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Rosas

'Once'

by Jurate Terleckaite

October 2003 -- Robin Howard Theatre, The Place, London

Appreciations and views: that I heard about Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s eccentricity, strict approach and self-centredness awakened my curiosity and I decided to come to London to see her dancing.

In “The Place“ she showed her first solo “Once“, a masterpiece, as I was told. She was late to appear on the stage. She had barely come when she threw off her shoes. (Fortunately, not on the audience) … I thought: “She is as she had been described to me“.

After that, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker stood still and watched the audience for some five minutes, and we observed her. Observing to unwind, leave the past, the present and the future behind us and descending the world of her own? She did everything to facilitate this. But, on the other hand, the dancer created the impression that she did not need us, the spectators.

She was swinging, twisting, jumping in consonance with Joan Baez's words and at times she herself would sing in her tender and clear voice. The simplicity of the words was accompanied by simple movements. Gradually she became part of what she was dancing and singing, and she brought me into her world with, I guess, a large part of the audience. I did not retreat from her world. I did not want to. I discovered that behind this masculine figure and these angular movements resided a female tenderness. The video images of the United States Civil War going through her naked body underlined and fortified this image.

I believe after the performance I understood why she is reluctant to come into contact with PR people or journalists. Isn’t it because her dancing is her best way to express her thoughts, feelings, her own world, and finally the outer world?

Edited by Jeff

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