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Mystery Sonatas / for Rosa Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker / Rosas

Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival

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A dancer performing onstage. He wears black clothing. Other dancers can be seen performing in the background.

“A rose is a rose is a rose”
— Gertrude Stein

Music and geometry have always been central to the work of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. In Mystery Sonatas / for Rosa, these interests come together through a symbol – the rose. With a long history of symbolism in art history and literature, the rose often represents secrecy and mystery.

De Keersmaeker’s work is closely tied with music, and now she connects with the “Mystery” or “Rosary” sonatas of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber. Written around 1676, the Mystery Sonatas is a musical translation of the fifteen Sacred Mysteries of the life of the Virgin Mary.

Drawing on the religious practice of saying the rosary, Biber’s Mysteries divide into three cycles: five joyful, five sorrowful, and five glorious sonatas. The music is biblical, and also an invitation to dance. Circularity, repetition and petal-like patterns allow for transformations to unfold with the music. Six dancers move through the sonatas.

In this choreography, roses are not just used for their beauty, but for their resistance – with every rose comes its thorns. This work is dedicated to women of resistance—Rosa Bonheur, Rosa Luxemburg, Rosa Parks, Rosa Vergaelen, and Rosa, the 15-year-old climate activist who died in the Belgian floodings of 2021.

Part of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival

Co-presented by Sadler’s Wells and Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels
Production: Rosas
Coproduction: Concertgebouw Brugge, De Munt / La Monnaie (Brussel/Bruxelles), Théâtre de la Ville à Paris, Spoleto Festival dei due Mondi
With the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels
This production is realised with the support of the Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government, in collaboration with Casa Kafka Pictures – Belfius.
Rosas is supported by the Flemish Community and by the BNP Paribas Foundation.

Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels

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