Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker Échelle Humaine / Violin Phase


For this first edition of Échelle Humaine, the Lafayette Anticipations dance festival will be teaming up with the Festival d’Automne’s Portrait of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Over the course of a week, the choreographer, in the company of Andros Zins-Browne, Eleanor Bauer and Radouan Mriziga will be taking over the playing spaces of the new foundation with movement. Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker will be inaugurating Échelle Humaine with a revival of Violin Phase, a landmark piece dating back to 1981, the choreography of which was set to the music of Steve Reich.

Reconverted by Rem Koolhaas/OMA, the Lafayette Anticipations building is characterized by a system of mobile floors, allowing its volumes to be configured in almost fifty different ways. Échelle Humaine will embrace the performative essence of this architecture through a daily renewal of its space in accordance with the different choreographic propositions. Over the course of a week, dance will be used to explore the possible uses of the venue. This radical reworking of the relationship with the audience will give rise to a new choreography in terms of our vision of the space.
When we watch dance, which of the two takes precedence: is it the movements alone or the unique body of the dancer which embodies them? Watching Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker dance Violin Fase today, this question takes on a different form, far beyond mere fetishism for an original work. Indeed, she dances this inaugural solo work, created in 1981, as if she was reinventing it : her gestures and movements are imbibed with all the pieces she has created, and with their music. She dances in the present. It is her body : the same body which invented these movements, rehearsed them in the studio, danced them hundreds of times, passed them on, and which continues to twist and turn to the strident swirls of Steve Reich’s violin playing. Transforming these repetitive loops into a physical time and space, she shapes it into an unrelenting, rosace-like journey. The phase loops in on itself. The intensity is such that memory, history/story and presence become one and the same thing. The simplicity of the music and the choreography feed off each other, and change through repetition – which brings us to Nietzsche’s formula of an eternal return or recurrence which can only take place in the future and transformation.
Running time : 15 min.