TQW Magazin
Samuel Feldhandler über die Kooperation von Musikverein Wien und TQW zu Beethovens Medizinlöffel

Latent Dance – four movements on an evening in three parts


Latent Dance – four movements on an evening in three parts


A few months ago, I was invited by Christina Gillinger in the name of Tanzquartier Wien to write a text for the TQW Magazin as a response to an event curated in collaboration with the Musikverein Wien and taking place on the 12th of March 2023.

This event seems to live within a plurality of curations. Firstly as a co-curational project and first (of many?) collaboration between the two institutions Musikverein and Tanzquartier; Secondly as a part of the Musikverein’s Festival: Beethovens Medizinlöffel; Thirdly as a part of TQW’s overarching performance programme; And fourthly (probably not last and definitely not least) as a part of TQW’s ongoing programme of Theory and Research.

The event comprised three distinct parts. A lecture by Graham St John in the TQW Studios entitled Meta-Liminal; the dance and music performance All Around signed by Mette Ingvartsen and Will Guthrie in the Halle G; And a concert by the Orchestre de Paris in the Großer Musikvereinssaal, directed by Klaus Mäkelä, premiering Im Entschwinden by Mark Andre and playing Gustav Mahler’s second symphony.



A poetic relation between cycles, arrows and dots. The cyclical of the loop, of the beat, of the bar, of the turn, of the obsession. The arrow-ical of the composition, of the crescendo, of the beginning-middle-and-end. The dot-ical finally of the program booklet, of the seat, of the scream, of the Hörner (in F) in der Ferne. But also the hidden cycles, the hidden arrows, the hidden dots and also the hiding of cycles, of arrows, of dots; In other words the choreography of, the fine tuning of, the control of and the giving-incentive to gazes and ears. Which arrows do you want me to see? Which cycles are you making plainly evident and which cycles do I have to look for? Which dots can we take for granted? Can we (ever) take a dot for granted?



– […] I like this sound for example, thats what I’ve been able to memorise. Always some resonances, some resonances. I love obsessive music. That’s why when I listened to My Favorite Things by John Coltrane, it was the first time in history that I was hearing a piece lasting nearly an entire vinyl-side, with themes of obsession. […] So when I composed at my level, I made musics with obsessive tendencies […].

– Because they carry you more, they take you further?

In the beginning, certainly. Being able to communicate with the rhythm [] teaches you to approach the music better. And then you feel again like making music, with melodies, with things. It comes progressively I think. Coltrane went through this, John Coltrane went through this.[1]



/ I made musics with obsessive tendencies
                  comes from
/ jai fait des musiques à tendances obsessionnelles
                  in french. so let’s take
/ les tendances
and (you’ll see why later) make it into
/ la tendance
which could be
/ l’attendant se
/ l’à temps dans ceux
/ la tendant ce
or finally
/ latent danse
and so to change one letter and shift it from one language to another
/ latent dance


My evening on Sunday, March 12th (which by then was still so young I should say afternoon) started with Graham St John talking of the vibe and of liminal spaces. After passing through the obsessive tendencies (by way of Christian Vander’s coining of the terms) of Mette Ingvartsen and Will Guthrie and after passing through Mark Andre’s ever stretching orchestral visions, my evening ended with Gustav Mahler’s second symphony, which happens to include a small Fernorchester in its fifth and final movement. Fernorchester stands for an orchestra in der Ferne, in the distance, or in other words, a group of musicians playing from further away. In this case, further away was from the hallway or, for us in the audience (whose socio-sonic experiences were clearly at the center of everything taking place in the Großer Musikvereinssaal at that moment), from the outside of the room. In order to facilitate our acoustic experience, and remember, the devil is in the details, some doors had to be opened, kept very slightly ajar for the different lengths of the few passages with said Fernorchester and finally closed again, shutting out any outside world’s sounds and taking care of the sonic integrity and concentration within the Großer Musikvereinssaal. I had the privilege of having one of these doors in my direct eyesight and have to say, these were opened, kept ajar and shut with an attention close to the attention of the musicians as they were giving materiality to Mark Andre’s and Gustav Mahler’s sonic thoughts and desires, close to the attention Mette Ingvartsen and Will Guthrie put in their duet endeavours and close to the attention with which Graham St John shared his research on the vibe in electronic dance music culture.

So, after all, what better way to bring such a plentiful evening of contrasts to a close than with, in the midst of Gustav Mahler’s epic and inexhaustible push of sonic boundaries, the gentle coming to life of its frame or, to borrow a terminology by Fred Moten and take it (slightly) out of context[2], the gentle coming to life of “the support that it cannot do without, or, more generally, [of] the outside that co-operates in its operation.”

And by gentle coming to life, I mean its activation in a slow, slow dance, avec des mélodies, avec des choses, with melodies, with things.


[1] Christian Vander, drummer, singer, composer, founder and driving force of the franco-kobaïan progressive-rock band Magma with an anonymous interviewer some time in the 1990’s, transcribed and (crudely) translated by Samuel Feldhandler with the help of A.I. in March 2023.
[2] The context of his book In the Break’s last chapter.


Samuel Feldhandler writes dance and lives in Vienna. Growing up in a musicians’ family, musical forms have been around his sensibility and attention long before he started diving into dance. Today, he passionately investigates ways of putting these familiar forms into play within a choreographic context. Samuel has been signing dance works since 2012. samuelfeldhandler.com