In Real Time

18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27 Mei/Mai/May 20:00
Taal/Langue/Language: Nederlands, français, English

"What worries you about the next millennium? What hope does it give you?" Gerardjan Rijnders asked the questions. Twenty-two voices - dancers from Rosas, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's company, actors from STAN and musicians from Aka Moon - gave contrasting answers. The piece was constructed ‘in real time'. For the first time, three groups of artists have created together, starting with a blank page. In real time freely explores the egalitarian meeting of three disciplines - dance, theatre and music - from start to end, from the very beginning of discussions to the final outcome. Working with the artists was a writer to create the text. They compared their individual methods of work and obtained from these differences their creative starting point.

Gecreëerd en gespeeld door/Créé et interprété par/Created and performed by: Tg STAN & Rosas
Choreografie/Chorégraphie/Choreography: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
Tekst/Texte/Text: Gerardjan Rijnders
Muziek/Musique/Music: Fabrizio Cassol & Aka Moon
Acteurs/Actors Tg STAN: Jolente De Keersmaeker, Sara De Roo, Damiaan De
Schrijver, Frank Vercruyssen
Dansers/Danseurs/Dancers Rosas: Iris Bouche, Marta Coronado, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Alix Eynaudi, Fumiyo Ikeda, Martin Kilvády, Oliver Koch, Cynthia Loemij, Roberto Oliván de la Iglesia, Ursula Robb, Taka Shamoto, Clinton Stringer, Rosalba Torres, Jakub Truszkowski
Muzikanten/Musiciens/Musicians Aka Moon: Fabrizio Cassol, Fabian Fiorini, Stéphane Galland, Michel Hatzigeorgiou
Productieassistente/Assistante de production/Production assistant: Anne Van Aerschot
Repetitor/Répétiteur/Rehearsal director: Mark Lorimer
Decor/Décor/Set design: Thomas Walgrave, TgSTAN & Rosas
Licht/Eclairage/Lighting: Thomas Walgrave
Assistant licht/Assistant éclairage/Assistant lighting: Guy Peeters
Kostuums/Costumes: Anke Loh
Geassisteerd door/Assisté par/Assisted by: Inge Büscher, Nathalie Douxfils
Productie/Production: Tg STAN (Antwerpen), Rosas & De Munt/La Monnaie (Brussel/Bruxelles)
Coproductie/Coproduction: Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Tanztheater International/Expo 2000 Hannover
Met dank aan/Remerciements à/Special thanks to: Chrysa Parkinson, David Zambrano
Presentatie/Présentation/Presentation: De Munt/La Monnaie, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts
In het kader van/Dans le cadre de/In the context of: Brussel/Bruxelles 2000

Back to top

It all began with a blank sheet of paper. Sitting round the table were thirteen dancers from Rosas, choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, four actors from the theatre group STAN and the four musicians who make up Aka Moon. Gerardjan Rijnders, a writer, listened to the answers they gave to the questions he threw at them. "What worries you about the next millennium? What hope does it give you? What are we leaving behind? Where are we heading? What can disrupt the harmony around us? If you had to describe a role you'd like to play, what kind of character would you invent?"

The writer took notes. In the answers he was given, people's worries came to the surface more quickly than their hopes which were more difficult to formulate. The actors were in their element, because their work is about words. Sometimes they gave answers with fragments of texts they like and that are relevant. Used to discussing things, their language is precise and their expressions fluent. It is evident that language is a tool for them - every word counts.

The actors are Frank Vercruyssen, Damiaan De Schrijver and Jolente De Keersmaeker. They formed their company of actors, STAN, in 1989 when they left the Antwerp Conservatoire and were joined later by Sara De Roo. One of the principles of their work is that they are all equal. They rejected the idea of an omnipotent director and have always directed themselves, making use of their strengths and weaknesses. For them, selecting a text is a political act in which they tackle a writer's cutting political commitment. More than serving him in the traditional meaning of the word, they talk things through with him. On stage, none of them hesitates in sharing their point of view and their contrasting visions of things encourage, outside the text, a discussion that brings to light different ways of interpreting it and its possible contradictions. As far as they are concerned, things have more than one meaning. STAN (Stop to Think about Names) has a horror of dogma. The group prefers to involve the public in the richness of the debate that takes place in rehearsals rather than merely offering a cut and dried end product. What is more, far from being a closed group, the members of STAN often invite actors from other Belgian and foreign companies to perform with them.

The writer listened to more responses. Compared to the actors, what the dancers say is more modest and timid and the intense words that emerge often have the awkwardness of an emotion that is difficult to express. The answers are given in a mixture of languages - they are nomads with different origins and cultures. They like the poetry of little anecdotes that expose previously hidden corners of their memory.

The dancers have been working with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker for some years now. They play an active role in developing the raw materials of movement that the choreographer then tightens and reconstructs. With each performance, movements were created from a starting point of what everyone was technically capable of dancing. In its twenty years of creating, the group has enriched itself with dancers of increasingly virtuoso ability with excellent classical backgrounds. Inspired by the wealth of processes of composition offered by written music, Anne Teresa has worked on inventing infinite variations, starting with initial 'phrases' and then rendering the simultaneity of their combinations more complex. Her precision has succeeded in putting together brilliantly the tensions of this apparent chaos. The written form has always been important to her, and it cropped up again recently under a new guise. In Just Before (1997), it came in the form of anecdotal and personal accounts given by dancers. In I Said I (1999), it came in the form of pages from Peter Handke's diary. In Heiner Müller's Quartett (1999) which featured an actor and a dancer on stage, the text was predominant and the theatrical collaboration with Jolente De Keersmaeker and STAN paved the way for a search beyond the juxtaposition of the different disciplines. "Can the text serve as a sub-text to a danced movement? What would happen if an actor were to deliver a speech whilst thinking about a movement or by demonstrating the physical memory he has of this movement?"

All the while the writer continued to ask questions, provoking his audience and then writing down what they said. The musicians watched what was going on and joined in. Their answers were more relaxed and full of optimistic energy. They are improvisers, quick to react to waves and their rhythmic flows. They are travellers. During their stays in Central Africa, Senegal and India, their approach was fuelled by their encounters with traditional musical forms. The fact they are passed on orally ensures they maintain their enduring connection with the present day. They "charge themselves up with the contents", glad to be there to share in things right from the start of this performance that is still to come.

Fabrizio Cassol (alto sax), Michel Hatzigeorgiou (bass guitar), Stéphane Galland (drums) and Fabian Fiorini (keyboards) link the spirit of jazz (originally jazz up meant to excite, splash with colour, dress up and modernise) to their faculty as receivers and transmitters sensitive to world music of all kinds. The group Aka Moon came together after a trip to the Aka pygmies in Central Africa. They are cosmic beings tied to vital energies. Before every concert, they agree on the basic music and allocate areas for their individual performances so that on stage their improvisations can follow their intuition without damaging the impetus of the whole. They like contrasting encounters and perform with Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman (India), Doudou N'Diaye Rose (Senegal), Marie Daulne (Zap Mama) and David Linx as well as with Kris Defoort, Ictus and Philippe Boesmans. Fabrizio Cassol performed a sax solo opposite Ictus and DJ GrazHoppa in I Said I (1999), directed by Jolente De Keersmaeker and choreographed by Anne Theresa. Now Aka Moon is no longer playing with or alongside someone else, but is at the heart of things - a constituent force in this three-way encounter.

Gerardjan Rijnders returned from these meetings with fragments of text for his blank page. An extremely flexible writer, he does more than just transfer what is said onto paper. He wrote the first lines of a story in his own way. There are two main characters - "him" and "her". In between their dialogues slide the polyphonic thoughts of the other performers. The piece was entitled In real time, because here, for the first time, this meeting of text, dance, theatre and music rests on nothing that had been written beforehand. Nothing exists prior to this than three very different modes of creating and three experiences of performers who have each, in their own discipline, acquired the strength of experience.

"The aim here was not to change roles, turning actors into dancers or musicians into actors. Everyone had to blossom in their own spheres, all the wiser for the deep understanding of the others' methods. Movement didn't come about in the same way for Rosas as acting did for STAN or music for Aka Moon. What interested us was listening to each other and discussing things. The experiment has begun - we'll find out what the effect is at the same time as the audience."

Back to top