“The City in the Piano” is a duo series conceived as a processual encounter between the Berlin dancer and choreographer Yui Kawaguchi and the jazz pianist and composer Aki Takase. Their collaboration is inspired by the shared experience of Japanese roots and the assimilation and appropriation of a new culture in a big German city. With “The City in the Piano”, however, the internationally renowned artists lift the theme out of the concrete example and place it in a creative, utopian dialogue. Expressive variations on the relationships between urbanity, sound and movement are created. Diversely influenced by Asian as well as European, classical as well as contemporary forms of expression, both of them demand the flexibility of the languages of dance and music and push them into unexpected dimensions.
Inspired by Takase’s collaboration with Alexander Schlippenbach on 20 musical city collages, the first duo with composer/pianist and choreographer/dancer was created in 2008: “The City in the Piano I – Canon”. Continuing with “Forte” in the same year, then “Tarantella” in 2009, “Chaconne” in 2011 and “Cadenza” in 2013, the sixth episode of “The City in the Piano – Accento”, will have its world premiere on 16 December 2022 in the Kuppelhalle of the silent green Kulturquartier. Each episode of the series is thus based on its own musical form.
In music, “Accento” means “to set an accent” and thus refers to the focus of the new episode. If accents change, e.g. due to radical events, people experience a change in the usual verbal and non-verbal dialogue and in the rhythm of encounters in public spaces. Adaptation is required, learning new things, planning and improvising to manage in everyday life.
In “The City in the Piano VI – Accento”, the pianist and the dancer, each with their own forms of expression, take up various elements as “accents” that make urban life more dynamic or more uncomfortable. They leap over boundaries and unfold an impulsive, humorous and at the same time poetic dialogue.