Fase (1982) is Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s debut piece, which she made at the age of twenty-two and continues to dance in. It is her most often shown choreography. It consists of three duets and one solo, made to four of Steve Reich’s compositions from the late 1960s and early 70s: Piano Phase, Come Out, Violin Phase and Clapping Music. In the compositions, a musician plays a phrase that has been performed before at a slower pace by other musicians. The motifs wander from one instrument to another, creating a plethora of mirror images. The choreography is built on the same phrasing principle: repetition and shifting. The result is a mechanism that delights with its excellence and, above all, its simplicity and natural character.
ANNE TERESA DE KEERSMAEKER is one of the most outstanding choreographers in the world. Her impact on the development of contemporary dance, her unique charisma, the power of her artistic language and the feeling of concentration, contemplation and elatedness she invokes in audiences, can only be compared to those associated with Pina Baush. After nineteen years of absence from Poland, in June 2014, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker will present two of her famous shows at Malta Festival Poznań: Fase (in which she also performs) and Drumming. Her visit will also be marked by screenings of several films based on her choreographies, and the performances of pieces created by students of the renowned contemporary dance school P.A.R.T.S., which she is the founder of.
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker was born in 1960, in Mechelen, Belgium. She made her debut in 1982, with Fase. The performance was a great success and launched her international career as a choreographer. In 1983, as she was working on Rosas danst Rosas, she founded the company Rosas, which became and continues to be one of the most important ensembles in contemporary dance. Rosas danst Rosas rose to cult status and has been staged on many occasions all over the world. Owing to its simple albeit sophisticated choreography and energy, it has also crossed over into mass culture. In 2011, the famous American R&B singer Beyoncé used the choreographic sequences from this piece in the music video for her single Countdown. The plagiarism resulted in a media storm and De Keersmaeker’s protest. Ultimately, Rosas responded to the work’s legendary reputation by announcing the Re:Rosas project. In a series of instruction videos, featuring De Keersmaeker, they encourage everyone to dance Rosas danst Rosas, and to remix the original material.
From the very beginning, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s works have focused on the relationship between movement and music. The choreographer builds her shows based on various musical sources: from early music, through contemporary instrumental, to jazz and pop. Her trademark is the continuously elaborated and inexhaustible connection between the complex architecture of musical composition and strongly sensual theatricality. Her pieces have been described as pure writing in time and space using movement. De Keersmaeker works with a regular ensemble. This allows her to reach beyond a short-term project-specific perspective, and to build close relationships based on creative and intellectual understanding. In the largest productions, the whole ensemble appears on stage, whilst Rosas also creates smaller and more intimate forms, featuring Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker herself.
Rosas has always laid great emphasis on artistic education and contact with the younger generation. Consequently, in 1995, De Keersmaeker founded P.A.R.T.S (the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) in Brussels. Subsequent generations of the four-year school graduates have gone on to become leading dance makers in the European scene.
Many of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s projects also focus on text and dance. She has directed the operas Duke Bluebeard’s Castle by Bela Bartók (1998) and Hanjo by Toshio Hosokawa (2004). Moreover, several of her choreographies have been translated into audiovisual language, for instance by Peter Greenaway, and have become autonomous dance films. In the recent years, De Keersmaeker has been challenging her own paradigm of dance philosophy: the role of time and space, of the voice and the body, of its movement potential and relationship with the world. Her most renowned performances created in collaboration with other artists include 3 Abschied (2010) with Jérôme Bel, Partita 2 (2013) with Boris Charmatz, and En Atendant (2010) with Michel François.
Between 1992 and 2007, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker was resident choreographer at the Belgian La Monnaie / De Munt Opera House. In 2012, she was an associate artist of the City of Lisbon. She has presented her productions at the most important dance venues and festivals in the world, including the Avignon Festival; Théâtre de la Ville, Paris; Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London; and the Holland Festival (this year, the latter will open with De Keersmaeker’s most recent work Vortex Temporum (2013)). Furthermore, De Keersmaeker is the recipient of many prestigious accolades, including the Bessie Award (1988), the London Dance and Performances Award (1989), and the American Dance Festival Award (2011) in honour of her entire career.
Choreography: ANNE TERESA DE KEERSMAEKER,
Performed by: ANNE TERESA DE KEERSMAEKER, TALE DOLVEN,
Created with: MICHÈLE ANNE DE MEY (Piano Phase, Clapping Music), JENNIFER EVERHARD (Come Out),
Music: STEVE REICH (Piano Phase, Come Out, Violin Phase, Clapping Music), Światło / Light design: REMON FROMONT (Piano Phase & Clapping Music), MARK SCHWENTNER (Violin Phase & Come Out),
Costumes: MARTINE ANDRÉ, ANNE TERESA DE KEERSMAEKER,
Assistant to artistic director: ANNE VAN AERSCHOT,
Technical management: JORIS ERVEN,
Technicians: JAN HERINCKX, WANNES DE RYDT, MICHAEL SMETS, BERT VAN DYCK,
World premiere: 18.03.1982,
Production: 1982 Schaamte vzw, Avila vzw (Bruksela/Brussels),
Coproduction: Early Works Sadler’s Wells (Londen/Londres/London), Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg