Choreography: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
Created with and danced by Rosas: Boštjan Antončič, Carlos Garbin, Marie Goudot, Cynthia Loemij, Julien Monty, Michael Pomero, Igor Shyshko
Music: Gérard Grisey: Vortex Temporum (1996)
Musical Direction: Georges-Elie Octors
Ictus: Michael Schmid (Flute), Dirk Descheemaeker (Clarinet), Jean-Luc Plouvier (Piano), Igor Semenoff (Violin), Jeroen Robbrecht (Viola), Geert De Bièvre (Cello)
Temporal whirl, temporal maelstrom – vortex temporum: the right metaphor for the opening concert of the 48th Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music in 2016. The Darmstadt Summer Course has existed for 70 years; it took place for the first time in 1946 at Kranichstein Hunting Lodge, before the gates of an utterly destroyed city. Seven decades of the Darmstadt Summer Course – which also means seven decades of shaping music history. Looking at the history books as well as current developments in the course, one can say that the name of Darmstadt is connected to all significant names in contemporary music after 1945, as well as the – sometimes vehement – discussions and controversies about the current state of composition, interpretation and reflection.
Gérard Grisey, who died in Paris in 1998 only 52 years old, was an important part of Darmstadt’s history, and his Vortex temporum for piano and five instruments (1994-96) is today considered one of the composer’s central late works, as well as a milestone of spectral music. The internationally celebrated choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker occupied herself for over a decade with Grisey’s piece, analyzing it time and again. The result is a breathtaking work for 13-piece ensemble (seven performers from her company, Rosas, and six musicians from Ictus) and an almost hour-long artistic reflection on how time is compressed and stretched out in space, how it contracts and unfolds, to grant an equal and independent status to the sounds, gestures, movements and the dynamics of the space in a choreographic counterpoint. When Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Vortex Temporum opens the 2016 Darmstadt Summer Course, it will mark the first time that the choreographer’s current object of success is being presented at a music festival at all.