When Rain, created by the Rosas Company in 2001, entered the Paris Opera Ballet’s repertoire ten years later, Director of Dance Brigitte Lefèvre brought a whole dimension of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s world to the Paris Opera, giving dancers and audiences alike the possibility of undertaking a unique visual and auditory kinaesthetic experience. Since the 1980s, the choreographer has continually played a key role in the world of contemporary art, marking the emerging Flemish scene with the imprint of an original language initiated with the New York avant-garde and borne by a quest for composition in all its forms. Parallel to her intense theatrical work, she has also developed an art of minimalist purity through skilfully dynamic choreography seeking “to burst into life” in a kaleidoscope of perpetually changing forms.
Set to Music for Eighteen Musicians, Steve Reich’s major score composed in 1976, Rain embodies the culmination of a dance form drawing its own spatial polyphony from the mathematical principles of musical composition, a polyphony which also materialises on the floor, where the infinite trajectories of the dancers criss-cross like brightly coloured pick-up sticks. Music and dance become one until, breathless and exhausted, they discover the motifs of an exhilaratingly profound work concealed within their own inner mysteries where freedom and constraint, rigour and profusion, unity and reduction all rhyme with each other.
Performed by members of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris accompanied by Ensemble Ictus and Synergy Vocals as conducted by Georges-Elie Octors.
Recorded October 2014 at the Opéra national de Paris.