Tetractys - The Art of Fugue

Tetractys - The Art of Fugue
2014

Company
The Royal Ballet

Duration
40 minutes

Choreography
Wayne McGregor

Music
Johann Sebastian Bach 'The Art of Fugue'

Musical Arrangement
Michael Berkeley

Set and Costume Design
Tauba Auerbach

Lighting Design
Lucy Carter

Originally danced by
Federico Bonelli, Lauren Cuthbertson, Nicol Edmonds, Paul Kay, Sarah Lamb, Steven McRae, Marianela Núñez, Natalia Osipova, Thiago Soares, Eric Underwood and Edward Watson

Premiere date and venue
7 February 2014, Royal Opera House, London, UK

'WAYNE McGREGOR IS ONE OF THE MOST INTELLECTUALLY CURIOUS OF DANCE-MAKERS'

- Judith Mackrell, The Guardian

'STANDS OUT FOR THE INTENSITY OF THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN MUSIC AND DANCE'

- Giannandrea Poesio, The Spectator

Set to orchestrated extracts of J.S. Bach's enigmatic final musical work, TetractysThe Art of Fugue brought together an 18th-century work of great invention and Wayne McGregor's pioneering 21st-century choreography.

American visual artist Tauba Auerbach collaborated with McGregor for Tetractys - The Art of Fugue, creating set and costume designs. Auerbach is best known for her paintings but also works in a variety of media, including sculpture and weaving; her work is particularly striking for the way it addresses principles of mathematics, physics, language and logic. Together, she and McGregor selected J.S. Bach's The Art of Fugue, which was arranged for the ballet by Michael Berkeley.

Tetractys - The Art of Fugue fuses art forms that explore complex structural patterns: Auerbach's neon geometric designs that hang above the stage, a counterpoint to the vibrant coloured leotards worn by the dancers; McGregor's choreography for 12 dancers, riven through with transforming patterns; and Bach's masterpiece of musical invention. For McGregor, the numerology and structure of Bach's music is a spur to consider the human condition: 'When you listen to The Art of Fugue you can listen just in terms of its incredible beauty. You might not recognize all its inversions, or its subjects and its tonal shifts; you just get carried away with this incredible feeling.'

Commissioned by The Royal Ballet.
Supported by outset., in partnership with The Luxury Collection with generous philanthropic support from David Hancock, Linda and Philip Harley and two anonymous donors.


Images: © Johann Persson/ROH, 2014.

Wayne McGregor rehearses Tetractys - The Art of Fugue with dancers from The Royal Ballet, 2014. Courtesy of the Royal Opera House.