A new beginning
Flemish choreographer Ann Van den Broek is also starting over, because Q61 rounds off ten years of toiling in emotions, fears, lusts and desires in their most intense form. She expressed them in extremely physical performances, including the prize-winning Co(te)lette.
In the process, Van den Broek, ‘student’ of Krisztina de Châtel, pushed her dancers to the limits of their endurance. But while for De Châtel the form is always the priority, for Van den Broek the entire structural concept is subservient to the emotions. In her case, repetition serves to draw nearer to the heart of the emotion, which is often intense, heavy and dark.
Compared to her previous work, Q61 exudes an almost pastoral calm, although the dancers find themselves in a bleak, white space. Their actions repeated over and over again (dressing and undressing, arching backward, walking in circles, reaching out longingly), emphasize the futility of life – a fact they seem to have accepted, as well as that there is no contact between them. Emotionally, they live in their own private cell. ‘It’s a wonderful life, if you can find it’, Nick Cave sings, but the six dancers have not found it yet.
What is brilliant is how, with minimal means, Van den Broek manages to create an unrelenting mood of suspense throughout this hour-long piece, with an almost hypnotic effect. Not a very cheerful work, but certainly a very intriguing one.
Francine van der Wiel, NRC Handelsblad, February 10, 2011