Once in a while a photographer takes a picture, and when he looks at that picture, he notices the presence of some ghostly figure. Someone who wasn’t in the room at all when the photo was taken. That’s what I had to think of, watching the Belgian contemporary music ensemble Ictus perform Morton Feldman‘s Piano And String Quartet (Kaaitheater, Brussels). On stage with them: Rosas veteran Fumiyo Ikeda. Was it that peculiar piece of music, or her dancing? It seemed as if she was there while not being there at all.
Archive for the music Category
Slowly going to the heart of the matter: Morton Feldman’s ‘Piano and String Quartet’ by Ictus & Fumiyo IkedaPosted in contemporary classical music, contemporary dance, dance, music with tags Brussel, critique, Kaaitheater, recensie, review on February 18, 2017 by Utopia Parkway
I was on my way to my yoga class around the corner, but decided to skip it yesterday, as something odd had caught my attention. A guy in a room playing the piano, next to some mattresses on the floor. I opened the door, sat down, and listened. Other people dropped by, and left. Whenever the guy had finished playing a piece, he scribbled the title of it on one of the white walls. Without speaking. ‘A kind of pagan chapel where life and music can become one’, that’s how pianist/conductor/performer Marino Formenti describes his project nowhere. For 12 days he will reside in the Zsenne art lab (through Sunday March 29). He will be sleeping, eating and playing there. It’s one of the many projects of this year’s edition of Performatik, Kaaitheater’s performance art biennial. Want a zen moment? Go and listen (10am-10 pm, 2 Rue Anneessensstraat), as this is more than a gimmick: Formenti really is a great pianist. Not living in Brussels? Watch (and listen to) the livestream, here. I’m already addicted.
No plans for the weekend yet? Why not make it a bit posher by paying Villa Empain (Brussels, near Terkamerenbos/Bois de la Cambre) a visit; as tomorrow and Sunday are the last days you can visit Music Palace? The Villa is a difficult space for exhibitions, as the building itself tends to steal the show, but for one reason or the other Music Palace, the power of music seen by visual artists seems to fit in. More over: for once mixing works of art from the East and the West (Villa Empain calls itself a centre for art and dialogue between the cultures of East and West) doesn’t feel too contrived and you’ll be able to see a nice collection of works by Joachim Koester, Dan Graham, Allen Ruppersberg, Robert Longo, Pipilotti Rist and Belgian artist Joris van de Moortel. Folkert de Jong brought in the dancing girls, Ivan Navarro added a drum kit, and it’s impossible not to like Charlemagne Palestine’s piano. The strange thing though? The silence. Not what you would expect at an exhibition about the power of music. Quite the opposite of the current exhibition at Netwerk (Aalst), but more about that later.
‘A near perfect performance.’ That’s the thing with a festival presenting the best of last season’s theatre plays: you tend to expect too much. ‘A near perfect performance’ was what someone had written about An Old Monk, a collaboration between revered Flemish actor Josse De Pauw and noted jazz musician Kris Defoort (and his trio), one of the opening performances of this year’s edition of Het Theaterfestival in Brussels (through September 7). And so I expected… a lot.
Sometimes there’s no denying someone’s talent. But just because of that talent, you tend to be just a little bit more demanding, cause you expect nothing less than perfection. And so I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit disappointed, after 4D, by acclaimed choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, which premiered at Toneelhuis (Antwerp). A dance evening comprising four duets from previous performances, with the video for Sigur Rós‘s Valtari as a little extra.
Thierry Smits. He’s one of those people who remind us that we live in that weird, tiny country called Belgium. Just as Fabrice Murgia. A big name in the south that doesn’t ring a bell in the north. But that doesn’t mean the man (who was born in the northern part) has given up: just as he did with his previous ones, Smits will bring his new Cie Thor choreography Clear Tears/Troubled Waters to theatres in the Flemish part of the country too. Clear Tears/Troubled Waters, which premiered at Halles de Schaerbeek (Brussels), is a piece for 7 dancers and 3 musicians, featuring two members of eighties cult band Tuxedomoon.
Sometimes, it all depends on you. As a spectator. On the work you are willing to do, in your mind. Does that imply that you’re dealing with a lazy performer on stage? Not necessarily so. Take Salva Sanchis, who used to be part of AT De Keersmaeker’s company Rosas (co-choreographer for Desh (2004) and Love supreme (2005)). He has certainly done his homework for Angle: a performance as an investigation into the perception of dance. How do we, as an audience, look at a piece and what might influence the way we perceive it? In Angle (premiere at Kaaitheater, Brussels) Sanchis offers you several elements: dance, live music (short piano pieces played by Yutaka Oya) and some ‘thoughts’. It’s up to you to link them. Or not. A cerebral approach that will not be to everybody’s liking, but I was charmed by it.