When dance and music meet, it is generally about the approach taken by a choreographer who chooses to dance to existing music: Counter Phrases came from the desire to produce the reverse approach by offering images and dance movements to a number of composers in order to inspire and create a musical composition.
Ten shorts by Thierry De Mey set to music by ten composers with ten danced phrases choreographed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and performed by Rosas. These ten films encapsulate the best of De Keersmaeker and De Mey's collaboration: twenty years of assiduously practicing variation, of perpetually inventing algorithms, filters, and formulae that twist movement and space according to the capricious mathematics of pleasure. All of this is filmed - O Belgitude! - in exquisite flower-filled gardens and under impressionistic drizzling rain.
The ten composers of Counter Phrases, Stefan Van Eycken, Georges Aperghis, Thierry De Mey, Robin de Raaff, Luca Francesconi, Jonathan Harvey, Magnus Lindberg, Toshio Hosokawa, Steve Reich, Fausto Romitelli, will each work on one of the variations separately, after the films have been edited, and will be completely unaware of what the others are doing.
The music is performed by the Ictus Ensemble, conducted by Georges Elie Octors.
Following orchestral tours, the device functions in an autonomous multi-screen installation: three screens with sound spatialised in 5.1.
Artistic coordination and film direction Thierry De Mey
Choreography Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
Original musics solo d’Igor - Stefan Van Eycken / La Hulpe - Robin de Raaff / Water - Thierry De Mey / Heysel - Georges Aperghis / Dance Patterns - Steve Reich / solo de Marta (in silence) /Moving Trees - Jonathan Harvey / Counter Phrases - Magnus Lindberg / Floral Fairy - Toshio Hosokawa / Green, Yellow and Blue - Fausto Romitelli / Controcanto - Luca Francesconi
Dancers Rosas Beniamin Boar, Marta Coronado, Alix Eynaudi, Jordi Galí, Fumiyo Ikeda, Cynthia Loemij, Ursula Robb, Taka Shamoto, Igor Shyshko, Clinton Stringer, Julia Sugranyes, Rosalba Torres Guerrero, Jakub Truszkowski
Music Interpretation Ictus Ensemble
Conductor Georges-Élie Octors
Photo director Aliocha Van der Avoort
Photomontage Boris Van der Avoort
Costumes Dries Van Noten
Production assistant Anne Van Aerschot
Production Avila / Rosas / Ictus
Co-production ARTE / ECHO / European Commission-culture 2000