Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker review – the squeak of trainers at Tate Modern

Tate Modern, London
The Turbine Hall is a suitably austere fit for Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Work/Travail/Arbeid asks whether choreography can only be presented on stage, or whether it can also be experienced as an art exhibit, in a gallery. It’s a strange question to ask, given that gallery performances have been a regular feature of dance since the first postmodern choreographers held them in 1960s New York. But perhaps for De Keersmaeker, the austere high priestess of Belgian contemporary dance, a question has not truly been asked until it has been asked by her.

Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, where the piece ran for three days last week, is an appropriately testing venue. Vast and vertiginous, its concrete walls radiate an unremitting sternness of purpose. Work/Travail/Arbeid is similarly grand in scale. Set to an avant-garde score by Gérard Grisey, Vortex Temporum (1995), which is played live by the Ictus ensemble, the piece comprises nine hour-long sections, performed by differing combinations of the Ictus musicians and dancers from De Keersmaeker’s company, Rosas. Between each section is a brief pause, and at the end of each nine-hour cycle the work begins again. Over the course of the Tate run, approximately two and a half cycles are completed.

It’s the choreographic equivalent of the video loop playing silently in a corner of the room

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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