The amazing debut of Wim Vandekeybus and Ultima Vez in 1987 stunned the world of dance at the time. Vandekeybus and composers Thierry de Mey and Peter Vermeersch received the prestigious Bessie Award in New York for this “brutal confrontation of dance and music: the dangerous, combative landscape of What the Body Does Not Remember.”
28 years later and with a new cast and live music by contemporary ensemble Ictus, the show still stands as one of the most exciting pieces of dance ever made and is once again on an unmissable world tour.
Vandekeybus' first piece of choreography balances on the razor edge of attraction and repulsion. Dancers are driven to act and react at high speed and with split second timing, to each other, and the music. Moments of humour thread through explosions of aggression, fear and danger in this adrenaline-fuelled distinctly physical performance.
Live music on stage by Ictus Ensemble.
What the Body Does Not Remember has been created in six sections. Although these are clearly separated, with obvious music and lighting changes, and with many sections beginning with an empty stage, there are recurring themes of risk, control and instinctive response, which thread through the entire piece. Movement motifs are revisited and developed in subsequent sections as is the physical rhythm from theHands section, which is mirrored in Section 6, Stamping/Final.The dancers have been selected partly for their individuality, their personal responses to the themes and embodiment of the movement.Because of this we see very little in the way of tight unison sequences with precision of movement, though all actions have a clear intention, with the dancers and the movement working together and complementing each other