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Keeping Still - Part 1

dance
30.08—06.09.2008

Performance at the ROSAS PERFORMANCE SPACE (Vorst/Forest)

Keeping Still is not suitable for children under 10 and for those who suffer from claustrophobia. The mist used in the performance has been tested and is completely harmless.

Ann Veronica Janssens sculpts with light, and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker with bodies and movement. In Keeping Still they are working together for the first time. The production opened at the 07 Kunstenfestivaldesarts and is made to fit the Rosas Performance Space, where it will now be revived. The room is filled with mist. A single beam of light. Silhouettes. A child’s voice tells us how beautiful life is. A little while later we hear Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker singing an excerpt from Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde

Ann Veronica Janssens: ‘For me light is a question of the vitality of life. Light is the shortest route to life. Light is what you carry in you. It involves thinking, philosophy, politics and hope too.’

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker: ‘We decided on mist as an element of the representation early on, and that led us to Mahler's Song of the Earth and to the feelings which this music evoked in me of the desert and of emptiness. These were two important elements from an early stage. I had wanted for a long time to make a piece which would do justice to my concern with the planet and with what is happening to the planet. What is happening to our ecological balance requires our attention. In the performance it is as if two people are left behind in the desert, in an empty space. Maybe there's also an echo in it of Bruce Chatwin's Songlines: the belief held by Aboriginals that you can sing the earth to life. Keeping Still, part 1 gives an impetus to thinking about ecology. But I don't know what will come after.’
(excerpts from an interview by Elke Van Campenhout)

a performance by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker & Ann Veronica Janssens | in collaboration with Robert Steijn | dramaturgy Claire Diez | movement David Hernandez & Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, with thanks to Rob List | music Das Lied von der Erde (Der Abschied), Gustav Mahler, singing Kathleen Ferrier | under direction of Bruno Walter, performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker (1952) | voice coaching Lucy Grauman | text The Earth Charter, www.earthcharter.org | voices Kes Bakker, Anna Franziska Jäger, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker | assistance to the artistic director Anne Van Aerschot | production Rosas & De Munt / La Monnaie | coproduction Kunstenfestivaldesarts | thanks to Ludo Abicht, Kuno Bakker, Lieven De Cauter, Jolente De Keersmaeker, Kattrin Deufert, Ida Devos, Alex Jack, Chrysa Parkinson, Thomas Plischke, Rita Poelvoorde, Jan Ritsema, Mårten Spangberg, Dirk Van Nieuwenhuysen, Oscar Van Woensel, Frank Vercruyssen