In the piece Fugue in Two Colors Knif returns to explore the expressive power of movement. The piece itself is a study of the ancient relationship between music and dance. In the piece the strict musical form of Dmitri Šos­ta­ko­vitš’s preludes and fugues is juxtaposed with the rambling movement of the dancers.

The piece is based on choreographic scores created with Knif`s methods of improvisation. It is performed by a cast of seven consisting of dancers from both Helsinki Dance Company and Carl Knif Company. The piece focuses on the dancer as a perceiving and sensing being. The relationship between the prelude and  fugue, two entities, related but yet different, is a basic characteristic of the choreography. On the other hand the audiovisuality of the piece deliberately breaks the form of the music, a form that Šos­ta­ko­vitš has borrowed from Bach, therefore creating a third generation adaptation of the traditional form.

Fugue in Two Colors is a study of the enigmatic nature of the concept of performance and performing. The different sections of the venue (the house, the set and the side of the stage) are all spaces of the piece, at the same time they are places shaped by the conventions and traditions of the performing arts. The spaces themselves depict our role in interacting with the performance at hand. Can the performance itself deal with these roles and can dance express our experiences of the different spaces. What do we wish from a performance? What do we need it for? What we experience in Fugue in Two Colors, is a performance within a performance and the relationship between these two entities. We trace the journey of the work out of its own context towards the viewer. Does a piece really matter? Can it change something in reality?

Carl Knif tells more about the piece here

Cho­reog­rap­hy: Carl Knif
Dan­ce: Jon­na Aal­to­nen, Jyrki Kasper, Pek­ka Lou­hio, Heidi Naakka, Mikko Paloniemi, Anna Stenberg/Terhi Vaimala, Ee­ro Ves­te­ri­nen
Set and light de­sign: William Iles
Sound de­sign: Jan­ne Hast
Cos­tu­me de­sign: Ka­ro­lii­na Koi­so-Kant­ti­la
Photos: Yoshi Omori
Image processing: Marko Mäkinen
Co-pro­duc­tion: Carl Knif Com­pa­ny & Helsinki City Theatre

Pre­mie­re: 12.10.2020 at studio Pasila
Du­ra­tion: 60 min

“A seven-member dance group assembled of Carl Knif’s own dancers and dancers from the Helsinki City Theater is doing a really good job. The short solos and duettos as well as the various strange encounters are the highlights of the evening. Chilling black, shadowy characters also appear to control the situations seen on stage.”
Juk­ka O. Miet­ti­nen, HS 13.10.2020

“The co-production by Carl Knif Company and Helsinki Dance Company is internally flawless and completely controlled in terms of its atmosphere, movement and structure. Enigmatic but logical in its own world Fugue in Two Colors is a rare combination of extreme coolness and total wildness. It constantly surprises the viewer, but when it’s over, nothing could have been in any other way. ”
Henna Raatikainen, 1.11.2020

“Carl Knif was, in part, inspired by the strict musical structure of Shostakovich’s Preludes And Fugues, seeking to juxtapose them with something more random. The two forms work well together, and in amongst the many moments of curious surreality, there is also tenderness and beauty to be found.”
Kelly Apter, 25.8.2021

See also