International Dance Day Message 2011 by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
I think dance celebrates what makes us human.
When we dance we use, in a very natural way, the mechanics of our body and all our senses to express joy, sadness, the things we care about.
People have always danced to celebrate the crucial moments of life and our bodies carry the memory of all the possible human experiences.
We can dance alone and we can dance together. We can share what makes us the same, what makes us different from each other.
For me dancing is a way of thinking. Through dance we can embody the most abstract ideas and thus reveal what we cannot see, what we cannot name.
Dance is a link between people, connecting heaven and earth.
We carry the world in our bodies.
I think that ultimately each dance is part of a larger whole, a dance that has no beginning, and no end.
After studying at the MUDRA dance school and the Tisch School of the Arts in New York, in 1980 Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker created Asch, her first choreographic work. 1982 saw the premiere of Fase, four movements to the music of Steve Reich, one of the most influential pieces of choreography of the era. In 1983 De Keersmaeker set up her Rosas company at the same time as creating the work Rosas danst Rosas. The focus of her work is the relationship between dance and music. She has used the music of composers from several periods. While Rosas was resident at La Monnaie (1992-2007), De Keersmaeker directed a number of operas. The relationship between dance and words is another thread running through her work. Her recent productions have been characterised by cooperation with artists. In 1995 she established the P.A.R.T.S. dance school in association with La Monnaie.