Inside the halls of La Maison des Arts, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and Radouan Mriziga came across pictures of how Schaerbeek used to be. Through observing traces of what once was, these artists have met in a time and space of embodied abstraction. Their shared interest in geometry manifests itself in the work, while the working has been surrounded with intuitive play.
- A garden is a place to be. It is a place for things to be planted and to grow, a place to think, to watch, to talk. Eventually the garden will become a space of fruitfulness.
- This piece has been made for the garden of Maison des Arts, but Anne Teresa and Radouan have themselves been cultivating their own respective gardens.
- The sharing of ideas like the intertwining of vines. The propagating of plants from one garden to another.
- A time to think, to watch, to talk, to dance.
- Their garden becomes a space of fruitfulness.
- In Islamic gardens, function is understood as beauty; the boundary between what is useful and what is delightful does not exist.
- Take, for example, harmony. We understand harmony as a thing of beauty, but harmony also finds its roots in harmos—the fastening of a door, a joint, the arm joining to the shoulder. These are things of functionality.
- If a possible definition for choreography is the organization of movement in time and space, then geometry can take on a function and become a tool.
- “‘Geometry’ means ‘measure of the earth.’ In ancient Egypt, from which Greece inherited this study, the Nile would flood its banks each year, covering the land and obliterating the orderly marking of plot and farm areas. This yearly flood symbolized to the Egyptians the cyclic return of the primal watery chaos, and when the waters receded, the work began of redefining and reestablishing the boundaries. This work was called geometry and was seen as a reestablishment of the principle of order and law on earth.” —Robert Lawlor
- Here we are in an inner-city garden that generates the patterns of somewhere else—a place where we are reminded of nature amid the concrete. And now there is dancing where there would be wading in waters.
- Islamic gardens are “centered on the running water, which alone makes its other beauties possible.” —Emma Clark
- We cannot live without water; it is essential for the existence of life.
- “Outside the concept of time, the circle has always been regarded as a symbol of eternity, without beginning and without end, just being.” —Keith Critchlow
- But in this case there is an end. Water will be our fate.
- With death by water there is also death by lack of water. In a world linked by water, it is the key for sustainability. Water, the vital medium through which we feel the effects of climate change—naturally, socially, politically, spiritually, and spatially—is troubled with precariousness.
- On one day, the working was scorched in the grass of the jardin, only to then be drowned in torrential rain. On the next day there was a wedding of wolves.
- Perhaps we shouldn’t think of nature outside of ourselves, for if we don’t accept harmony with nature, nature will seek and find its own solutions, from one extreme to the next.
- Maybe this is what drives us unconsciously: that we know Nature will sort it out and that there is a limit to growth. We turn to greed, we give up. A tree that is sick produces an enormous volume of seeds.
- Yet water remains the source, the point of origin.
- “The manifestation of an action, object, or thought (if it can be defined) necessitates a point of origin or departure, in relation both to the manifestation itself and to the person who is conscious of its emergence.” —Keith Critchlow
- “The point of emergence does not necessarily reveal its causation either in the field of its emergence or in the mind of the viewer.” —Keith Critchlow
- “A line, i.e., when a point has moved outside and away from its original position, symbolizes the polarity of existence, although it consists essentially of three elements—two ends and a relationship between them.” —Keith Critchlow
- There is something parallel in the practices of Anne Teresa and Radouan in the way that they match each other in their similarities, all the while remaining on different tracks. That said, convergence has occurred.
- The inertia of the piece takes inspiration from parallel lines.
- Momentum is gained in the carving of circles.
- This piece was made on 5 and 9.
- In fiveness the binary and the ternary function as an internal clock.
- Attention has been given to polarity, whether it be the polarity between two points of a line, or that between the lowness of the body at rest in contrast with the height of the bells of L’église Sainte Marie.
- An intuitive dancer has the internal ability to sense durations of time, but the bells of the church carry on signaling time as they have done within this community since the mid-nineteenth century. Its three bells, known as Marie, Joseph, and Salvator, don’t even know that they are performers in this piece.
- The old bells combine with music made by the young, both traditional and urban.
- The singing of his qanun and beats of his laptop were instantly at play. The meeting took place as the heavens opened. Angles… angels...
- If the dancer is drawn to the ultimate defiance of gravity—the desire to fly, to be taken away by verticality—their arms function like wings. Wings that also push, pull, draw, and speak.
- Birds—horizontal at the height of their verticality.
- Being in an inner-city garden, the presence of birdsong, even in the civil, nautical, and astronomical twilights, is small. Here in an inner-city garden we are enclosed, protected from the wind.
- You watch as the neighbors watch you from the lit windows at the backs of their houses. There’s a hint of René Magritte—the hat, the apple, the dove.
- Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly, all your life you were only waiting for this moment to arrive.
We imagine a new polis
A cyclical return to the circle
The shape of democracy
Everyone will be equidistant from the center
And the center will be empty
For none but the waters that nurture us at the circumference
The river’s edge
Birds fly across the diameter
Their wings will draw polygons
In work, at work
- In a garden, nature is at work, and in a garden, these artists have been in work.
- A relationship has been cultivated between dance as the organization of bodies in space and a garden as the organization of plants, shapes, water, and light.
- Choreography to craftsmanship, craftsmanship to gardening, gardening to choreography.
- Perhaps inspired by the garden as a space of contemplation, Anne Teresa and Radouan have worked in a conversational way that leads them from one idea to the next. The constant planting of thoughts within a wide-open environment rich with spatial stimulation has created a world of unfolding.
- Just as geometry deals with the unfolding of one form upon another.
- This piece was guided not only by a compass at work on paper, but by an internal compass as well.
- It’s like a jungle sometimes; it makes me wonder how I keep from going under.
- Instead of heads being lost to nature, they nod with humility and allyship.
- Water is drawn upward through bodies, from rooted feet to the flower heads. In time, with water and light, care and persistence, the flowers will bloom.
 Arabic expression contributed by Radouan Mriziga: a concurrence of rain and sun.
 The three divisions of twilight according to astronomers.