Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is one of the most important figures of contemporary dance today. Not only a choreographer, but a dancer, a school founder, an opera director, and occasionally a movie creator.
Today I want to make a brief virtual tour through the most important works of Anne Thesa de Keersmaeker.
Fase, Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich
Fase is the piece that basically launched Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s career. It was presented in 1982 and danced by 2 dancers: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker herself and Michèle Anne de Mey -a sister of Thierry De Mey, musician and composer who had closely cooperated with Anne Teresa through all her career.
Fase was set on music of Steve Reich, who Anne Teresa got to know during her studies at Tisch School of the Arts in New York. In fact, music was the key to success in this particular work . Anne Teresa translated music composition into dance: just as the piece loops, one can see looping movements that are just like music set into complex ordered patterns. In 2012 De Kareesmaeker reworked it and brought it to the exhibiting space of Tate museum.
Here are the links to both versions of Fase, Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich :
Rosas danst Rosas
In 1893 Anne Teresa presented the very first piece of the newly formed company Rosas, which now included four dancers: Adriana Borriello, Fumiyo Ikeda, Michèle Anne De Mey, and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker. Just as Fase, Rosas dans Rosas was based on a strict and clear pattern. In this case Anne Teresa worked with a composer Thierry De May, who I was mentioning above. De May came with an idea of structuring music and dance on phases of the day: nighttime, morning and afternoon. Each of the day time was translated into movement and the forth was a mixture of the unknown: “The fourth movement is a paroxysm of dancing, dancing, dancing without counting, over and over again, a kind of dépense.”
In 1997 Thierry De May screened an adoption of the piece. This version is shorter than the actually piece and there are more dancers involved than in the original cast.
If two previous works are internationally acclaimed to be one of the most famous and influential, those listed below are my subjective opinion, which is based on what I saw myself and what represents Anne Teresa De Kareesmaeker as a divers choreographer.
Drumming is the most loved piece of Anne Theresa among dancers. I think it is the dance in relation to energetic music that makes movers so fascinated about it. Because of that I find it important to mention contemporary assemble Ictus, who had done 14 collaborations with Rosas since 1994 and it is based at the same house with the company.
This work I have seen myself in Paris this spring and was already featuring it on my blog. Why do I find it important? Because it confronts the very needed question of today: What is contemporary dance and where is the boarder? Work/Travail/Arbeid is a response of visual art interacting with dance, it is a dance piece put in to museum space just as it would be a piece of art exhibited. With no breaks in between, Work/Travail/Arbeid is happening from the opening hour to the closing hour.
The Song of the Life and Death of the Cornet, Christoph Rilke
The Song of the Life and Death of the Cornet from Christoph Rilke is important because it is one of the recent ones, I saw it and it represents the last interest of Anne Teresa, which is the relation between text in music. I guess it is hard to catch the full idea of the piece not having the entire understanding of the text but it is impressive how Anne Teresa De Kareesmaeker at 53, not only choreographs but performs a 70 min long piece with one partner and one musician on stage.