b-boy, Bachfest Leipzig, Berlin, breakdancers, breaking, Christoph Hagel, dance, Eurovision Song Contest, Flying Bach, Flying Steps, hip-hop, piano, The Well-Tempered Clavier, trafo/Kraftwerk, Yui Kawaguchi
All tickets to the December performances of Flying Bach were sold out within minutes after going on sale in October.
Returning home after the first half of a European tour, the b-boy crew Flying Steps, holders of Battle of the Year and Red Bull Beat Battle trophies, are busting their moves to the first six pairs of preludes and fugues from Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier (BWV 846-851) and Toccata and Fugue in D minor (BWV 565) at trafo/Kraftwerk, a decommissioned power plant in the Mitte section of Berlin.
Noting that breaking need not be restricted to hip-hop music as long as basic musical conditions, including tempo and rhythmic patterns, are met, Christoph Hagel, the group’s artistic director and pianist, said, “We chose Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier over the works of other classical composers for three reasons. First, the freshness of the music, which corresponds to the freshness of breakdancing. Second, the ability of breakdancers to dance short note-values, little motifs and clear structures. Third, the ability to give every dancer one voice of a fugue and to make the structure of a fugue visible.”
Hagel says there was no need to fundamentally alter the music to suit the urban dance form. “For the most part, we play Bach’s music on piano and harpsichord. Only a small portion of the music was transformed into electronic beats, mostly without changing the notes.” He stressed, though, that it was critical to add Yui Kawaguchi in the mix. “It was very important for us to include a contemporary dancer, in order to show the contrast between urban and contemporary dance.”