Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker receives Venice’s Golden Lion


Flemish choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker will travel to the Venice Biennale in June to receive the Golden Lion career award and to perform in Fase

Lifetime achievement

Flemish choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker has been awarded a Golden Lion career prize by the Venice Biennale. The lifetime achievement trophy Leone d’oro alla carriera per la danza was awarded to De Keersmaeker for the “original synthesis between formal rigour and pathos” embodied, said the jury, in her 1983 piece Rosas danst Rosas.

“Her poetic gestures expressed by the body had a significant impact on Western cultures towards an understanding of the body in theatre as a medium for experimentation with language,” said Virgilio Sieni, the director of the biennale’s dance section. “She positions bodies in experimentations that allow us to perceive man as he opens up to new spaces.”

De Keersmaeker’s award was one of three lifetime achievement awards handed out by the biennale: The others went to Greek composer Georges Aperghis for music and the Swiss director Christophe Marthaler for theatre.

De Keersmaeker presented her piece Rain at the Dance Biennale in 2001, her dancers performing under a shower of silver strings to Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich.

The Golden Lions will be awarded on 27 June. Following the ceremony will be a presentation of Fase, Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich, De Keersmaeker’s breakthrough piece from 1982. She will dance one of the parts herself.

Flemish dance

Flemish choreographers are considered some of the best in the world, and the region is known for the number of top choreographers based here. Contemporary dance has been flourishing in Flanders since the 1980s, when a handful of choreographers known as the "Flemish wave" drew international attention with radically innovative works.
Names - Pioneering Flemish dance choreographers include Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Alain Platel, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Wim Vandekeybus and Jan Fabre.
Funding - Dance companies Rosas, Ultima Vez, Les Ballets C de la B and the Royal Ballet receive the lion’s share of available government funding.
School - Founded by De Keersmaeker and based in Brussels, P.A.R.T.S. became the first professional school in Belgium focused on contemporary dance.
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