Goldberg Variations
Goldberg Variations

Goldberg Variations

Self-produced by the artist. Coproduction: Tanzquartier Wien. With the support of Slovene Ministry for Culture 

In 2007 Jurij Konjar started looking at Walter Verdin’s video work, ‘Goldberg Variations’, based on the 1986 Steve Paxton’s performance “The Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach, played by Glen Gould, improvised by Steve Paxton”. In 2009, through a chain of events and choices he began practicing regularly; dancing the whole piece every day of the following year.

The Goldberg has become like a friend I look forward to spending time with every day. While improvising I’ve tested the questions that appeared and answered them with more observation of the video, giving myself the freedom to fill in the gaps with imagination and my own findings; first pretending I was understanding how Steve’s dancer-mind works; then understanding and accepting, that it was my own.” – shares the artists about how the process unfolded.

Jurij Konjar is a dancer, improviser, performer, choreographer, researcher, writer, curator and organizer, working in the field of dance. He studied at PARTS in Brussels, then started dancing with Les Ballets C de la B. He worked with/for Maja Delak, Janez Janša, Boris Charmatz. In 2007 he suffered a head injury that shifted his focus towards the potential of the present moment. In 2009, an in-depth observation of Steve Paxton’s Goldberg Variations video triggered what became an ongoing improvisation practice and provided a basis for a rich ongoing dialogue. Some of his still touring performances are Goldberg Variations (2010, after Steve Paxton) and collective works Monday at eight (2017) and the Ventilator  series (2020). In 2011 a selection of his writings and exchanges with Steve Paxton was published as The Goldberg Observations (Contact Quarterly, 2011). Collaborating with Steve Paxton (2010-2016), he has performed Paxton’s work Bound (1982), Flat (1964) and Quicksand (2016). In 2014 he has launched Habitat, a nomadic working space for process oriented practices (touring at present). He co-organised Contact Improvisation as a Research Paradigm (CIRP, Paris 2018) and International Summer School of research in improvisation (ISS Nice, 2019), curated Out Of The Toolbox festival (Ghent 2019) and is part of Dance Out Of Line mixed ability EU education project (2018-2020).

The performance is part of the artistic program of Choreographic Convention V “Movement Research”, part of the “Choreographic Convention” Programme of the project “Life Long Burning – Towards a Sustainable Ecosystem of Contemporary Dance in Europe”.