A Simple Piece

By In Dance, Films 28 min

Perpetually moving amidst the dancers on meticulously mapped out paths, a filmmaker focuses sometimes on solos, sometimes on group structures. As if out of nowhere, double the number of dancers filling the stage only to disappear at the next shot, moving with the greatest of ease between illusion and reality.

In an electrifying 30-minute choreography for sixteen dancers, am Rhein's new ballet director created A simple piece to the highly inventive vocal composition ‘Partita for 8 voices' by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. Shot by filmmaker Ralph Goertz in a single take, the camera – and the viewer – magically become part of the ensemble on stage.

During several days of rehearsals, the director and chief choreographer of the Ballett am Rhein Demis Volpi and the filmmaker Ralph Goertz joined forces with ballet master Brent Parolin and sixteen dancers of the Ballett am Rhein to develop an independent version of A simple piece. In it, the filmmaker moves permanently between the dancers along meticulously worked-out paths, sometimes focusing on solos, sometimes on group structures. With his camera, he magically penetrates the stage space subtly lit by Volker Weinhart and makes the deserted auditorium of the Düsseldorf Opera House aesthetically tangible.

As a special dramaturgical feature, A simple piece is shot with only one camera as a so-called one take. This means that the audience experiences the choreography through the lens of the camera in one go, without cuts or interruptions. This creates an intense film experience that suggests being live on stage.