BACH e-Motion

Concept: Xavier Díaz-Latorre and Tanja Skok

Baroque lute and original transcription: Xavier Diaz- Latorre

Dance, movement and choreography: Tanja Skok


in short

Bach/e-Motion is a solo concert and a solo dance performance joined together.

Xavier Díaz-Latorre is playing baroque lute presenting works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Jean-Féry Rebel. Tanja Skok is dancing to this music using both movement languages of the 18th century dance vocabulary and her own contemporary dance expression.

The evening is composed of three parts:

Reconstruction presenting the music and dance in the tight relation following the French 18th century repertory with Les caracteres de la danse by Jean-Féry Rebel,

Deconstruction the suite for solo lute in G minor, BWV 995 by J.S.Bach confronted with the fusion of baroque dance vocabulary and personal movement expression,

Creation dance in dialogue with the Chaconne from the second Partita for solo violin in D minor, BWV 1004 by J.S. Bach.

The concept of the performance questions many issues about the use of music for dance. In the baroque time the two vocabularies were connected under strictly codified rules, but today all the borders and limitations have fallen and we are in a quest of finding new relations between these two worlds, that have always had in common one thing: they evoked emotional response.

This concert/performance is a meeting place where music and movement follow their own individual lines, but together they create a unique field of communication between each other.


More detailed description


RECONSTRUCTION                                                                     (ca 9 min)

Jean-Féry Rebel (1666-1747): Les caractères de la danse (1715)

The ballet with the same title danced to the music of J.F. Rebel was first presented in 1715 by Françoise Prévost (1680-1741) and later by her most famous and noted sucessors Marie Sallé (1707–1756) and Marie Anne de Cupis de Camargo (1710-1770).

The music is bringning together all the musical forms that were popular for dance at the time, thus making the special emphasis on their character.

The choreography itself is not preserved but a charming presentation of this ballet performed by F.Prévost has inspired an unknown poet to compose a series of verses describing the dance in detail and publish it in the periodical Mercure Galante in 1721.

Tanja Skok is reconstructing the ballet following the images given in the poem through her own choreography but following strictly the rules and the codes of the 18th century dance vocabulary.

Xavier Díaz-Latorre has made his own transcription of the music notation to the solo lute.

DECONSTRUCTION                                                                   (ca 25 min)

J. S. Bach (1685 – 1750)

Pièces pour la Luth à Monsieur Schouster BWV 995

Prelude – Allemande – Courante – Sarabande - Gavotte I&II - Gigue

The Pièces pour la Luth à Monsieur Schouster BWV 995 is the trasncription of the 5th cello Suite, that Bach himself transcribed for the Lute.

This Suite consists of six movements. All of them, but the Prelude are leaning on the structures generally used for music intended for dance. In this case however, the music is elaborated further.

While Xavier Díaz-Latorre presents the suite in its entire version, Tanja Skok begins with the slow process of analyzing and deconstructing the movement language from the previously presented danse a la française, searching for the essence of character and structure of each movement.

The movement is slowly expanded and replaced with her own, until only the essence of each movement is extracted in its purest form. The French baroque dance is slowly stripped of its external shape. What remains, as the result is dancers expression of her personal understanding of each musical proposition in the use of space, the physical form and the movement dynamics. 


(ca 13 min)

J. S. Bach (1685 – 1750)

Ciaccona, after the second Partita for Violin in D min, BWV 1004

The third and concluding part of the programme brings the confrontation and most direct communication between the movement and music. After setting the boundaries of the precise dance and music code of the 18th century performing practise in the first part and then breaking it down into its very essence in the second part, here the space opens for a direct dialogue and exchange between the musician, dancer and the musical composition itself.

Ciaccona is still one of those compositions that we feel as very enigmatic today. It is powerful, contradictory, dramatic and highly emotional. Its complexity does not depend only on the sole interpretation of the musician, but it is a result of the virtuosic structure and is usually keeping the spectator on tips of their toes from its beginning to the end.

Initially composed for a solo violin, there have been many transcriptions for other instruments. Xavier Díaz-Latorre is here presenting his own transcription from the original score, according to the historical performing practice.

The three parts of the program together create a meeting point between the music and dance, history and present and the individual expressions of both the dancer and the musician.

Both performers are communicating with each other and the audience through the pure structure of their compositions.

While Xavier Díaz-Latorre presents the music with the virtuosic interpretation, Tanja Skok reveals the line of dance starting way back in the history and ending up in the present time, without ever loosing the tight connection between the movement and music.

Together they prove that the world of baroque music and dance still carry the passion, the power of strong emotional expression and opens space to new artistic creation.

Xavier Díaz-Latorre

(Barcelona 1968) has become one of major figures in the interpretation of early music within the international concert scene.

He has done many recordings, of which we can specially mention the 3 CD 's box of the complete works by Francisco Guerau (Passacaille, 2013), Sones de Palacio y Danças de rasgueado (Cantus-records, 2013) dedicated to the work of Gaspar Sanz and recorded together with the percussionist Pedro Estevan and the Lion Guitar recording project, commissioned by the Museu de la Música de Barcelona and was recorded with the museum's guitar collection (Cantus-records, 2014). Xavier Diaz-Latorre has made numerous recordings with renowned international groups like Hesperion XXI or la Capella Reial de Catalunya, where he is a member since 1997.

Xavier Diaz-Latorre has been invited to give master classes at the most important institutions for early music world, such as the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, USC in California or the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He is professor of early plucked instruments at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona( ESMUC).


 Tanja Skok

is a contemporary dance artist, choreographer, dance pedagogue and additionally specialised in historical dance. Formally trained at the London Contemporary Dance School in Great Britain, she is active internationally. Her solo artistic work includes collaboration with painters, musicians, actors, visual artists and film directors.

She danced in various productions related to historical dance such as opera Amadis de Gaulle by Johann Christian Bach in production of Opera Comique in Paris and the Royal Opera of Versailles. She is regulary involved in various projects of Early Music and Dance Ensemble Capella Carniola.

As a choreographer she created several full-length pieces where she was exploring the historical dance vocabulary and tradition: Bassa continua (PTL Ljubljana, 2005), Barok (PTL Ljubljana 2007), Patricia’s Lace (Montenegro, 2007), Dance Macabre (Switzerland, 2012).

As a dance pedagogue she has been active all over Slovenia and abroad, both in the fields of contemporary dance and historical dance forms. She is regularly invited to teach at the International Summer Academy For Early Music and Dance Musica Locopolitana in Škofja Loka, Slovenija.

She is Rehearsal Director for the contemporary dance ensemble EnKnapGroup in Lubljana.


Xavier Díaz-Latorre

Tanja Skok

Tanja Skok


Xavier Díaz-Latorre