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Three ballets by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker

Each dancer is like a musical instrument with its own sonority and colour.

This triptych spans ten years of creation (from 1986 to 1995) and bears witness to ’s remarkable dialogues with the great scores of classical music. The term “dialogue” is undoubtedly too tame to describe this almost physical confrontation between two arts. 

De Keersmaeker addresses music using all the nuances of passion: need, defiance, oneupmanship… The key notion is polyphony. The irresistible energy that sets free these fluid, nervous bodies – at times openly insolent, at others exhausted as if conquered by the musics – is essentially that of “dizzying counterpoint”. Additional voices continually emerge; new connections or unexpected combinations multiplying the curves of a spiral of movements in which the audience joyfully loses all sense of direction.

De Keersmaeker’s work on Bartók’s Quartet N°4 displays her initial style: a combination of short motifs, danced with dry humour by a quartet of adolescent girls. The virtuoso choreography to Beethoven’s Die Grosse Fuge, which this time is highly masculine and based on a falling motif, allows us to appreciate the development of the choreographer’s compositional technique.

The third section, Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), dedicated to the young Schönberg, finally reveals her most intimate side: the evening ends in heartrending abandon, with the almost narrative evocation of a couple transfigured by the gift of love –, portrayed in dance suffused with a passion for music. Sharing the same musical intensity, these three ballets form a poetic and mysterious ensemble that will be entering the Paris Opera Ballet’s repertoire this season.

  • Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker / Béla Bartók, Quatuor n°4
  • Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker / Ludwig van Beethoven, Die Grosse Fuge
  • Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker / Arnold Schoenberg, Verklärte Nacht

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