Economies of architecture

Afterwords: Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and Rosas, '(but if a look should) April me' / 20 Jul 2002English

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Contextual note
This text is part of the project Afterwords, curated by Jeroen Peeters for the festival ImPulsTanz Vienna in summer 2002. Every night, three critics in residence shared their impressions and thoughts on the performances immediately after having seen them, in an act of instantaneous writing. During the process of writing, these comments were projected in the theatre lobby and later that night made available on the websites and
A selection of the texts by Jeroen Peeters is available on Sarma, in a slightly edited version, sometimes with a postscript. Two essays elucidate the project Afterwords and reflect on its poetical and political implications. To retrieve the material, search under: ‘Afterwords’.

A huge scenographic mess: tables and insulation material spilled all-over, the technical grid hanging halfway,… it is cleaned up by the performers to make space for its counterfigure: a choreography with an astounding architectonic structure. Composed of a series of duets, being mirrored, diffused in space with different directions, intertwined, accumulated. An eclectic movement language: abstract, fluid and stylised, sometimes infected by ethnic music, even a bit of gymnastics, with an almost ironic touch. An interesting basis of equality seen from a gender perspective: men and women dance the duets in random combinations, and besides, they are all half-naked, wearing skirts or trousers also spread over arbitrarily. It is a moving architecture, and at the same time a horizontal structure in terms of meaning, a possible economy.

The second part is as eclectic in its diversity of movements, but this time there is also space for solos, bringing the dance to an almost idiosyncratic point. A private economy, at its turn countered by a powerful symbolic architecture: an (arranged) marriage.

Follows the after-party, again a mess: as the steady rhythm of our society, where imposing architecture (both formal and symbolic) leads also to a waste of energy and installs an entropic movement. A process that keeps going, as the two dancers that initiated the duet-choreography in the first part (Cynthia Loemij and Ursula Robb) are already clearing space by piling the insulation material into a vertical structure (thus architecture). It is one of the rituals in what appears as an atomic landscape of lost individuals, performing this rituals in order to keep themselves up: watching football, imagining being a ballerina,…

Although some of the images are succinct, the dramaturgy is rather unclear. Which meaning does this juxtaposition of images finally release? Their visibility might be a great deal yet, making increase confusion and postponing the possibility of a last word. The proposed end speaks this way: percussionist Michael Weilacher makes sounds by touching and caressing a gallery of cymbals, pots, toys…, simultaneously his movements are mirrored by dancer Alix Eynaudi. She is just grabbing in the air, altering this very constitutive principle of conscience (mirroring) into a pregnant figure of ignorance. Again followed by a different figure of ignorance, a child singing about the stars.