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 Kaaitheater
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 dance because I wanted to be a magician but I’m not good with stuff”, Meg Stuart tells the audience, somewhere along Show And Told, her collaboration with Tim Etchells. If the piece proves one thing, it’s how good the American choreographer and the British (performance) artist actually are with stuff. Be it other stuff. Movement stuff. Language stuff.
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.
Trying to mix Shakespeare with Brian Eno: ‘Golden Hours (As you like it)’ by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker & RosasPosted in contemporary dance, dance with tags Brussels, critique, Kaaitheater, recensie, review on February 16, 2015 by Utopia Parkway
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker dancing to Brian Eno. That’s how Golden Hours was announced. But somewhere along the way it became: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker dancing to Shakespeare. Golden Hours (As you like it) still carries the traces of that shift. The piece once again proves the radical artistic mind of the Belgian choreographer, but at the time of the premiere (Kaaitheater, Brussels, January 2015), it was a dance performance that definitely needed some more thought.
Some performances are gone the next day. Forgotten. Some stay with you a little longer. And some keep on popping up in your mind. Such as Hunter, the first evening-length solo by Meg Stuart. I watched the American choreographer perform it a couple of months ago in Essen, and scenes and images from it have been coming back to me regularly, since. Hunter, a piece about memories. The Venice Biennale wanted it on its programme last June, and the well-respected German magazine tanz awarded Meg Stuart the title choreographer of the year for it. The piece will have its Belgian premiere this week at Kaaitheater, Brussels.
Funny how the dullest evenings in a theater can be the ones that stay with you the longest. Whereas the only thing you could think while you were watching the performance, was: hope this ends soon. But when you’re home, you realize the questions keep your mind busy. Why on earth did they do what they were doing? What was it they wanted me to experience? Premiere, by Cyprus-born, New York-based, director/choreographer Maria Hassabi, whose work (aptly described by The Financial Times) ‘appears as often in white boxes as in black’.
‘What is the purpose of this gathering?’, one of the performers asked, at the beginning. Halfway through MUSH-ROOM, by Grace Ellen Barkey & Needcompany, I still hadn’t found a decent answer to that question. Sure: those giant, dangling mushrooms were wonderful to look at, and that music by American cult band The Residents gelled well with the weird, absurd and exuberant party I had been watching. But apart from that? MUSH-ROOM was dragging and the piece struggled to make it to the end.