structural, like a dissection of the movements of the skull, evoking in me -while dancing it – great precision, the act of thinking.
The section “Brust”, is absolutely emotional, like the pulsing of the heart, and the breathing of the lungs – having not more than six different forms.
The section “Arm” is one of the few happy moments; it is like a game, a swing in the air. The movements are full of content, but formally detached, always human and pure; a “speech” about the human condition.
The piece could be divided into two parts. In the first one, I basically feel concerned with geometry and with the basic description of space and line. The diagonal, the angle, the curve, the square, and so forth. It is a sensation of speeding through space. Suddenly, in the second part, I am holding a walking stick, and find myself standing inside a small circle upstage, being strangely aware of my conscience, and from there onwards I begin on my journey through the different parts of my body and once again into myself. A meditation, a recollection of my history, with lots of outburst of the visions of Gerhard happening simultaneously.
The understanding of the music has been essential during the rehearsals, as the movements are musically constructed and naturally placed.
When I saw the video for the first time, it seemed to me as though Gerhard was improvising freely, because of the seemingly fluid and subtle structure, and once I began the rehearsals and studied it in detail, inevitably every movement was revealed to be closely related to the music.
For the moment I find the piece sad, very sad, very moving – at least at the moment of writing these notes – and I don’t know how we will grow together in time.”