Ever since the 1980s, Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker has been keeping audiences on the edge of their seats with her inventive, rhythmical, and sensual ballet arrangements. After tackling the compositions of classical giants such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, or Arnold Schönberg, the dance master is setting her sights on more contemporary tunes. Her ballet Creation 2023 is entirely based on popular music, and it could not be more fitting to her special style. On the stage of Volksoper Wien this season, pop will make a stunning appearance.
De Keersmaeker’s relationship to pop music is well-documented. Beyoncé, the indubitable queen of pop, borrowed dance sequences from the Belgian dance master’s show ‘Rosas danst Rosas’ and incorporated them in her video to her 2011 hit ‘Countdown’. When she saw the video, De Keersmaeker naturally recognised her work immediately, but instead of making a fuss about it, she issued an internet challenge and asked regular people to emulate her choreography as well. Over 1,500 posts later, the choreographer herself had established herself as a pop icon in her own right.
Creation 2023 is a natural development for Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker. She has been flirting with pop music for a while now. An example is her show ‘The Song’ which prominently features music by The Beatles. The Belgian choreographer relies on pop’s relatability and rich tapestry of sounds, rhymes, stories, and emotions. Popular music’s natural theatricality and spectacle are the bridge to ballet, and translating their intense colours into movement is De Keersmaeker’s specialty. Her intriguing choreographic choices and her signature style are enough to impress not only Beyoncé but also thousands of excited connoisseurs of modern ballet. At Vienna’s Volksoper, Creation 2023 brings a delightful combination of popular music, inventive choreography, and a classical backdrop that mix together wonderfully.