Montpellier (Hérault), special correspondent.
A nne Teresa De Keersmaeker choreography and dance the Goldberg Variations, by Bach, his latest creation presented at the Montpellier Danse 40 Bis festival (1). Two hours on stage for, she says, her last solo. In garden, the young Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov, in a white sleeveless T-shirt and cropped trousers. Transparent black dress, bare feet, platinum blond ponytail, Keersmaeker, austere and fatal, sober and crazy, childish and aged, searches the soul of music to the depths. His gestures sculpt space and organize time back and forth in mathematics, melancholy or joy. We sometimes take our eyes off this voluble body to stare at the pianist’s hands, little dancers of flesh. At court, a mass of crumpled aluminum reflects a moonlight on the stage.
The slow movements of the score agree with reduced gestures
In the garden, the golden glow of a survival blanket. Exceptional challenge, admirable feat. There are no less than thirty variations on such a rich range of affects. The complexity of the structure, the echoes, the endless varied rhythms, all the tempi finally require a deployment of monster energy. The key figures of the choreographer; spirals, balances and imbalances, walking, sexy swaying, shrug of the shoulders, the arm impelling a direction, the hand which holds back before pushing back, its whole palette, this sort of “collection of quotes”, starts to vibrate like an inventory messy. The body, “Inexhaustible reservoir of memory”, she said, showing off her specters, her phantom gestures, the arsenal of a lifetime. She talks to herself, talks to herself and whispers as Glenn Gould did in 1955, hunched over his keyboard. The humor – in her constant – tempers the pathos, with signs from silent cinema, side Charlot with his cane. This well-informed, well-oiled body, expert in the spirit of geometry, offers itself in a counterpoint loaded with meaning to the touch of Pavel Kolesnikov. The slow movements of the score agree with reduced gestures. All it takes is a bent knee, a painful kick, a raised finger… At the end of the first part, she runs aground on the ground, hanging on the instrument, head thrown back, legs open. She swoons. We remain speechless in front of this absolute gift of oneself, when it remains without movement, without dance, without body. Part two, she tucks into tight, sequined pants with an off-white top. On the ground, a rectangle of light. Very young pop girl, she sketches gestures against the use, unpaired, a little ridiculous. Disco swaying. Arms in the air. At times, she comes under our noses and looks at us, as if to say: “Did you see what I’m doing?” “ Not fooled. Next to the plate. As if Bach became impossible to “dance”. The almost last variations arrive, slow, breathless, to draw tears to you. So she gives up, stops moving, listens. Her slender silhouette, soon eaten up in shadow, goes away. Light only idealizes the piano. Infinite spiritual solitude. Then we see her bare back, a nod to Trisha Brown’s ultimate solo, which she revered. Finally, a pale sun rises in the back of the stage, while in sequined shorts throwing glimmers of hope, red shirt open, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker reconfigures her spirals with the zealous partnership of the pianist. Extremely rare, she greets and murmurs, in applause: “Thanks for coming, it’s good to be together. ”