Rosas & Ictus – Vortex Temporum by Gerard Grisey

In very great haste because the last London peformance is tomorrow (Thursday 29 May) and I’ve just seen the second performance in this three day run, and I’m thinking of going to the third (and last) London performance tomorrow (Thursday). So you can assume I think this is very good art.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Rosas and Ictus – Vortex Temporum
Published Wednesday 28 May 2014 at 12:46 by Sarah Frater

It’s no surprise that Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s new dance work is set to the music of the contemporary composer Gerard Grisey. De Keersmaeker’s distinguished career has long been characterised by her choice of music, and an examination of its relationship with dance. However, Grisey’s so-called spectral music is more demanding than De Keersmaeker’s earlier choices (Bartok, Schoenberg, Berg), and the choreographic result is equally unforgiving.

Vortex Temporum is a bold, 60-minute work for seven dancers set to Grisey’s composition of the same name. This unpicks musical processes and musical timbre, with De Keersmaeker’s choreography asking similar questions about how choreography interweaves with sound. The result is a three-part piece

… [In the last section] Thee accomplished performers race and eddy in circles and ellipses, tracing the spherical markings on the stage floor that are the work’s only “set”. These spheres hint at notions of planetary and musical time, with the occasional alignment of dancers, set and music producing the briefest fragments of conventional harmony. Excepting this, the atonal music, enigmatically detached, casually dressed dancers, and the bare stage – stripped back to its architectural walls – make for a fascinating if challenging evening. … this new work confirming her position as one of the leading practitioners of cutting edge art-dance.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** I recommend reading the whole review: what follows is me

I first heard Grisey’s music about 5 years ago, the movement “Partials” from “Les Espaces Acoustiques”, and was instantly struck by it.

I think this evening was the first time I heard “Vortex Temporum” for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano. I was very impressed. (As in indication in some parts it’s sort of like a serial John Adams. In other parts it isn’t.)

This was the UK premiere of Rosas dance to it, so I can confidently say this was the first time I saw it. The dance does the music full justice.

Riffing on An-Ting Chang’s Concert Theatre, I think one can say that this is Concert Dance Theatre: the musicians are part of the dance, and in places move with the dances, and there is a peripatetic piano!.

So if you have the chance to see Rosas & Ictus in “Vortex Temporum” I recommend it. (Tip: you can probably buy a ticket at the box office on the night, saving the booking fee.)

After the performance I thought of going again, with a probability of over a half. Then I found that the only possibility is tomorrow (Thursday), which may clash withe last performance of Mamoru Iriguchi at The Place. But looking it up, I’ve missed the only near performance of that (today at The Place), so:

The probability that I will see Rosas & Ictus in “Vortex Temporum” again tomorrow is not as high as if the last performance was on Friday or Saturday, as I’d prefer a day or two to think about it, but the probability of me going again tomorrow (Thursday) is still quite high.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Mamoru Iriguchi.
Originally trained as a zoologist, then as a theatre designer, Mamoru is now also a self-taught multimedia performance maker.


About Colin Bartlett

I'm interested in arts, mathematics, science. Suliram is a partial conflation of the names of three good actors: Ira Aldridge, Anna May Wong, and another. My intention is to use a personal experience of arts to make some points, but without being too "me me me" about it. And to follow Strunk's Elements of Style. Except that I won't always "be definite": I prefer Niels Bohr's precept that you shouldn't write clearer than you think.
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