SH: Marian, do you think it's okay for your violin concerto "Affairs of the Heart" to be used for a ballet?

MM: Oh yes, I have absolutely no problem with that. I've always loved ballet, especially modern dance. I lived in Toronto for a long time as a student and saw a lot of dance performances. And now I feel privileged that choreographers are interested in my music. “Affairs of the Heart” has already been used for several productions.

SH: Did you like the results?

MM: You know what? Sometimes good music can help carry bad ballets. But you can also say the opposite. If the music is bad, you'd better have very good dancers.

SH: David, what kind of space do the choreographic sequences take place in? The air that surrounds the dancers' bodies and in which the choreography unfolds seems to me to be an important element that you work with very consciously.

DD: When I think about the work in the ballet studio, I see many spirals and vortices. Even if some are perhaps invisible, they are there for me. This space you call "air" is something I always try to take into account while creating. For me, it's always the negative space that we see on stage that forms the basis for the whole choreography, which is what makes it visible in the first place.

SH: David, you mentioned the aspect of passion during the development of the piece and your surprise that the choreography has become more virtuoso. How do you integrate the unpredictable into your artistic work?

DD: I can't really put my finger on it. I start, I look, I listen, I change and develop what I see, and that's how things start to 'become'. Incidentally, leaving out or removing ideas is just as important as realising ideas. This is a process that never really ends. I always come to the studio as well prepared as possible, with my plans in mind, which then materialise as the work progresses. After the rehearsal, I think about many things and try to find the answer to some of the questions that have arisen in the process. I always endeavour to find solutions to the problems I encounter. The creative is an energy that is constantly at work.

SH: Marian, David Dawson talked a lot about the different colours and emotional states during the rehearsal process. How do you experience the development of a new project?

MM: You know, everyone has to find their own way. Sometimes musicians ask me: "But what exactly do you mean by this part?", to which I always reply: "I assume you know what you have to do. You just play what you have to play. Imagine I was dead." Many people are used to playing the music of dead composers. A living composer makes them nervous.









Excerpts from the interviews with David Dawson (choreographer) and Marjan Mozetich (composer) on the ballet "Affairs of the Heart" in the programme booklet for the triple bill "Passages"

World Premiere at the Bayerisches Staatsballett in the Nationaltheater Munich on 26 March 2022

Photos: © Bayerisches Staatsballett / Sigrid Reinichs

Text: © Bayerisches Staatsballett / Serge Honegger