The Lincoln Center Festival is presenting a retrospective of the Belgian choreographer’s early works. Last night, I saw her Rosas Danst Rosas, a dance that has been canonized as one of the milestones of contemporary choreography. The film version, by Thierry de Mey, has been viewed and imitated thousands of times, including, most recently, by Beyoncé. To me, the dance has a distinctly “mean girls” vibe—four adolescents, stuck in a kind of study-hall purgatory. Here’s my review of the piece, for DanceTabs.
Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s Rosas company performed her diptych, En Atendant and Cesena, over the weekend at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The works are a collaboration with the early music ensemble Graindelavoix. In them, De Keersmaeker explores connection between breath and singing and movement. The results are stirring, even spiritual. Here’s my review for DanceTabs. And a short excerpt:
“For all that, the experience of watching En Atendant and Cesena was not an arid one. Instead, the two works managed to build an ascetic aura, like witnessing (or even taking part in) a kind of monastic ritual….The Howard Gilman Opera House was filled with the thrilling polyphonies of a fourteenth-century musical style known as ars subtilior, “the subtle art”….In ars subtilior the voices interweave, creating exciting patterns that never quite settle into a single tonality. With their repetitions, feints, and rhythmic shifts, these pre-Renaissance songs seem to have no beginning, no end. And De Keersmaeker’s dance feels the same.”