20 years of giving a voice to dancers: The Sum of P.A.R.T.S. — De Keersmaeker (and Charges) Storm the Bastllle

By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2001, 2018 Paul Ben-Itzak

PARIS — Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, paired with former Ballet Frankfurt principal Elizabeth Corbett, was the star attraction at the Theatre de la Bastille last night for the opening of P.A.R.T.S. a Paris, a five-week, 15-program extravaganza of the best that the dancers and choreographers of De Keersmaeker’s Brussels-based Performing Arts Research Laboratories and Training Studios have to offer.

As dancers go, you can’t get much better then the tyro also known as De Keersmaeker, whirling and twirling her way across and around a stage, the question not being will she catch the light but will the light catch her. But the ‘kids’ (most are about 20) were pretty all right too, a vivid manifestation of what can happen when young people are actually given serious and prolonged study in composition….

(To receive the complete article, subscribers please contact publisher Paul Ben-Itzak at paulbenitzak@gmail.com. Not a subscriber? Subscribe to the DI for one year for just $29.95 be designating your PayPal payment in that amount to paulbenitzak@gmail.com, or write us at that address to learn how to pay by check. First published exclusively on the DI on September 21, 2001, this Flash of the opening night of the landmark month-long Paris celebration of Anne Teresa De Keersmaker, her company Rosas, and her school P.A.R.T.S. is just one example of nearly two decades of coverage by the DI of ATDK & Co. in performance in Paris, New York, London, Brussels, Antwerp, Vienna, and Toronto, to which DI subscribers enjoy full access. )

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Flash Flashback, 2-2: Not ‘Phase’ away — De Keersmaeker at MoMA or, The universe of dance on grains of sand

By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2011, 2017 Paul Ben-Itzak

(Author’s Note: Re-reading many of my reviews of for the most part European Modern Dance concerts — in which rubrique I include William Forsythe — during this epoch, in which my frustration with the often-indulgent choreographers is evident in less than inspired, voir redundant, writing, I’ve wondered if the problem wasn’t me. If I’d simply grown up to become the mirror of that well-known jaded critic who once complained, reviewing an Elizabeth Streb concert in the late 1990s, “I’ve been going to Elizabeth Streb concerts since the 1970s and I still don’t like her,” prompting me to respond: Stop going. Re-reading the review below, though, where Denby-like inspiration if not Denby-level poetry is evident, it occurs to me that perhaps it was after all the dances that failed me and not the inverse.)

NEW YORK — Seeing Anne Terese De Keersmaeker reprise her seminal 1982 “Violin Phase” yesterday at the Museum of Modern Art — you can catch her at MOMA again today at 2 and 4 p.m. — made it clearer than ever to me that this piece, performed by this dancer, should be required viewing in every modern dance class around the world. Which is not to say that it is just a *modern* dance masterpiece (perfectly at home among the other modern masterpieces at MOMA, where these performances are being connected with the exhibition Online, Drawing Through the 20th Century), but that, craft aside — because there’s plenty of that too — De Keersmaeker does what fewer and fewer modern dancers and choreographers seem interested in doing these days, and that is reaching out to and engaging the audience.

To receive the rest of the article, first published January 23, 2011, subscribers can contact publisher Paul Ben-Itzak at paulbenitzak@gmail.com. Not a subscriber? Subscribe to the Dance Insider for just $29.95/year ($99 for institutions gets full access for all your teachers, students, dance company members, etc.) and receive full access to our Archive of 2,000 exclusive reviews by 150 leading critics of performances on five continents from 1998 through 2015. Just designate your PayPal payment in that amount to paulbenitzak@gmail.com, or write us at that address to learn how to pay by check or in Euros. You can also purchase a complete copy of the Archives for just $49 (individuals) or $129 (institutions) Purchase before February 14, 2017 and receive a second, free copy for the recipient of your choice. Contact Paul at paulbenitzak@gmail.com .