Andersson Dance & Scottish Ensemble / Goldberg Variations – Ternary patterns for insomnia (2015)


Goldberg Variations – ternary patterns for insomnia: The film



11 musicians. 5 dancers. One new interpretation of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg variations

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Goldberg Variations was originally composed for klavier by Bach in 1742 – the work tonight is based on Sitkovetsky’s world-famous transcription for strings. When it was first published, Bach wrote: Keyboard exercise, consisting of an ARIA with diverse variations for harpsichord with two manuals. Composed for connoisseurs, for the refreshment of their spirits, by Johann Sebastian Bach, composer for the royal court of Poland and the Electoral court of Saxony, Kapellmeister and Director of Choral Music in Leipzig. Nuremberg, Balthasar Schmid, publisher.

We’ve playfully continued to vary these 30 variations on the bass line, and through “readymades” taken the work to a location for new listening, at the same time opening the door to the sublime magic of Bach’s music.

“a revelation on several levels… Please, everyone, play it again. Soon.” The Herald

“the string arrangement, based on Dmitry Sitkovetsky’s trio version of 1985, has a sonority and texture to which the choreography provides astute, visual commentary” The Guardian

“The result is a musical feast… Magnificent music, the variety in the choreography and gentle humour, decidedly interesting dancers” Peter Bohlin,

“an undeniably engaging performance with many moments of genuine alchemy” Fjord Review

“…pushed way past conventional boundaries… after this cross-arts collaboration, in a welcome dynamic and exciting approach, we are promised further innovations in the future.” Bachtrack

“…it’s as if an irresistible burst of energy is making its way through the group of five dancers and eleven musicians…Örjan Andersson and the Scottish Ensemble create an open listening space where playful meets introspective and where relaxation feeds into intense concentration, sometimes insanely self-obsessed, sometimes lyrical…the ending is sublime…encapsulating the essentials of human relations, our ability to listen. Goldberg Variations is a generous dance concert that brings the human spirit to life.” Svenska Dagbladet

“I find myself having to sit with one of those happy smiles through the show and I realise that it is precisely this type of visual setting that people like me, a dance geek, usually miss when I go to classical concerts. Örjan Andersson manages to blend the best of both worlds – this is like an animated Bach Concerto.” Sveriges Radio

Choreography: Örjan Andersson

Musical direction: Jonathan Morton

Music: J.S. Bach – Goldberg Variations (arr. Sitkovetsky)*

Musicians Scottish Ensemble:

Violin 1: Jonathan Morton (trio), Cheryl Crockett, Daniel Pioro
Violin 2: Rakhvinder Singh, Joanne Green, Laura Ghiro
Viola: Jane Atkins (trio), Andrew Berridge
Cello: Alison Lawrance (trio), Naomi Pavri
Double bass: Diane Clark

Dancers Andersson Dance: Jozsef Forro, Eve Ganneau, Paul Pui Wo Lee, Csongor Szabo, Danielle de Vries

Set and light design: SUTODA
Video design: Sam Salem
Costume design: Bente Rolandsdotter
Choreographers assistent: Ina Sletsjøe

*By permission of © Edition Wilhelm Hansen AS, Copenhagen / G Schimer Inc.


Goldberg Variations – ternary patterns for insomnia is a new collaboration between Glasgow-based string orchestra Scottish Ensemble and Stockholm-based contemporary dance company Andersson Dance.

 The performance features 11 musicians and 5 dancers choreographed together as one to create a new, 21st-century interpretation of J.S.Bach’s GoldbergVariations.

 Örjan Andersson’s choreography brings dancers and musicians together on stage in a playful, engaging and contemporary take on this classical masterpiece. Jonathan Morton’s musical direction builds on Scottish Ensemble’s reputation for vibrant and energetic performances together with an ambitious and highly flexible approach to collaboration.

 Goldberg Variations – ternary patterns for insomnia premièred 17 september 2015 at Dansens Hus, Stockholm,  to great critical acclaim. The piece has since toured in the UK and returns to Sweden for a 7-city tour jan – feb 2016.


Scottish Ensemble is a string orchestra built around a core group of performers who are led from the violin by Artistic Director Jonathan Morton. Their programming approach spans music from the Baroque period to contemporary work, and they perform in venues as diverse as Europe’s leading concert halls to derelict urban spaces. Scottish Ensemble is based in Glasgow, UK.


Andersson Dance, based in Stockholm Sweden, is led by choreographer Örjan Andersson. Since 1996 Örjan has created numerous works for various contexts, from the intimate to the larger format. An exploration of music has always been in focus, regardless if newly composed electronica, folk music or classical works. Andersson Dance continuously invites artists – dancers, composers, light designers, set designers, costume designers, video designer, et al –  for cooperations in various formats. Örjan Andersson also creates various commissions for other companies, theatres and opera houses.

Production Managers: Jenny Jamison / Scottish Ensemble & Anne Koutonen / Nordberg Movement

General Managers: Fraser Anderson / Scottish Ensemble & Magnus Nordberg / Nordberg Movement

Production: Andersson Dance, Scottish Ensemble & Nordberg Movement

Co-production:  Andersson Dance, Scottish Ensemble ,
Regionteatern Blekinge Kronoberg & Riksteatern

Technical services in co-operation with Lumination of Sweden/SUTODA

Made possible with generous support by The Swedidh Arts Council, the  City of Stockholm and Creative Scotland


Sweden / Magnus Nordberg / Nordberg Movement
+ 46 70 450 70 60 /

UK / Fraser Anderson / Scottish Ensemble
+ 44 79 1627 55 98 /