In 1983 Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker was a revelation in the modern dance scene because of her repetitive, minimalistic choreography. Her extremely powerful composition, Rosas danst Rosas was also the start of the Rosas group; the four female dancers – Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Michèle Anne De Mey, Fumiyo Ikeda and Nadine Ganase – were the first members of the new dance company.
Rosas danst Rosas became a huge international success: it was performed countless times all over the world. It became a classic and has remained a permanent item in the Rosas repertoire. In the 27 years since its creation it has been learned over and over by new groups of dancers.
Rosas danst Rosas is a prototype of the tensions that characterise Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s work, these being the contrast between rational structure and meaningful emotion, the dialectic between aggression and tenderness and between uniformity and individuality. In the first part the only music we hear is that of the human body, panting and sliding across the floor. The music, which starts in part two, was composed by Thierry De Mey and Peter Vermeersch in parallel with the creation of the choreography.
In 1997 Thierry De Mey made a film of the work in which the various casts and generations came together. This was filmed in the former technical school of Belgian architect Henry Van de Velde in Leuven. the film version is much shorter thatn the show itself. In this film Thierry De Mey opts for a heavily ‘inner-cut’ version in which he has all the performers from the long history of the show dance along. He makes maximum use of the geometrical and spatial qualities of the Van de Veldes building. Incidentally, the building was thoroughly renovated straight after the film was made, making it one of the last testimonials of the original architecture.
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