Amor constante, más allá de la muerte



Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
Staging : Anne Teresa DE KEERSMAEKER & Thierry DE MEY


Rosas : Marion BALLESTER, Misha DOWNEY, Philipp EGLI, Kosi HIDAMA, Suman HSU, Osman KASSEN KHELILI, Brice LEROUX, Marion LEVY, Cynthia LOEMIJ, Mark LORIMER, Sarah LUDI, Anne MOUSSELET,Samantha VAN WISSEN


Thierry DE MEY,
live performed by the ICTUS Ensemble, directed by Georges-Elie Octors


Decor: Herman SORGELOOS
Costumes: Rosas & Rudy SABOUNGHI, assisted by Nathalie DOUXFILS
Light design: Jan VERSWEYVELD
Production Assistant: Anne VAN AERSCHOT
Co-production: Lisboa '94 Cultural Capital, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Muziektheater (Amsterdam)
World première: Brussels, Cirque Royal, November 30th 1994


by Marianne Van Kerkhoven

In this piece (made in 1994), twelve years after Rosas danst Rosas, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker renewed her collaboration with the composer Thierry De Mey. Work on the dance and the music was once more carried out simultaneously and in mutual consultation. The resulting performance was in every respect multi-layered. The simultaneous creation of the music and the dance during the working process assumed particularly complex and often innovative forms. Dance structures generated sound material, and vice versa; or music and choreography both started from an external element, such as the spiral form, and in this way developed their own material.

Amor Constante consists of seven parts; one of them is Kinok, which we have just discussed. Since Kinok was the first to be made, this choreography functions as a sort of ‘source material’ from which the language of movement continues to be developed. The central focus of the language of movement was the spiral. On the one hand this form was reflected in the importance of upward and downward movement, and on the other in the course marked out on the stage floor and which ended up facing inwards or else open towards the outside. The title of the piece refers to another crucial source of inspiration - the poem of the same name by the Spanish baroque poet Quevedo. The two possible variations on the spiral - outside to inside, and vice versa - can also be linked to life and death, to what dies off and what lives on, and thus with ‘becoming’ as described by Quevedo. The text of the poem was present in the performance itself, in the form, among other things, of sign language.

In Amor Constante every dancer works with personal movements and follows their own course. Even the timbre of certain musical instruments, such as the oboe, is linked to particular dancers. This leads to the creation of abstract, even musical characters. The choreography is composed entirely contrapuntally, heavily influenced by ‘classical material’ but, once again, without adopting the symmetry or harmony of classical ballet.

Thierry De Mey’s music is played live by the Ictus music group, which has for sometime been in residence on Rosas’ premises. At several moments it is actually integrated into the choreography. Different parts of the music are played on different parts of the stage. The part that is particularly striking in this respect is that where the musicians take up positions at the rear of the stage and play a percussion piece led by the dancer Marion Ballester. This is just one striking scenic example of the intense interaction entered into by dance and music in Amor Constante.



"The love theme is also glimpsed through the abstract choreography with fleeting gestures and images of couples. All are framed by the kinetic excitement of groups of men and one woman, the extraordinary Cynthia Loemy, rolling through the air and rebounding from the floor in one seamless phrase. When Marion Levy, wearing high heels and a suit with a very short skirt, bounces and tumbles into a perpetually awkward sprawl on the floor, the physical virtuosity is just as astonishing. (...) The 13 superb dancers (Brice Leroux is outstanding) reportedly contributed to the choreography. But Ms. De Keersmaeker's emphasis on speed and rythm in recurrent movement is clearly her own. Here more than in the past, she incorporates ballet steps. These, however, are only seen within a strongly conceptual framework.(...) Ms. De Keersmaeker knows how to make things happen on stage. For all her love of recapitulated movement, she continually surprises within the piece."

(The New York Times, 10/10/1995)

"De blik van de kijker gaat zwerven van de ene naar de andere. Hij ziet parallellen en verschuivingen, bewegingen die veranderen van intensiteit. Door het loutere aantal van de patronen , bewegingen en dansers is het totaaleffekt overweldigend. Met al zijn abstraktie wordt de dans zo de verwerkelijking van het liefdesprincipe waarover de gedichten van Quevedo en Cummings spreken: de oneindige en overrompelende veelheid en heerlijkheid van het bestaan in de liefde."

(De Standaard, 02/12/1994)


"Une musique riche et vivante, dans la lignée de Boulez, et qui fait la part belle aux soli instrumentaux virtuoses, joués par onze artistes remarquables de l'ensemble Ictus. (...) Les danseurs (...) sont excellents; pleins d'énergie, ils n'hésitent pas à prendre tous les risques dans leur chutes et glissades, et certains possèdent une remarquable présence scénique."

(Le Figaro, 27/02/1995)