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 Post subject: Dance Umbrella 06 - Rosas
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:07 am 
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Location: Estonia
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Rosas
by JUDITH MACKRELL for teh Guardianl
published: October 20, 2006

She has used no less than six individual pieces, by Debussy, Stravinsky and George Benjamin, each played intact.

While the work's overall trajectory follows the transition from day to night, each section evoking changes in light, mood and atmosphere, de Keersmaeker still pays attention first and foremost to the music itself. If only these excitingly good intentions had been matched by the choreography.
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Last edited by kurinuku on Sun Oct 29, 2006 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: ditto
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:01 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
I think dullness is a good adjective do describe D'un Soir un Joir. I left the theatre not madly irrate about the lack of physical focus in the dancers who hap-hazardly lingered in the wings, the costumes that reminded me of the disjoint scene of a parking lot during a hotel fire drill (party dress, pajamas, nothing), or the overuse of simple unison phrases throughout the work, but simply the thought that the gap between these musical masterworks and the choreography was vast.

The program stated time and time again how fantastic it was to have these musical works as a part of the program, but my suggestion would be to see them performed live by a symphony orchestra.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 6:38 am 
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Location: north london
Donald Hutera in the Times (click below)

Quote:
There is plainly an overriding intelligence at work in D’un soir, but of such arid cool that any ongoing emotional or intellectual engagement was negated.


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Last edited by stella on Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:07 am 
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Location: north london
Rosas
D’un soir un jour

Monday 16 October, Sadlers Wells

Formally conceived as a cyclical musical journey and, by its title, suggesting the passage of an evening and a day, the presentation of six new choreographic episodes from Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Rosas was ostensibly alluring, weird, serious-minded and technically challenging but at the same time baffling, obscure and almost wilfully impenetrable.

De Keersmaeker is famous for her obsession with music and pure movement and her score here is a rich and classical one: Debussy, Stravinsky, Benjamin, including an original composition from the latter. The performance opens with Rosas’ homage to Nijinsky’s “Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faun” casting a topless woman in the central role in a sparse and abstract piece for three dancers, the incorporation of Nijinsky’s famous angular poses providing a recognisable link to the original. The following pieces, in spite of the glorious music, leave the audience bemused. The second half is more engaging. Stravinsky’s “Fireworks” offers a fun and throwaway parade of exuberance and the final piece, “Jeux”, derived from Nijinsky’s controversial work of the same name incorporates a clip from the film “Blow up” featuring a mimed tennis match. This starts promisingly but, again, the choreography disappoints, failing to communicate or subtly elucidate its laminated references.

The set is beautifully styled; an exposed, stripped bare Sadlers’ stage cut across by a rack of strip lights that rise or lower to change the mood. The white stage is coated with chalk dust that puffs up evocatively with the movement. The dancers too are a beautiful, kooky cast, colour coordinated in muted shades of gold, green, purple and blue, randomly spliced with boys and girls in mismatched suit trousers and vests and the odd incongruous woman in jeans and a spangly top straight off the high street. There is sporadic nudity.

But it’s as if the styling has sucked the life out of the choreography. The dance vocabulary is both difficult to grasp and not strange or beautiful enough to merely wash over the senses pleasurably. Extensive explanatory programme notes serve to annoy further.

Even an attempt to just enjoy the aesthetics of this programme is spoiled by the relentless and apparently depthless intellectualism that seems to beg to be acknowledged throughout. “D’un soir un jour” feels like the ultimate in continental boho styling, set to a gorgeous and exciting orchestral score and with a grand shape and concept, yet tiresomely, it fails to speak to its audience, or move them.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:27 pm 
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Jenny Gilbert in the Independent
Quote:
D'un soir un jour is certainly a project with grand ambitions. Beginning with a reworking of the 1912 Nijinsky ballet set to Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, it roughly follows the passage of the sun through one day to the glimmering dusk of Debussy/Nijinsky's Jeux, again recast by Keersmaeker to incorporate a sequence from the cult Sixties film Blow Up and a cast of 15.



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:30 pm 
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Clifford Bishop, Sunday Times 22/10/06
Quote:
D’un soir un jour, performed by her company, Rosas, at Sadler’s Wells, opened in silence with a rack of fluorescent lights rising off the floor. A woman in something flimsy ran across the stage. All went dark. Stiffening my spine, I girded myself for a night of confrontation and moral correction.

But when the lights came on, they revealed a topless Cynthia Loemij, gliding silently through a choreographic quotation from Nijinsky’s 1912 ballet Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, with its strange erotic dignity. It was a homage and a statement of intent, preceding an abundance of semi-nudity, matched by dancing of often breathtaking transparency...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:18 am 
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Location: York, UK
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
'Once'
The Place Theatre
Wednesday 1st November 2006


I'm definitely a Rosas fan and was therefore delighted the company had such a strong presence at this year's Dance Umbrella festival, demonstrating what a key figure De Keersmaeker is in C21st dance. 'Once' reminded me that she is not just a leading choreographer but also a beautiful dancer with a strong, compelling, but sometimes also disturbing presence. This is not the first time she's performed this piece in London (Cassandra reviewed it during the 2003 Dance Umbrella).

If you haven't seen it, it is a personal meditation on the classic 1963 LP 'Joan Baez in Concert, Part 2'. This old vinyl record sits on a turntable at one side of the stage with its battered old cardboard sleeve propped against the table leg for us to see. De Keersmaeker grew up listening to it, and knew all the words by heart before she knew any English.

Its songs are of course an invitation for her to dance, something she goes straight into, revealing her extraordinary sensitivity to music. Baez was singing what were then modern folk songs, and De Keersmaeker picks up on their energetic folk-like quality while, to my mind, purging it of the sentimental associations it usually carries. (I wonder if it is the creation of these kinds of absences that has left Karl and Stella feeling unmoved?) But what is so fascinating for me about 'Once' is its complex, highly layered structure. Although De Keersmaeker dances to Baez, she doesn't become her, merely repeats many aspects of her performance in a way that is strongly coloured by her own preoccupations and experience.

Half way through the record Baez tells her adoring audience something like 'I feel so comfortable with you tonight I think I'm going to kick my shoes off'. When we heard this I'm sure everyone in the audience immediately connected it with the piece's extraordinary opening. De Keersmaeker came on stage unexpectedly while the house light were still on, and loudly, one after the other, kicked off her shoes, each landing with a resounding thump. Then striding into the middle of the stage, she said 'Once' in a strong, loud voice, instantly hushing the audience.

There were other moments when De Keersmaeker said something a short while before Baez herself said it on the record (making uncanny folds in time). De Keersmaeker wasn't so much announcing the songs as sharing with the audience her process of remembering what came next.

Yet there was also a strange distancing at work. Baez, on the record, gave a brief explanation of a Spanish love song she was about to sing that has a shocking twist at the end revealing the lover's jealousy. Baez told this in a way that made her audience laugh. When many of De Keersmaeker's audience also laughed, she quickly commented, almost as an aside, that while we might think it was funny she didn't.

And it was this distancing that came to the fore as the piece progressed. The way in which Baez and her audience sing 'We shall overcome' (apparently recorded in Birmingham, Alabama, on the same day as a mass arrest of Civil Rights demonstrators) is highly affecting - people don't have that kind of idealism any more, and it is widely felt that, in retrospect, the liberal lefties of the 1960s achieved much less than they had hoped to do.

It was particularly poignant to hear Baez and then Dylan singing the latter's anti-war anthem 'God is on our side' and add to its list of appalling wars all those that have happened since 1963 which, despite having God on our side, 'we' haven't been able to stop, not least the ongoing military occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.

After the song ended, there was a long final sequence, in which the civil war section of DW Griffith's classic silent film 'Birth of a Nation' was projected onto De Keersmaeker's vulnerably naked dancing body and on towards the drapery hanging at the back of the stage. I'm sure she understands that although dance is not in itself a space in which political goals can be achieved, it is nevertheless tied to the fortunes of the disappearing public space in which an exchange of political ideas can take place. We need to find new ways of staying in touch with the ethical feeling that violence and justice have to be opposed. This, for me, was what made the disturbing emotional impact of her dancing during this final section so resonantly significant.


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