‘Good evening. My name is Lutz Förster. I am 57 years old.’

How do you ‘transmit’ dance? How do you pass on an art form that is so transient and so hard to note down? How do you reconstruct choreographies? Questions that have been bugging choreographers for years. Re:Move, set up by Kaaitheater  (Brussels) is a new festival that will be focusing on all of these questions. It was kicked off yesterday by Pina Bausch-dancer Lutz Förster.

‘Good evening. My name is Lutz Förster. I am 57 years old.’  That’s how the German dancer greeted his audience, yesterday, during the first night of Re:Move. His talk turned out to be a typical Jérôme Bel-performance: light, simple, amusing and, at times, slightly surreal. Förster told us about his early days as a dancer, about his lover and about working with Pina Bausch, José Limon and Robert Wilson. He smoked a cigarette, talked to a chair, demonstrated some sign language, and performed snippets of choreographies.

Altogether it did make me think about some of the things Re:Move is focusing on. How do you summarize a career in dance? What’s important and what is not? What is left, in the end? How do you pass on that legacy? Or choreographies? Is every life lived in the art world worth to be turned into a performance? It goes without saying that director/choreographer Jérôme Bel, once again, has made some radical choices, when it comes to these questions.

I spent a nice evening listening to Mr. Förster, but in the end, it was not his story that got to me, but a tiny little piece of dance that he performed at the end of his talk: a fragment out of Für die Kinder vor gestern, heute und morgen, on a song by the great Caetano Veloso. That really floored me, and reminded me, once again, of the great talent of that incomparable Pina Bausch.

Do check out those other Re:Move-performances. They will be about other big names or key pieces in the history of dance, such as Sacre du printemps, Mary Wigman, Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham and Trisha Brown. The festival is having a couple of lectures too. And be quick, because some of the performances are already sold out. Info here. Jérôme Bel, in the meantime, is working on a new choreography with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, 3Abschied. It will première at De Munt/La Monnaie, on February 16th. Info here.

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