SIE On Stage

SIE On Stage is a dedicated experimental platform for showcasing live performances created through Instant Composition.

Besides performances, informal artist-audience interactions are an integral part of SIE Open Stage events. The intention is to develop a deeper understanding for improvised interdisciplinary performance formats in Salzburg City.


SIE On Stage concept: Nayana Keshava Bhat
Curation team: Nayana K. Bhat, Olivia Mitterhuemer, Agnes Distelberger
Production: INFLUX
Cooperation partner: Toihaus
Funded by: Land Salzburg, Stadt Salzburg

Chapter 1:

1007 – an improvisation in movement and sound after J.S.Bach

woman dancing, man playing guitar
(c) StavlasArt

The first chapter of SIE On Stage for 2024 presents a duo. Salzburg-based Brasilian/American artist Anna Bárbara Bonatto (Contemporary Dance) and Linz-based Greek musician Markos Destefanos (Guitar) continue their frequent collaboration through “1007 – an improvisation in movement and sound after J.S.Bach.”

On this occasion, they draw their inspiration from a Baroque Suite originally written for solo cello, consisting of six movements: Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Menuet I & II, and Gigue. The two performers improvise, comment, and discuss Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite BWV 1007 using different techniques of instant composition, fragmentation, and reconstruction of the original material.

This performance will be followed by a semi-formal discourse with all the attendees, discussing the presented work, leading to a more open dialogue about Improvisation in socio-political contexts.

Creation & Performance: Anna Barbara Bonatto, Markos Destefanos

Artist Bios

Anna Bárbara Bonatto began dancing as a child in Brasil, and continued her training as a teenager in the USA. After completing 3 years of acting education in Los Angeles, Anna Bárbara moved to Salzburg to study at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance.

Since graduating in 2016 most of her collaborations and performances have been based in Austria. She has had the opportunity to participate in several international festivals, including the Salzburger Festspiele, Sommerszene, Milch&Honig, Because the Night, TAKT, and New Faces New Dances.

She is currently part of multiple productions both at Toihaus Theater and with the Vienna based Ensemble “Synthetic Project”.

Markos Destefanos is a Greek classically trained guitarist who focuses on exploring the plasticity of guitar sound, aiming to cultivate an intimate connection between artist and audience.

He possesses a keen interest in chamber music and actively engages in interdisciplinary collaborations with other artists, participating in literature and poetry readings, theatre, dance, and sound-painting performances. He studied Classical Guitar Performance, Music Education, and History and Philosophy of Science in Athens and Salzburg.

Currently based in Linz, he divides his time between performing and teaching at the State Music School Organization of Upper Austria (Landesmusikschulwerk Oberösterreich), where he leads the Department for plucked string instruments.

Chapter 2:

Act of Listening + 3 Dances & A Song + The Day After

The second chapter of SIE On Stage is being curated as part of PERFORMdANCE Festival #34 and consists of three parts.

  • Act of Listening (Improvisation workshop)

Musician/pianist Jordina Millà and dancer/performer Nayana Bhat offer a workshop in improvisation that focuses on attentive listening in order to traverse the space with care. It explores relationships between various elements such as space, time, actors, and bodies through careful examination. 

Through playful exercises developed out of the facilitators’ musical, movement-based, somatic and performance practices, the first part of the workshop will offer space to explore improvisation within a performative setting.

Following that, the workshop opens up to a social discourse of “How can we listen attentively, when we are not familiar with the other’s point of view?” Through an interdisciplinary approach the workshop creates a framework for compassionate listening across diverse perspectives.

  • 3 Dances And A Song

is the performative thread running through the last evening of the festival. Four performers are inspired by the physical and mental spaces in between, where the expectation of “something that is about to happen” opens up a world of possibilities.

By directing attention inwards and outwards, they playfully inhabit the world around them, inviting us to suspend disbelief for a brief period and observe the unfolding of a poetic composition.

Design & Performance
Agnes Distelberger (dance, voice)
Nayana Keshava Bhat (dance, text)
Olivia Mitterhuemer (dance)
Vitus Denifl (saxophone)

  • The Day After

is a one-hour solo performance that combines movement with soundtrack creations. This solo was inspired by the collaboration with Mohamad Mehdi Behrad, an 85 year old musician who plays the NEY. This ancient Persian musical instrument was played by shepherds in the forests of Iran.

During the duet, the flute was captivating and led to a hypnotic connection to create movement, engage with the audience and listen to the movement.

Performance & Concept
Katie Duck

Sound Sources
Vilbjørg Broch (electronics)
Katie Duck (nature, drones and text)
Mohamad Mehdi Behrad – Ney Flöte (from a live performance by Mohamad and Katie Duck)

Chapter 3:

Coming soon!