Rosas danst Rosas – Dublin Dance Festival – Review
18—19 May 2019
This production was first performed in 1983, so its inclusion in the Dublin Dance Festival over 30 years later should make it clear that it is a classic of contemporary dance which has withstood the test of time. It helped launch the career of Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker who was a mere 23 years old when it was first performed.
The piece starts very slowly, with the four performers on stage, moving in unison while lying on the stage floor. There is no music during the early part of the production and all that can be heard in the hushed auditorium is their breathing and the slaps of their arms on the floor. Soon, one of the dancers peels off from the rest of the flock and starts to perform on their own. From this slow opening section, the production starts to build.
The piece is for four female dancers. There are a number of reoccurring movements that carry through the performance. They run their hands through their hair or pull their shirt down to reveal their shoulder, or sometimes both shoulders. They throw their heads back in mock disgust or their hand falls limp at their side. The production is meant to resemble the parts of a day, from sleep, to early morning, afternoon and night. The audience is taken on this furious journey along with the performers.
The production includes original music by Thierry De Mey and Peter Vermeersch, and the score plays an integral part in the production, with the actions on stage mirroring the sounds. The first piece is largely percussion, but the later sections feature a wider range of instruments, including piano and clarinet. Choreographer De Keersmaeker has worked to the music of Steve Reich in the past and the style is reminiscent of his work.
This is an incredibly complex piece of dance theatre. The thought of starting rehearsals on something as intricate as this must be quite daunting. The dancers move in unison for large portions of the production, before small variations are introduced, moving through the ensemble and pulling the group in different directions. The level of control and discipline make it a very sophisticated piece. It was quite a fitting end to an impressive and wide ranging Festival.
Performer: Laura Bachman
Performer: Anika Edström Kawaji
Performer: Laura Maria Poletti
Performer: Soa Ratsifandrihana
Choreography: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
Created by: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
Created by: Adriana Borriello
Created by: Michèle Anne De Mey
Created by: Fumiyo Ikeda
Music: Thierry De Mey
Music: Peter Vermeersch
Lighting Design: Remon Fromont