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THE BIBER STUDIES

Presentation 30 May 2024 – ODEON Zwolle

Concept, Choreography: Samir Calixto | Dancers: Studies I – Camilla Montesi, Cristina Comiso, Erika Poletto, Samir Calixto and Thibault Desaules | Studies II – Dancers from CZD2 – Scenario Pubblico (IT) | Music; Excerpts from ‘Die Rosenkranzsonaten’ by H.I.F. Biber

The BIBER STUDIES are the first series of choreographic investigations on The Rosary Sonatas (Die Rosenkranzsonaten), also known as the Mystery Sonatas, an important work by Bohemian-Austrian composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber constituting a cycle of fifteen violin sonatas and a passacaglia for solo violin. These, together with rather elusive evidences as to how the sonatas should be performed, has called forth a huge volume of hypothetical explorations around its spiritual and mystical contents. Apart from any speculations, it is the fruit of Biber’s great curiosity to explore the secret knowledge linking us to the great beyond, yielding a work of great intricacy and depth. Showcasing the complexity of a sacred book, the Rosenkranzsonaten hide among their structure and form references to, for instance, the ‘Harmonice Mundi’ by Johannes Kepler – the result of a lifelong search which provided for the first time scientific proof of the planetary movements in our system, promoting a significant shift of paradigms in the beginning of the 17th century.


It is by sharing the same fascination by these ancient secrets that choreographer Samir Calixto will search for inspiration for his new piece, possibly to become his most intricate creation to date. Tracing a parallel between the musical structure of the sonatas and the principles of the Quadrivium – the study of the four applied disciplines (harmony/ composition, astronomy, geometry and arithmetic) which has its origins traced back to Pythagoras – the choreographer will present a piece which synthesizes his vision: a work that transcends the body to integrate and transmit knowledge which is intrinsic to our human experience.


By developing itself around these ideas ‘THE BIBER STUDIES’ will propose a series of examinations on the relationship between movement, music and the spiritual/‘meta-astrophysical’ contents of the work. This first phase of the studies – comprising solos by Calixto – intends to investigate the purest relation between physicality and the compositional devices used by Biber. Later these studies will be developed in a series of residencies and collaborations with various dance houses/ theaters in The Netherlands and Europe with which Calixto is associated, and will culminate on the première of the complete DIE ROSENKRANZSONATEN in the spring 2025.