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 Post subject: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 9:30 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<img src="http://www.rosas.be/Gifs/raincreich.jpg" alt="" />


Rosas

<img src="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/rosa/details.gif" alt="" />

Rain

Press release

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker made an impressive British debut as part of Dance Umbrella 82 with Fase, her first piece set to a Steve Reich score. Today she is deservedly regarded as one of the most important choreographic talents to emerge in the last two decades. Audiences continue to be stunned by her rigorous and inventive style and her intelligent response to the music.

Beautiful, mesmerising and hypnotic, Rain is set to Music for 18 Musicians, composed by the American minimalist composer in 1976. The ten dancers of the Rosas company are among the best to be found on any European stage. The visually stunning set and lighting design are by Jan Versweyveld and the costumes are by Dries Van Noten.

Part of the Jerwood Proms

Dance Umbrella presents:

Rosas on tour.

"Watching De Keersmaeker's dancers, you think, how can they keep up this pace for so long? But when the piece ends you want to see them do it all over again." Seattle Times
"De Keersmaeker's choreography actually seems to be leading the music rather than merely responding to its boundaries" Chicago Tribune

<small>[ 10-28-2002, 05:09: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2002 7:01 am 
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REIGN DANCE
by Donald Hutera


Some people express themselves best through their work. Consider Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. This celebrated Belgian choreographer is a notoriously difficult interview. Resembling a hungry, pale urchin, she rubs her eyes, pauses ponderously before responding or stares off to the side.

Luckily her dances are some of the best to come out of Europe - stringent yet intuitive, formal yet emotional. She is monumental minimalist with a dramatic streak that sometimes stretches a mile wide. Monographs are written about her musicality, dotted with phrases like ‘the visual song that the eyes listens to’ and ‘music, seen as architecture.’

“You just have to look at her diversity,” says one long-time fan. “She’s constantly exploring. She never makes the same work from one to the
next.” But even De Keersmaeker acknowledges how all her dances are linked: “Each new work is a continuation of another, or a deconstruction of a previous one.”

Rain, which plays as part of Umbrella 2002, evolved from the theatrical production In Real Time. It is another of De Keersmaeker’s examinations of the dialogue between motion and music - in this case, Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians. “This is one of his most harmonous compositions,” she says, “a masterpiece of orchestration. I am very impressed by its emotional dimension.”

Asked to describe her own work, De Keersmaeker calls it a “searching for communication that goes beyond borders. I’m interested in communicating with people, and how energy can flow. Things keep moving. They don’t stand still. Change is continually...” Her idea, wherever it was headed, runs out of steam.
She has two children, both under the age of ten. “It changes your life in a very…” She taps the table. “…In an absolutely fundamental way. It helps you to make choices about organising your time, It makes work both more and less important. It makes life more alive, death more death.”

How does she select her dancers? “It depends upon what kind of energy you get from people, what intelligence is in their body, what intuition and generosity and risk. Sometimes I work with somebody for a year, and only then do I realise that we are not made for each other. Still, there are so many beautiful, strong dancers.”

WHO: ROSAS
WHAT: RAIN
WHEN: FRI 18 - SAT 19 OCT
WHERE: SADLER’S WELLS
TICKETS: 020 7863 8000
JERWOOD PROMS: STAND UP FOR DANCE, £5 STANDING TICKETS

Dance Umbrella presents
Rosas
Drumming UK Tour 2002

Choreography
Anne Teresa
De Keersmaeker

Music
Steve Reich

Wed 23 Oct
Brighton Dome 01273 709709

Fri 25 Oct
Newcastle Playhouse 0191 230 5151

Sun 27 Oct
Theatre Royal Glasgow 0141 332 9000

Tue 29 Oct
Warwick Arts Centre 024 7652 4524

<small>[ 09-08-2002, 09:02: Message edited by: Donald Hutera ]</small>

_________________
This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera and first appeared in Dance Umbrella News.

Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.

Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News.
Call: 020 8741 5881
Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk
Web: www.danceumbrella.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2002 11:34 pm 
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Posts: 54
WHETTING THE DANCE APPETITE
by Donald Hutera


Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker has had some of her biggest successes setting dances to the propulsive, crystalline music of Steve Reich. This year she’s bringing two of these works to Britain. Drumming tours the UK (23 Oct: Brighton Dome, 25 Oct: Newcastle Playhouse, 27 Oct: Glasgow Theatre Royal, 29 Oct: Warwick Arts Centre), while Rain falls on London. The latter is large-scale dance featuring mood-sensitive lighting, a tall curve of tasselled curtains as backdrop and a cast of ten. They run in spiralling circles, swing through leaps and stream through liberating twirls as Reich’s piping Music for 18 Musicians percolates beneath them.

It all leads to as formally abandoned a finale as this Belgian choreographer has ever attempted.

Farooq Chaudhry is manager of the London-based Dansoffice, an agency which represents such UK artists (and familiar Umbrella figures) as Russell Maliphant, Charles Linehan and Akram Khan. He also danced in De Keersmaeker’s company Rosas for three years in the late ‘90s. Chaudhry remembers vividly her “uncompromising, obsessive work ethic. She has incredible vision, and sees it through on her terms. I was always impressed by her ‘dance brain’ and her capacity for exploring every single option when making a piece. You never, ever finished because she’d be changing a dance right to the very last show. As a dancer you’re constantly challenged by that rigour. One of her big words is ‘search.’ There’s something raw and edgy about her, as if she’s always listening to her own mind when she’s talking to you. Talking, but gazing inwards.” But looking inside herself in order to find the way to spill that huge kinetic vision onto a stage.

WHO: ROSAS
WHAT: RAIN
WHEN: FRI 18 - SAT 19 OCT
WHERE: SADLER’S WELLS
ON SALE: NOW! £9 - £27
JERWOOD PROMS £5 STANDING
TICKETS: 020 7863 8000

_________________
This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera and first appeared in Dance Umbrella News.

Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.

Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News.
Call: 020 8741 5881
Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk
Web: www.danceumbrella.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2002 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<img src="http://www.parts.be/Gifs/rain_center2.jpg" alt="" />

Rosas perform “Rain” at Sadler’s Wells – a few quick thoughts.

A superb evening of dance. At times in this invigorating work, it was a little difficult to believe that this was the same group that we saw last year in the long, angst-ridden “i Said i”, which was the low spot of the dance year for many.

Sadler’s Wells was full to bursting and my impression is that Dance Umbrella in general is enjoying one of its busiest years ever. The fans had a ball and gave the ten dancers a fine ovation at the end.

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker uses the Sadler’s stage as cleverly as I have ever seen, but it is all so simple - a large ellipse bounded by the interface of the stage with the prom audience and at the back, floor to ceiling slender ropes forming a seemingly solid barrier. The dancers run, tumble, leap and interact to Reich’s “Music for 18 Musicians” and the space is filled with changing patterns and clusters of dancers. The number of performers on stage varies continuously and the solos and duets are gorgeous.

The dancers are wonderful - fluid and musical and perfectly together when the structured asymmetry gives way to ensemble sections for two or more performers. In the most difficult places a dancer calls out the start of a new section and strobe lighting announces the start of a new phase in the minimalist, recorded score. On two occasions the apparent solidity of the curved line of ropes is broken, first by the dancers walking through them to re-enter the stage area and finally as the dancers run round the back and the last stretches out her arm to set them all in motion – a magical coup de theatre.

Overall, an uplifting dance experience that shows that Keersmaeker is still producing dance of the highest quality.

<small>[ 10-20-2002, 05:05: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2002 5:37 am 
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Location: London
Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker
Rosas
“Rain”
Sadler’s Wells Theatre
19 October, 2002

I sat for quite a while with fingers poised over keyboard seeking inspiration to describe in coherent fashion what I saw last night – Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s “Rain.” None came to me so I re-read the programme notes. I am none the wiser. The notes ramble on about a text by New Zealander Kirsty Gunn on the subject of a drowned child, the impossibility of bringing the child back to life, the feeling of loss and the conclusion that the only solution is to let go. We’re not told how all that connects to the choreographed ensemble. I read the passage quoted from Gunn’s text, “Rain,” for clues and worked back:

“Fill his lungs with your sighing, your expiration. Make your own inhalation as rich, as deep as possible. Do it. (…) You are giving him oxygen, keep remembering that. Oxygen for his blood, for his watery heart. Oxygen for his brain, the tiny nerve endings wavering like anemone…..Oxygen for his very body running lightly, a wisp.”

Each of the ten dancers moves from a point of stillness: either from standing motionless and lifeless or from a sustained elevation on demi-pointe. The body lifts higher to indicate (I suppose) an inhalation of oxygen, of air, of life, and then the body falls sideways, involuntarily, as if pushed off balance by an external impetus. A great energy is released from this impulse and the dancer is sent literally running around the stage. Duets (there are three male dancers and duets are also same-sex) demonstrate the energy released as the ‘active’ partner careers into the back of the ‘passive’ partner – literally a masculine kick to the feminine back that provokes a reaction and releases energy, emotion, expression or often, somewhat irritatingly, more running. (Dancers running up to the audience confrontationally is one of the aspects of contemporary and modern dance that I least admire.) Such coupling is, and even I can see it, inspired by the Chinese Taoist notion of ‘Yin and Yang’: the active and the passive, the masculine and the feminine. Loose chiffon camisole dresses for the lithe women accentuate speed in the movement as does their loose, free-flowing hair. The minimal scenery – a semi-circle of streamers suspended from the ceiling – undulates like the dresses.

I enjoyed the piece enormously even though it was a 70 minute marathon with no interval and I was sitting at the back of the first circle. It is visually beautiful and demands your attention. Steve Reich’s haunting score “Music for 18 Musicians” announces to you at the very beginning that this is a serious piece of dance theatre, so sit up straight in your seats and concentrate. The rhythm of human breathing stands out in relief against the music. It is produced by use of recorded voices and wind instruments. Evidently musicians and vocalists take a full breath and sing or play pulses of certain notes as long as their breath permits. I say “evidently” because you would never work it out yourself since the product is something probably eastern, certainly mysterious and quite possibly other-worldly.

The duets particularly intrigued me because I had not seen passive surrender – a woman waiting to be grabbed, only to be launched into the air in poignantly unballetic fashion – look so damned beautiful and touching before. On each occasion the particular emotion depicted in the movement is instantly recognisable, so pure and unadorned is that movement. As pure as breathing in oxygen. And then they’re off again, racing round the stage in a rush of released energy.

At the end the dancers let go. They pause motionless and passive, run hectically and aggressively one last time as if challenging the demand on them to be still, and then pause again. They then leave the stage in orderly fashion behind the semi-circle of streamers. They seem to let go and accept. Or maybe I concluded that because I was told that. It is, nonetheless, a significant work.


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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2002 2:37 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in The Times.

Quote:
THE BELGIAN company Rosas is a regular visitor to Britain and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, its choreographer-director, a familiar voice. She and her company come in two distinct packages: highly theatrical for some productions, pure dance for others. It is the latter — and far preferable — incarnation which came to Sadler’s Wells at the weekend, one of the international highlights of this year’s Dance Umbrella festival.
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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2002 2:48 am 
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Review in The Guardian.

Quote:
The last work that Anne Teresa De Keermsmaeker presented in London was so aggressively dominated by text and so dismissively careless of its own choreographic invention that it seemed as if she had given up belief in dance. Her 2001 piece Rain, however, is not only a passionate avowal of her artform, it looks like the masterpiece towards which De Keersmaeker's 20 year career has been heading.
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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2002 4:47 am 
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<img src="http://www.walkerart.org/calendar/9910/images/anne.jpg" alt="" />
<small>Rosas in "Drumming"</small>

After their London triumph with "Rain", Rosas now embark on a UK tour with another fine, pure dance work, "Drumming".

Here are all the details


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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2002 8:59 am 
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Location: London UK
"Mesmerizing" was how I heard a fellow audience member describe Rain and I wouldn't disagree with that assessment. This is a real tour de force of perpetual motion well over an hour in length danced to a seductive minimalist score by Steve Reich.

According to the programme notes it is a ballet on the theme of lost innocence and indeed the many entrances and exits together with the changing lighting patterns do appear to indicate a passing of time as the ten dancers (seven women and three men) experience seemingly random encounters of varying intensity. They dance flat out and impress us with their sheer energy.

The set was as minimal as the music with long silver strips forming the background looking like a sheet of metallic rain to echo the ballets title and the only props were a couple of clear Perspex chairs. The costumes by the fashion designer Dries Van Noten were almost contemporary street clothes with skimpy dresses or skirts and tops for the women and plain shirts and trousers for the men, there were in fact several costume changes throughout the work again suggesting the passing of time.

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is a seasoned choreographer with an impressive body of work to her credit and with Rosas she has assembled a company of quite outstanding dancers that are technically superb.

At the end the dancers received a deafening ovation with many audience members standing to applaud, a reaction richly deserved.


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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2002 3:11 pm 
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Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed Emma Pegler's review (above). It's refreshing to hear a really honest response to a programme, and one that manages to bring the performance to life. I'll let you know what I think when I see the company in Brighton tomorrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2002 3:53 am 
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Review in The Independent.

Quote:
Admired and reviled, the choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker polarises her audiences – and her own work. In one piece, she might go for pure dance, its movement anchored in its musical forms; in the next, she'll swing the opposite way, for dance theatre of the most extreme kind, where text often replaces music – and action, dance steps.

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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2002 4:01 am 
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Article in the Herald.

Quote:
IT'S 20 years since Anne Teresa de Keermaeker first set foot in Steve Reich's music. The piece was Fase: a duet of exhaustive repetitions that saw the young Belgian choreographer and her fellow dancer, Michele Anne de Mey, pushing themselves, and a core movement phrase, to the limits. Gruelling for them, but fascinating, and genuinely surprising for an audience. Surprising, because Fase demonstrated just how rich minimalism could be. The very strictness of the structures, the lean, pared-back nature of the material wasn't in the least parsimonious or niggardly. Rather, it was a springboard for an abundance of kaleidoscopic shifts and for intense sagas of human endurance . . . if approached in a spirit of creative curiosity.

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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2002 12:08 pm 
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Review from the Telegraph.

Quote:
Despite her company's name, the rose - odorous, unruly, flamboyant - is not the first thing you would associate with Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker's style. The Flemish choreographer, now 42 and vastly influential in Europe, possesses an instinctively austere and minimalist taste for movement, but increasingly suffers from the obligation to go on at great length without much theatrical nous to propel it
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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2002 4:47 pm 
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Following the performances of Rain in London. Rosas began their UK tour with another rumination on the music of Steve Reich.

Rosas, ‘Drumming’
Dome Concert Hall, Brighton
23 Oct 2002

One defining characteristic of minimalist music is its momentum, but for a force ploughing forward so incessantly, when it comes to a close it often hasn’t arrived anywhere. So it follows that dancing to minimalist music may not be about journeying, more a case of inhabiting the space between the first and last notes. In this case 60 minutes of Steve Reich’s Drumming.

It makes sense to think about this dance from the perspective of the composition – after all, the music came first. The piece is built with layers of percussive patterns. Each instrument plays a single simple pattern repeatedly, but the introduction of overlapping rhythmic cells makes a much more complex fabric, and the falling in and out of parts along with slight adjustments of the rhythms creates subtle shifts in accent and colour and reveals inner rhythms and syncopations. There is no stabilising fixed pulse, the music just rushes downstream.

At its best, de Keersmaeker’s choreography follows the same course. Twelve dancers pacing and repacing their own paths, picking up partners, falling into small groups or disinterestedly single, their steps threading through each other’s passage to make an intricate cloth, an indivisible, ever-shifting whole.

Their movements are simple and sometimes childlike; arms make clean horizontal sweeps, wrists whip around head, legs swing like pendulums and dancers make several small jumps on the spot. These single cells of movement are joined in one stream, a kinetic chain.

As the music opens with a single rhythm, the dance begins with a solo. A single female dancer dressed in white with a loose orange shirt skitters through an invisible maze, making small shuffling runs. She looks like she could be working in reverse, retracing her path. A male dancer joins her, dressed in black and cast in shadow. He matches her steps, but in opposition. Two more dancers come into the centre, one drops out, then three join, building the texture, repeating steps in different directions and groupings until the whole company is dancing to the same beat. All bar the singular orange shirt who hears her own tune, weaving through their strict formations and still pursuing her winding path.

Slight changes of lighting echo the slight shifts in accent and focus among the mesmeric repetitions. One dancer shouts cues to the company – it must be a mean feat of concentration to keep each cog whirring constantly, but there are moments of hiatus. Dancers disperse leaving a couple centre stage, or our orange shirt setting out the L-shaped corner of a square, back and forth, again and again. We only ever reach a lidded climax, this piece doesn’t explode, it mutates.

In the first phase unpitched drums have left moments of space between the rhythmic weave. When the xylophone and other tuned percussion enter you suddenly have what you might loosely call a tune, albeit a tightly looped one, and a wall of sound. This shift brings warmer lighting and two couples show the first contact and connection between the dancers. They slow down enough to look at one another, one pair face each other at opposite sides of the stage slowly raising a perfectly controlled straight leg, foot flexed, in mirror image. I don’t think it’s the first time we’ve seen this movement but we have to look at it a different way, it shines against the busy backdrop.

There are some equally lovely moments for larger groups of dancers, five in a line bend backwards in a pliant curve, or raise straight arms with zen-like serenity, tuning in to deeper layers of the rhythm rather than the frantic surface.

For all the orchestration this is unregimented dance, sometimes unpolished, and all the more alive for it. It rides with the rhythms, is propelled by percussion, it doesn’t seek the skies, or dwell too much on the ground, it doesn’t go over, under or round but straight through.

As the pitch rises and the texture is drawn more taut, one man begins to pick up dancers one by one, placing them at the side of the stage, picking apart the material. It’s the only time it feels like someone is physically shaping this dance. The music is winding higher and higher and feels like it can’t go any further. But then a new pulse enters, and it begins again – a second wind, as it were. It’s like a reprise but the pace has been upped, intensified. Groups are leaping in all directions, making a run straight to the audience and at each other, jumping in unison then splintering and setting off a chain of movement in an ultra-stylised game of tag.

Then suddenly the music stops and the dancers halt. We expected this and yet it’s surprising. We felt like we’d had enough but now we could lap up more. Once you’ve adjusted to the pace you could keep on going – what you would discover is questionable, you wouldn’t find yourself anywhere different, but revelling in the restless energy is enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Rosas in London and on tour
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2002 2:59 am 
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Location: London
So like me, Lyndsey, you would like to see Rosas again. "Rain" was my first experience.


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