Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
Ictus Vortex Temporum


How can we measure up to the mathematical complexity of Vortex Temporum, whilst also inventing a spectral work which slips into the mysteries of time? In tackling the sound-based nuances in Gérard Casey’s work, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker creates a molecular choreographic structure: a whirlwind of dance which sees each dancer responding to a specific instrument.

In 1996, Gérard Grisey was adding the finishing touches to Vortex Temporum, his towering work for seven musicians. The ensuing meditation on sound and time had something of the testimonial about it: the composer passed away two years later. Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker associates the polyphony of this work with a danced counterpoint for seven dancers. What does polyphony look like when it is danced? How can a dancer embody one of the voices of a polyphonic network? De Keersmaeker attempts to respond to this question by means of an intricate intertwining of sound and movement. Each dancer is associated to one of the the seven musicians, and colours his or her dancing with patterns of movement corresponding to the very nature of each instrument. Dancers and musicians alike evolve in the same space, following a whirlwind pattern of interweaving circles. As the choreographer observes: “Time can be thought in both linear and cyclical terms”. What we call ‘now’ or ‘the present’ alternates, unceasingly, between memory and premonition - a permanent coming-and-going between residual image of the past and desire for the future.”

Running time: 1h15