Made in 1982, Fase was the first professional work by Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, then just 22 years old. Set to a score by Steve Reich (“Of all the choreography done to my music,” he said in 1999, “this was by far the best thing I’d seen”) the dance transposes Reich’s iterative musical processes into action and reaction, light and shade, flesh and blood. It is a commanding, captivating experience, its cut-glass configurations at once severely conceptual and surgically visceral. De Keersmaeker’s tenacious, exacting pursuit of her compositional principles leaves some viewers gasping for light relief, but for me it also exposes a strange vulnerability. I saw Fase first in the early 90s, last in 2011, and it still slays me.
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