Partita 2 – Two world-famous choreographers rediscover their love of dance


The renowned Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker returns to FringeArts, this time as a dancer, for one night only on November 1st at 8pm.  This dance masterpiece takes place at FringeArts’ waterfront headquarters, 140 N Columbus Blvd. (at Race St.).

In her opus of over forty dances, Partita 2  choreographed to Partita No. 2 by Johann Sebastian Bach – is the first duet De Keersmaeker has composed for herself to dance with a man.  Her encounter with Boris Charmatz is a departure from her usual work, pairing her meticulous construction with the whimsical, boyish, and at times titanic improvisatory flights of Charmatz. The complementary duet breaks open with a third partner, the violinist Amandine Beyer, whose physical presence, like the fiddler on the street, sustains a humble sense of virtuosity.  Configuring various situations of listening with and without watching, in silence or in music, enhances the experience of the bare force of the stage design by visual artist Michel François.

Partita 2 stems from a peculiar delight: what happens when two choreographers, famed for directing many bodies, rejoice in their love for their own dancing, which might be a stronger urge for them than the choreographing at which they excel?  Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker creates a choreographic framework for this dancing duet that is a geometrical and architectural structure for the two bodies in space.  De Keersmaeker and Charmatz then play with this structure, toying with it, bending it, unfolding in various patterns born with and alongside the music.

This structure is lifted from Bach himself.  “For me Bach is structure,” says De Keersmaeker. “But his transcending dimension is written in the flesh.”

De Keersmaeker and Charmatz reinvent their dance in the instant.  The chords strike their bodies, the counterpoint vibrates and comes to life, the current flows and the jig begins to whirl.  Keersmaeker draws on folk dances to create meaningful layers of movement – always on the brink of rhythm, skimming the edges of silence.

This is the second FringeArts presentation of De Keersmaeker’s company Rosas, after a sold-out presentation of Rosas Danst Rosas in October of 2014, which was called “mesmerizingly futuristic” and a “perfect feminist pitch” by Merilyn Jackson in The Philadelphia Inquirer.


Partita 2
November 1st | 8:00pm
FringeArts, 140 N Columbus Blvd. (at Race St.).  Phila

Tickets $39-44 | $24.50-30.80 for Members | $15 Students and Under-25
Call 215-413-1318 or visit to purchase tickets.


After studying at the MUDRA dance school and the Tisch School of the Arts in New York, in 1980 Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker created Asch, her first choreographic work. 1982 saw the premiere of Fase, four movements to the music of Steve Reich. In 1983 De Keersmaeker set up her Rosas company at the same time as creating the work Rosas danst Rosas. The focus of her work is the relationship between dance and music. She has used the music of composers from several periods. While Rosas was resident at La Monnaie (1992-2007), De Keersmaeker directed a number of operas. In 1995 she established the P.A.R.T.S. dance school in association with La Monnaie. The relationship between dance and words is another thread running through her work. Her most recent works are Partita 2 (2013), a duet with dancer and choreographer Boris Charmatz, set to Bach’s Partita No. 2, Vortex Temporum (2013), set to the music of Gérard Grisey and Verklärte Nacht (2014), a “pas de deux” to the music by Arnold Schönberg. In A Choreographers Score, a three-volume monograph published by Rosas and Mercatorfonds (May 2012 / July 2013 / October 2014), she offers wide-ranging insights into the making of her four early works as well as Drumming, Rain, En Atendant and Cesena, in conversations with the performance theorist and musicologist Bojana Cvejić.


Dancer and choreographer Boris Charmatz presented from Aatt enen tionon (1996) to enfant (2011) a series of highly memorable pieces. While maintaining an extensive touring schedule, he also participates in improvisational events on a regular basis (with Saul Williams, Archie Shepp, Médéric Collignon) and continues to work as a performer. Director since 2009 of the Rennes and Britanny National Choreographic Centre, Boris Charmatz proposes to transform it into a Dancing Museum of a new kind. A manifesto is at the origin of this museum, which has already received the projects préfiguration, expo zéro, héliogravures, rebutoh, service commandé (on commission), brouillon (rough draft), Jérôme Bel en 3 sec. 30 sec. 3 min. 30 min et 3 h. and has travelled to Saint Nazaire, Singapore, Utrecht, Avignon and New York. Associate artist of the 2011 Festival d’Avignon, Boris Charmatz creates at the Cour d’Honneur of the Pope’s Palace enfant, a piece for 26 children, 9 dancers and 3 machines ; and he proposes Une école dart, a project by the Musée de la danse and the Festival d’Avignon. From 2002 to 2004, while an artist-in-residence at the Centre national de la danse, he developed Bocal, a nomadic and ephemeral school that brought together students from different backgrounds. In 2007 and 2008, he was a visiting professor at Berlin’s Universität der Künste where he contributed to the creation of a new dance curriculum. Charmatz is also the co-author of Entretenir / à propos d’une danse contemporaine written with Isabelle Launay and published jointly by the Centre national de la danse and Les Presses du réel. His latest book “Je suis une école” was published in April 2009 by Les prairies ordinaires.