Steve Reich Evening

Not normally one for contemporary music and contemporary dance (or for blogging it would seem, judging by my extended silences on, I have nevertheless been getting into both recently, especially thanks to Laurent and the Kaai Theater!

A few weeks ago, we saw a spectacular Steve Reich event at the Kaai Theater that made me want to write again.

Steve Reich (b. 1936) is a composer who specialises in minimalist and mathematical compositions. The pieces we heard were played on swinging microphones and ticking metronomes as well as piano, glockenspiel, and drums.

Each piece was accompanied by a dance, choreographed by the Belgian Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker (b. 1960).

Best of all was a piece in which two pianos played rival/overlapping/complementary parts, while two dancers spun slowly from side to side, holding one arm up at right angles to their bodies. Because of the way they were lit, each dancer cast two shadows against the back wall. In the middle, their shadows overlapped so that there appeared to be three dancers – the one in the middle being a composite of the two; ephemeral, haunting, and beautiful.

The programme notes included the Milan Kundera quotation: ‘Happiness is the longing for repetition’, on which perhaps more later…