Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is an artist born in Belgium.
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker image

Anne Teresa, Baroness De Keersmaeker (born 1960 in Mechelen, Belgium, grew up in Wemmel) is one of the most prominent choreographers in contemporary dance. The dance company constructed around her, Rosas, was in residence at La Monnaie in Brussels from 1992 to 2007.

After studying dance at Maurice Béjarts Mudra school in Brussels and at the Dance Department of NYU’s School of the Arts, choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker started her career with Fase, four movements to the music of Steve Reich (1982). She founded the Rosas company in 1983, on the occasion of the creation of Rosas danst Rosas. Both works provided a quick international breakthrough, and have been restaged at different occasions, most recently in the project ‘Early works’ (2010).

From 1992 until 2007 De Keersmaeker was resident choreographer at La Monnaie, the Brussels opera house, creating a wide range of works that have been presented all over the world. In 1995 Rosas and La Monnaie jointly set up the international educational project P.A.R.T.S., the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios. Former students of the four-year curriculum have taken up strong positions as dancers and choreographers in Europe and beyond.

From the very beginning Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s choreographies have focused on the relation between music and dance. She has worked with compositions ranging from the late Middle Ages to the 20th century, premiering creations of George Benjamin, Toshio Hosokawa and Thierry De Mey and collaborating with various ensembles and musicians. She also invested in different genres such as jazz, traditional Indian music and pop music. She has great affinity with Steve Reich’s compositions and has worked with his music in pieces such as Fase (1982), Drumming (1998), and Rain (2001). Her choreographies present an ever evolving marriage between a refined sense of compositional architecture and a strong sensuality or theatricality. This unique signature has been recognised with many awards, most recently the Samuel Scripps / American Dance Festival Award (2011).

De Keersmaeker has also left the confines of pure dance and has ventured into the realms of dance and text, creating performances that blend the different disciplines: Kassandra, speaking in twelve voices (2004), I said I (1999), In Real Time (2000). She has also directed operas as Duke Blue-beard’s castle by Bela Bartók (1998) and Hanjo by Toshio Hosokawa (2004). Several of her works have also been turned in autonomous dance films, directed by a.o. Thierry De Mey, Peter Greenaway and De Keersmaeker herself.

In recent years, she chose a track leading to a strong rethinking and purification of the core parameters of her work as a choreographer. The close collaboration with artists such as Alain Franco (in
Zeitung, 2008), Ann Veronica Janssens (Keeping Still part 1, 2008; The Song, 2009; and Cesena, 2011), Michel François (The Song and En Atendant, 2010), Jérôme Bel (3Abschied, 2010) and Björn Schmelzer (Cesena, 2011) prompted her to reconsider the bare essentials of dance: time and space, the body and its voice, its potential to move and its relation to the world. Her most recent work is the diptych En Atendant and Cesena, set to music of the Ars Subtilior. Both works premiered at the festival d’Avignon, upon sunset and sunrise respectively.