Some days ago I was in Lisbon, for holidays, and I was lucky enough to watch Vortex Temporum by the splendid Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker/Rosas & Ictus at Culturgest. It was the first time that I saw her work and loved it, it was very inspiring.
De Keersmaeker (b.1960) well-known as a visionary for her detailed exploration of the relation between the minimalism of contemporary music. Her work has been grounded in a rigorous and prolific exploration of the relationship between dance and music.
The connection is so well mastered that makes the spectator wonder if there is any math behind it, and the truth is that there is. Her choreographic practice draws formal principles from geometry, numerical patterns, the natural world, and social structures to offer a unique perspective on the body’s articulation in space and time. De Keersmaeker has been creating a wide-raging body of work engaging the musical structures and scores of several periods, from early music to contemporary and popular idioms.
In this piece, she interpreted the avant-garde score Vortex Temporum (1995) by the French composer Gérard Grisey. It is a spectral harmony based on natural acoustic properties of the sound. This performance answers the problem formulated by herself “how can you visualize polyphony by dancing it?”. Each dancer is linked to one of the seven musicians dancing with patterns of movement proper to the instrument. The scenography is the swirl drawing lines on the floor, where the interpreters move with precision to Grisey’s nervy and harmonically complex score in slow sways, shuffles, swinging turns and pounding runs.
The performance started with the musicians introducing us to the theme. Then the interpreters took their place and made us listen to the music through their movements. And in the end the musicians come back to the stage and performed with the dancers, producing a perfect harmony. This precision geometric dance evokes The Triadische Ballet (1922) of Oskar Schlemmer. De Keermaeker’s choreograph has as starting point the mechanism of the basic movement of walking, “my walking is my dance”, she combines the rhythm of the natural mechanism of the body as breath and walking variations and organizes them in the space and musicality. These are all subject inherent to Oskar Schlemmer in Bauhaus, exploring the connections with the space. Another reference to Bauhaus is the small annotations of primary colors used in the costumes of the dancers.
In my opinion this was a very successful piece of work. The abstraction of this piece releases the spectator mind from concrete images. The synesthesia is a neurologically condition which produces two sensations of different nature through a unique stimulus. Resulting in a “concert of dance”.
In my opinion this was a very successful piece of work. The abstraction of this piece releases the spectator mind from concrete images. The synaesthesia is a neurologic condition which produces two sensations of different nature through a unique stimulus. It is in the crossing senses that can result, for example, in the audition of colors, the smell of sounds, forms and textures. Resulting in a “concert of dance”, or better, in a complete artwork.