As a highly gifted musician, composer, singer and dancer, Julius Eastman was a multi-talent in music history. Despite his international success as an openly gay African American, he did not succeed in asserting himself in a white-dominated art scene. Focusing on the trend-setting influences of minimal music on contemporary dance, Christoph Winkler translates three pieces by Eastman into a choreography with four wings and over 20 performers.
Image above: Speaking Boldy – Photo: Jermain T. Raffington
Julius Eastman was one of the rare multi-talents in music history: as a musician, composer, singer and dancer, his talent quickly caused a sensation and he collaborated with such diverse artists as Morton Feldman, Pierre Boulez, Meredith Monk and Arthur Russel. Although his compositions were successfully performed in the USA and Europe, he was unable to assert himself as an openly gay Afro-American in the scene of a white-dominated art form. He died in 1990 at the age of 50, homeless, after a long period of drug abuse.
With him also a large part of his compositions was lost. Thanks to numerous reconstructions, his work has been rediscovered and celebrated internationally in recent years. With a special focus on the history of Minimal Music and contemporary dance, Christoph Winkler attempts to translate three pieces by Eastman – Gay Guerilla, The Holy Presence of Joan d’ Arc and Feminine – into a choreography that focuses on the rhythmic aspects and the programmatic of Eastman’s music. What inspiration could dance have drawn from Eastman’s work if it had become part of the musical canon?
December Thu, 6th, Fri, 7th, Sat, 8th, Sun, 9th, 2018, 8 pm
Lecture: Saturday, December 8th, 2018, 6:30 pm, lecture by Thomas F. DeFrantz; “Precarious Disidentifications: Julius Eastman and the Black American Avant-Garde”.
SOPHIENSAELE, in the Festsaal