Global Humanities Senior Research and Teaching Stay at l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
Body – Sound - Spaces. Movement Reflections of Musical Memory Cultures exemplified by Compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach
Based on the indisputable fact, which is still to be critically discussed, that J.S. Bach’s music has an exceptional standing in our cultural self-concept, my new project aims at examining the following paradox: Since the beginning of the 20th century many (in the broadest sense) theatricalizations of these compositions have been undertaken, although the latter were originally not meant for the stage. The central question will be what new horizons were revealed by the remarkably diverse and at the same time extremely controversial stage productions and what aesthetic strategies correspond with them. This phenomenon is described by the term ‘movement-reflective body-sound-spaces’, which critically examine Bach’s compositions and their mythification that occurred in the course of their widespread reception.
It is to be expected that the scenic transfer- and transformation processes not only provide these compositions with new semantic connotations but in particular also with new dimensions of the aesthetics of perception. Thus the analyses also ought to increasingly include multi-modal aspects. Of central importance in this context is the question of how listening to (musical) movements influences the watching of (bodily) movements (and vice versa). In this context, it seems that a specific kinaesthetic listening is particularly responsible for the creation of music-choreographic emergence effects. Those effects can be described as movements ‘between’ listening and watching, which generate from the auditory and visual movement experiences new audio-visual-kinaesthetic perception sensations, which again are more than, or rather different from the sum of all the single auditory and/or visual impressions.
Stephanie Schroedter examines the interface between music/sound/noise and choreography/movement in different historical and cultural frameworks. Her post-doctoral project, subsidized by the German Research Society (DFG), analysed interactions between urban music/dance cultures and opera-/ballet-productions in Paris during the July Monarchy and the Second Empire (Paris qui danse. Movement and Sound Spaces in a Modern City). Her PhD project pursued the change of dance/music theories and practices between the late 17th and the middle of the 18th century by comparing French, German and English treatises. She was research fellow at the Department for Music Theatre Research at the University of Bayreuth and staff member of a research project on Parisian music theatre in the 19th century, subsidized by the Swiss National Foundation (SNF). In 2015 she finished her post-doctoral qualification (‘habilitation’) at the FUB with a ‘venia legendi’ in dance studies and musicology. She is currently visiting professor at the Department for Theatre/Dance Studies at Freie Universitaet Berlin.