Riff_Photo by Neil Wissink

Riff (2007)

Riff is a solo work by Matthias Sperling exploring the concept of sampling movement and choreography, set to an original soundscore by Scanner. Riff is based directly on sampled excerpts of three other works: William Forsythe's Solo, Shobana Jeyasingh's Transtep and Laila Diallo's Out of sight in the direction of my body.

Riff sets out to create a new and autonomous work using only the choreographic material of these sampled excerpts, each 30 seconds long. Through an intricate process of segmenting, recombining and manipulating the sample material, a highly personal journey toward the evolution of an individual choreographic voice emerges.

Created and performed by Matthias Sperling, in collaboration with Scanner (soundscore), Andy Downie (lighting design) and Neil Wissink (visual design)

Duration: 16 minutes

Click here to view a video extract of Riff

Siobhan Davies (Artistic Director, Siobhan Davies Dance) comments on mentoring Matthias' process in Riff:

"I have watched Matthias work with 3 signature phrases from 3 different choreographers. He began by bringing his own physical articulacy to each phrase. Later he reformed each phrase, learning as he went how to adjust timing, structure and placement, reorganising and testing my memory of the original movements. Then the phrases were inter-connected in several different ways until Matthias' own needs as a dancer and choreographer were fully and intelligently explored. I enjoyed observing Matthias' sense of honourable play towards each of the original works. Finally his own piece has its own complete and fascinating integrity."

Riff was created with support from Arts Council England, Dance4, Dance City, DanceEast, East London Dance, Laban and Random Dance, with thanks to the choreographers who generously contributed samples to this work, to the collaborators and to Siobhan Davies for her artistic mentorship.