- Lucy Ribchester
- 29 August 2017
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's Rosas company plays out nature's subtle metamorphoses in a dance piece beating with life
Through slow metamorphosis and restless shape-shifts there is a core of momentum that runs through Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's Rain, that keeps the dance rooted in the steady rhythms of Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians and beats like the earth's pulse around which everything else is in constant flux.
Ten dancers move with springs in their steps, always busy, shifting through patterns of trios, duets, solos, asymmetrical ensembles, running, swirling, leaping in angular geometries: like the best abstract paintings it looks both totally random and completely deliberate.
Everything here has been knitted into harmony – the subtle percussion of Reich that can alter its downbeat before you have realised it; Dries Van Noten's costumes that the dancers seamlessly change every so often to reflect the changing of Jan Versweyveld's lighting, from copper to lilac to neon pink, to blank silver; and the dance itself, that, as the dancers grow wearier after an hour of non-stop ebullience, takes on a more intimate, languorous tone.
This is art for art's sake, beauty for beauty's. And yet despite its mathematical precision there is a life force here that the cast channel in their buoyancy, the verve they inject into the sway of their hips, and in their smiles. Rain feels like a celebration, a sophisticated one, full of tempered colour, beating with the cycle of the seasons, but at the same time fixed on a molecular level. Like nature, everything here has its rightful place.