Avignon, Cour d'honneur, 4.30 in the morning. This promises to be an uncommon experience: the city still sleeping, the day dawning, so favourable to a face-to-face encounter, frank and direct, between singers and dancers, between 14th-century music and today's public. The choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and the artistic director of the Graindelavoix vocal ensemble, Björn Schmelzer, joined forces in their quest to interpret a complex medieval music through which much older roots resonate, and to build dance based on the essential movements of the human body. Ars subtilior, that extremely refined, late 14th-century polyphonic music born in the Cour des papes in Avignon, which was already at the heart of Rosas' previous show En Atendant, is unfolded in space and is embodied by expressing its most dance-like qualities. The maestria of De Keersmaeker and that of Schmelzer are mutually strengthened in this exercise: making audible what runs the risk of disappearing in multiple superimpositions of notes, making visible the way that a body can express this music by a natural fluidity. What is presented is a daring angle of approach, going straight to the essence of sound and movement, of the dynamic and intensity. Today's voices and bodies resuscitate these long-ago times in a here and now bathed in the light of dawn, which inevitably intensifies, becomes increasingly limpid and orients perception as it pleases while the sun rises.
Dominike van Besien