Skip to main content
Back to search
  • Add to playlist

Prélude à la mer

The Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, to Claude Debussy's music, inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé's text, is a sublime musical poem about the ephemeral, absence, and extinction. A faun wonders whether the nymphs that have fled his amorous advances were not, after all, mere phantasms: was I in love with a dream?...If only one could make these nymphs last, make the ephemeral persist, seize hold of what is bound to vanish… Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's choreography, brought to life by two "dream" performers, Marc Lorimer and Cynthia Loemij, confronts itself with the harshness of the scene of a catastrophe: the site of a vanishing sea, the Aral Sea. An androgynous "faun" (made possible by switching between a man and a woman) becomes caught up in the impossible quest to hold on to what is bound to vanish. He/she traces the movements of his/her insatiability, wandering in the tracks left by what used to be a sea : a salty steppe, landscapes with cracked soil, sandstorms, a cemetery of the wrecks of ships, lighthouses in the middle of the desert, ghost villages covered in sand by the wind. When he finally finds today's shore, in the film's final shot, the image of the sea in turn disappears, gradually dissolving in white. 

Source : Charleroi danses

More information :

De Keersmaeker, Anne Teresa

In 1980, after studying dance at Mudra School in Brussels and Tisch School of the Arts in New York, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (b. 1960) created Asch, her first choreographic work. Two years later came the premiere of Fase, Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich. De Keersmaeker established the dance company Rosas in Brussels in 1983, while creating the work Rosas danst Rosas. Since these breakthrough pieces, her choreography has been grounded in a rigorous and prolific exploration of the relationship between dance and music. She has created with Rosas a wide-ranging body of work engaging the musical structures and scores of several periods, from early music to contemporary and popular idioms. Her choreographic practice also draws formal principles from geometry, numerical patterns, the natural world, and social structures to offer a unique perspective on the body’s articulation in space and time.

From 1992 until 2007, Rosas was in residence in the Brussels opera house De Munt/La Monnaie. During this period, De Keersmaeker directed a number of operas and large ensemble pieces that have since been performed by repertoire companies worldwide. In Drumming (1998) and Rain (2001), both with Ictus contemporary music ensemble, complex geometric structures in point and counterpoint, together with the minimal motivic music of Steve Reich, created compelling group choreographies that remain iconic and definitive of Rosas as a dance company. Also during her time at La Monnaie, De Keersmaeker created Toccata (1993) to fugues and sonatas of Johann Sebastian Bach, whose music has continued to be a recurring thread in her work. Verklärte Nacht (both the 1995 version for fourteen dancers and the 2014 version for three) unfolded De Keersmaeker’s expressionist side, bringing the stormy narrative of Arnold Schönberg’s late romantic string sextet to life. She ventured into theater, text, and interdisciplinary performance with I said I (1999), In real time (2000), Kassandra - speaking in twelve voices (2004), and D’un soir un jour (2006). She highlighted the use of improvisation within choreography in tandem with jazz and Indian music in such pieces as Bitches Brew / Tacoma Narrows (2003, to the music of Miles Davis), and Raga for the Rainy Season / A Love Supreme (2005).

In 1995 De Keersmaeker established the school P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) in Brussels in association with De Munt/La Monnaie.

De Keersmaeker’s latest pieces mark a visible "stripping down" of her choreography to essential principles: spatial constraints of geometric pattern; bodily parameters of movement generation, from the utmost simplicity of walking to the fullest complexity of dancing; and close adherence to a score (musical or otherwise) for the choreographic writing. In 2013, De Keersmaeker returned to the music of Bach (performed live) in Partita 2, a duet between herself and Boris Charmatz. Also in 2013, she created Vortex Temporum to the spectral music piece of the same name written in 1996 by Gérard Grisey. Taking her penchant for writing movements from musical scores to an extreme level of sophistication, "Vortex Temporum" had a one-to-one ratio between the Rosas dancers and the live Ictus musicians, bringing the choreography and the music into meticulous dialogue. In 2015 this piece was adapted to a durational exhibition format at WIELS in Brussels under the title Work/Travail/Arbeid. Also in 2015, Rosas premiered "Golden Hours" (« As you like it »), using for the first time a body of text (« Shakespeare’s As You Like It ») as the score for movement, thus allowing the music (Brian Eno’s 1975 album Another Green World) to recede from strict framework to soft environment. Later that year, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker continued her research into the relationship between text and movement in Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke, a creation based on the eponymous text by Rainer Maria Rilke. At the beginning of 2017 she was invited by the Paris Opera to direct Mozart’s Così fan tutte.

In A Choreographer’s Score, a three-volume monograph published by Rosas and Mercatorfonds, De Keersmaeker offers the performance theorist and musicologist Bojana Cvejić wide-ranging insights into the making of four early works.

Source: The company Rosas 's website

More information :

De Mey, Thierry

Thierry De Mey, born in 1956, is a composer and filmmaker. An instinctive feel for movement guides his entire work, allowing him to tackle and integrate a variety of disciplines. The premise behind his musical and filmic writing is the desire for rhythm to be experienced in the body or bodies, revealing the musical meaning for the author, performer and audience. He has developed a system of musical writing for movement used in pieces where the visual and choreographic aspects are just as important as the gesture producing the sound, such as in "Musique de tables" (1987), "Silence must be!" (2002) and "Light Music", which premiered at Lyon's Musiques en Scène biennial festival in 2004.

A large part of his music production is intended for dance and cinema. He has often been more than a composer for the choreographers Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Wim Vandekeybus and his sister Michèle Anne De Mey, offering his precious collaboration in the invention of "formal strategies" – to use a favourite expression of his. Among his main work let us mention "Rosas danst Rosas", "Amor constante", "April me", "Kinok" (choreographies by A. T. De Keersmaeker), "What the body does not remember", "Les porteuses de mauvaises nouvelles", "Le poids de la main" (choreographies by W. Vandekeybus), "Dantons Töd" (dir. Bob Wilson), "Musique de table", "Frisking" pour percussions, un quatuor à cordes, "Counter Phrases", etc.

He participated in the foundation of Maximalist! and the Ictus ensemble which created several of his pieces (dir. G E Octors). His music has been performed by major ensembles such as the Arditti Quartet, the Hilliard Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, Muzikfabrik and the Orchestre Symphonique de Lille. Thierry De Mey's installations, in which music, dance, video and interactive processes work together, have been presented in events such as the Venice and Lyon biennials as well as in many museums. His work has received national and international awards (Bessie Awards, Eve du Spectacle, Forum des compositeurs de l'Unesco, FIPA, etc). The film/installation "Deep in the wood" (2002-2004) involved more than 70 dancers/choreographers. For the film "Counter Phrases" (2003-2004), nine composers answered his dance/film invitation : S. Reich, F. Romitelli, M. Lindberg, T. Hosokawa, G. Aperghis, J. Harvey, L. Francesconi, R. De Raaf and S. Van Eycken. In 2003, the working process with ATDK for "April me" was the subject of a documentary entitled "Corps accord", produced by ARTE which has also broadcast and co-produced most of his films.

Since July 2005, Thierry De Mey is artistic director of Charleroi/Danses along with Pierre Droulers, Michele Anne De Mey and Vincent Thirion.

In 2006, he realised an installation adapted from Perrault's tale, "Barbe Bleue" (Bluebeard), plus a film, "One Flat Thing, reproduced" based on the choreography by William Forsythe and broadcast by Arte in October. In 2007 he made From Inside for the Charleroi/Danses Biennale, an interactive installation in the form of a triptych. For the 2009 Charleroi/Danses Biennale, he created "Equi Voci", a polyptych of dance films accompanied by orchestral music and which includes "Prélude à la mer", a film based on one of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's most beautiful choreographies which he shot by the Aral Sea in October 2009. His latest film – "La Valse", choreographed by Thomas Hauert and the ZOO dance company – completes and close this project.

Source : Charleroi/danses

More information :

Prélude à la mer

Artistic direction / Conception : Thierry De Mey

Choreography : Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker

Interpretation : Mark Lorimer et Cynthia Loemij

Additionnal music : "Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune" de Claude Debussy interprété par l'Orchestre de l'ORTF sous la direction de Jean Martinon

Video conception : directeur de la photographie et cadreur Philippe Guilbert cadreur Aliocha Van der Avoort son et mixage Xavier Meeus montage Boris Van der Avoort montage son Isabelle Boyer assistants caméra Julien Lambert et Sarah Blum assistante à la direction artistique Anne Van Aerschot assistante réalisateur et scripte Ludovica Riccardi

Costumes : Tim Van Steenbergen en collaboration avec Anne-Catherine Kunz

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Production Charleroi Danses En Coproduction avec Sophimages, Rosas, Arte France, Eroïca productions, Flagey, Cité de la musique/Paris, Centre de l'Audiovisuel à Bruxelles (CBA)

Our videos suggestions

No results

Our themas suggestions

Dança e música


Anne Décoret-Ahiha

Dança e música


  A relação entre música e criação coreográfica difere de acordo com as correntes, de acordo com os séculos. 

Know more
By accessing the website, you acknowledge and accept the use of cookies to assist you in your browsing.
You can block these cookies by modifying the security parameters of your browser or by clicking onthis link.
I accept Learn more