"Cesena" d'Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker

Ever since the kerfuffle over a Beyoncé video’s appropriation of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s choreography, this globally renowned Belgian dancer has needed even less introduction – in the best circles, the acronym ATDK is enough to signify her genius. This year has been a particularly prolific one for her, with not one but two shows going ahead in France – ‘En attendant’, which showed at the Théâtre de la Ville earlier this year, and now ‘Cesena’. Created for the central courtyard of a medieval gothic castle, the Palais des Papes in Avignon, this contemporary work is both an invitation to be transported and an evocation of luminosity – like a veil drawn back, inch by inch, to reveal its hidden essence. At its première at the latest Avignon Festival, the audience gathered not, as you might expect, in early evening, but at dawn. Thus assembled, still dulled by sleep, the early light revealed nineteen dancers and singers on the white sands of Cesena, an Italian city once occupied by the Gauls.