Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
tg STAN Quartett


Created in 1999, Quartett is the first collaboration between Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and the company tg STAN. In this production, which heightens the tension between body and text, theatrical syntax and the expressive capacities of dance, an actor and a female dancer question the sense relations of Heiner Müller’s text.

In focusing on the permanent state of war between two individuals, Heiner Müller retains no more than the mere skeleton of Laclos’ work, Dangerous Liaisons. Valmont and Morteuil, a man and a woman, exchange roles. The dropping of masks which ensues, sheds light upon the darker elements of this domination-based relationship, and the reversibility of masculine and female positions. Müller strips the work down to its bare essentials, and then proceeds to bring out the interplay stemming from this reversal of values at the very heart of language itself. The result is an overturning of all temporal and genre-related reference points. Whilst this is not the first time Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker has confronted dance with literature, as she did recently with Shakespeare - Golden Hours () - or Rilke, this collaboration with the company tg STAN constitutes one of her first incursions into the text domain. How can a sentence be converted into gestures, from sense to senses? In just the same way as Müller whittles language down to its bare essentials, tgSTAN and Rosas attempt to transplant their modes of representation, redistributing the places occupied by dance and acting. Onstage, an actor and a dancer embody two menacing figures. Amidst the tense to-ing and fro-ing, movement and word search for themselves, avoiding and clashing with each other all the while. In the re-working of this hybrid show, dance and the spoken word find themselves walking a tightrope, hovering above the abyss, on the frontier between silence and collapse.

Running time : 1h20
Performed in English with French subtitles