In this work the disparate facets of the dance process are brought smoothly together in four separate slim volumes. The book is the platform for an exhibition in the WIELS arts centre in Brussels, its starting point being a simple question: can a choreography be performed in the form of an exhibition? As her answer, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker reinterpreted her dance Vortex Temporum for the radically different ephemeral environment of a room in a museum.
The book offers us a glimpse of De Keersmaeker’s world, including studio photos and flanking essays by academics, plus a reprint of Vortex Temporum. The result is a carefully produced book ‘from which you would never think dance was so complicated.’ The whole thing has an aura of unpretentious elegance. The dayglow colours that crop up from time to time (also acting as a separator between essays) in no way shout down the whole: on the contrary, they inject rhythm as befits a dance performance.
The bold type, too, has been chosen to avoid academism, and the panel judged the glamorous veneer of foil printing to be nowhere irritating or obtrusive. They did, however, lament the rather floppy slip case, which after only being passed round a few times had lost some of its plumage and is clearly doomed to swift disintegration. Even so, there was a nice balance to all the elements in the package. It is difficult to capture dance in a book, but here it has been achieved con brio.