Call for Abstracts: Special issue on “Bach and the Art of Movement"

Due July 15, 2021

BACH: Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute announces a special issue in September 2023 on the ways in which Bach’s music has inspired choreography, movement, and staging. While Bach did not write music specifically intended for dance, he wrote stylized dance music and other works modeled on dance and dance rhythms. Some might even argue that his music possesses an inherent danceability. In the 20th and 21st centuries, numerous choreographers, dancers, and directors have responded to Bach’s music with movement. Works as disparate as The Goldberg Variations and the St. Matthew Passion have inspired inventive staging and an eclectic array of dance styles. Influential choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins have linked Bach’s music to physical gesture. Staged versions of Bach’s Passions by Peter Sellars, David Kneuss, and others have dramatized these works for a new era.

We invite scholars of music, dance, and/or theater to submit abstracts that explore the myriad of ways in which Bach’s music has been joined to movement from 1900 to today. Articles might explore questions such as the following, although this list is not comprehensive:

  • What has made so many choreographers, dancers, and directors feel that Bach’s music is conducive to movement?
  • In what way does movement enhance, obscure, and/or offer a new understanding of Bach’s music?
  • How do these interpretations fit into the history of their own fields, reflecting trends in dance and/or staging?
  • How do these interpretations reflect the choreographer or director’s vision and/or contribute to their development as an artist?
  • How have these interpretations contributed to Bach reception, demonstrating how Bach has been viewed and what he has meant to artists in the 20th and 21st centuries?
  • In what way have these interpretations helped Bach speak to a new generation and/or respond to social issues of the day?

Please send an abstract of ~500 words and a bio to by 15 July 2021.

Authors of accepted abstracts will be expected to complete their articles by December 2022.

Completed articles should be between 7000 and 12,000 words.