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Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker presents Sand / Encore 1Été during Belgian Science for Climate Action conference

A remarkable addition has been announced last minute to the first edition of the Belgian Science for Climate Action conference, which will be held in Brussels on 19 & 20 February 2024. Rosas, the internationally acclaimed company that was created by Belgian dancer and choreographer Anne Terese De Keersmaeker, will bring a recent performance live on stage during the first day of the conference. However uncommon it is to see a dance company in the line up of the scientific conference, the performance itself is totally in line with the conference's topic, i.e. the causes and consequences of climate extremes.

In June 2023, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker presented Sand / Encore 1Eté for the first time as part of the Festival of Art History at the Chateau de Fontainebleau. We know that 19th century writers could be “seers”. Less well-known is that they were sometimes visionaries.

In 1872, when Fontainebleau came under threat by major deforestation projects, George Sand took up her pen to defend this natural monument. Her plea is a tragically prophetic environmentalist manifesto: a century before the Club of Rome carried out its study, Sand predicted with staggering precision the excesses of capitalism and the reality of climate change, including the destruction of the ozone layer, deforestation, and drought.

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker was struck by the relevance of this text written 150 years ago, which rings true now more than ever. As it was for George Sand, knowing how to become one with nature is fundamental for the choreographer. From the elements (fire, water, air, earth and metal) to Fibonacci spirals (seen in minerals, plants and the cosmos) and the patterns formed by flocks of starlings, her work takes inspiration from the processes of the natural world, further developed in space and in time.

To give George Sand’s text a voice and a body, De Keersmaeker has invited performer Synne Elve Enoksen. Their artistic collaboration began with Somnia (2019), which took place in the woods of Gaasbeek, and continued at the Louvre, reimagined as a forest of images for Forêt (2022). In Sand/Encore 1Été, Synne Elve Enoksen invites us to follow her on a choreographed walk marked by contrasts: between the liveliness of the text and the slowness of walking, between the distinctly unhurried pace of nature and the urgency of climate change.

Photo credentials: Anne Van Aerschot


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