ANNE TERESA DE KEERSMAEKER
After studying dance at Maurice Béjarts Mudra school in Brussels and at the dance department of new york university’s School of the Arts, choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker started her career with Fase, four movements to the music of Steve Reich (1982). She founded the Rosas company in 1983, on the occasion of the creation of Rosas danst Rosas. Both works provided a quick international breakthrough and have been restaged at different occasions, most recently in the project Early works (2010). From 1992 until 2007 De Keersmaeker was resident choreographer at La Monnaie, the Brussels opera house, creating a wide range of works that have been presented all over the world. In 1995 Rosas and La Monnaie jointly set up the international educational project PARTS, the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios. Former students of the four-year curriculum have taken up strong positions as dancers and choreographers in Europe and beyond.
From the beginning De Keersmaeker’s choreographic works have focused on the relation between music and dance. She has worked with compositions ranging from the late Middle Ages to the 20th century, premiering creations of George Benjamin, Toshio Hosokawa, and Thierry De Mey and collaborating with various ensembles and musicians. She has also investigated different genres such as jazz, traditional Indian music, and pop music. She has a great affinity with Steve Reich’s compositions and has worked with his music in pieces such as Fase (1982), Drumming (1998), and Rain (2001). Her choreographies present an ever-evolving marriage between a refined sense of compositional architecture and a strong sensuality or theatricality. This unique signature has been recognized with many awards.
De Keersmaeker has also left the confines of pure dance and has ventured into the realms of dance and text, creating performances that blend the different disciplines: Kassandra, speaking in twelve voices (2004), I said I (1999), and In Real Time (2000). She has also directed operas: Duke Bluebeard’s Castle by Bela Bartók (1998) and Hanjo by Toshio Hosokawa (2004). Several of her works have also been turned into autonomous dance films, directed by Thierry De Mey, Peter Greenaway, and De Keersmaeker herself, among others.
In recent years, she has strongly rethought and refined the core parameters of her work as a choreographer. The close collaboration with artists such as Alain Franco (in Zeitung, 2008), Ann Veronica Janssens (Keeping Still Part 1, 2008; The Song, 2009; and Cesena, 2011), Michel François (The Song and En Atendant, 2010), Jérôme Bel (3Abschied, 2010), and Björn Schmelzer (Cesena, 2011) prompted her to reconsider the bare essentials of dance: time and space, the body and its voice, its potential to move, and its relation to the world. Her most recent works are Partita 2 (2013), a duet with dancer and choreographer Boris Charmatz, set to Bach's partita No. 2, Vortex Temporum (2013), set to the music of Gérard Grisey and Verklärte Nacht (2014), a “pas de deux” to the music by Arnold Schönberg. In A Choreographer’s Score, a three-volume monograph published by Rosas and Mercatorfonds (May 2012 / July 2013 / October 2014), she offers wide-ranging insights into the making of her four Early Works as well as Drumming, Rain, En Atendant and Cesena, in conversations with the performance theorist and musicologist Bojana Cvejić.