Even if Kim Brandstrup’s theatre is permeated with images, the influence from cinema all pervasive, and his works seem propelled by narrative logic, he himself holds that music is the single most important influence on his creative work. He has always maintained that it is the synergy between music and movement that gives the pieces the sense of narrative drive.
"Music inhabits the mysterious no man’s land between mathematical construction and human emotion - nothing is so abstract in its means and yet so immediate in its effect. I think dance floats in the same sphere. Any choreographic choice you make has to seem to obey both logics. It has to be aware of the formal map the music sets up while looking dramatically inevitable from the point of view of the characters involved on stage. The great challenge, the fun and satisfaction you get creatively, is through navigating between the two - so you as a spectator are never really sure or even aware what drives the piece - whether it is the formal or the human, the conceptual or the narrative - whether all is planned or a product of chance." Kim Brandstrup.
Kim Brandstrup’s understanding of music has been integral to his work as a choreographer. At the beginning of his career Kim received commissions by the London Sinfonietta. An exploration of 20th century music followed, resulting in works set to scores from Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Gubaidulina, and Schnittke.
He has himself commissioned twenty scores, and worked in close collaboration with a number of contemporary composers, notably for his big full-length narrative pieces such as Amor & Psyche, Hamlet, and Queen of Spades.
Since 2001 he has revisited the 17th and 18th century with renewed fervour and curiosity, and has tackled some of the iconic scores of the classical cannon. These have included Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, and Bach’s Goldberg Variations.
Rambert Dance Company
Sadlers Wells Theatre, 3 November 2015
"Brandstrup romps away with full honours. His Transfigured Night is a haunting, emotionally piercing masterpiece, one of the finest that this outstanding choreographer has ever made, the reward of maturity".
Ismene Brown, The Spectator