Ultima Vez: What the Body Does Not Remember

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"Tough, brutal, playful, ironic and terrific. Adjectives seem unduly passive in describing What the Body Does Not Remember, an extraordinarily innovative dance piece.” —The New York Times


A thrilling revival of the 1987 work that launched the enduring partnership of prolific choreographer-filmmaker Wim Vandekeybus and Belgium-based Ultima Vez, which has become one of Europe’s most highly acclaimed dance companies. Powered by a theatrical score by Thierry De Mey and Peter Vermeersch, What the Body Does Not Remember is a feat of daring and tempestuous energy punctuated by instinctual, dangerous and precise movement. In 1988 Vandekeybus received the prestigious Bessie Award for this production, which was credited as “a brutal confrontation of dance and music: the dangerous, combative landscape of What the Body Does Not Remember.”


“The intensity of moments when you don’t have a choice, when other things decide for you, like falling in love, or the second before the accident that has to happen; suddenly they appear, with no introduction, important for me because of their extremeness rather than for the significance to be given to them. The decision to use this as a basic material for a theatrical composition is at least a paradoxical challenge, considering a theatrical event as repeatable and controllable. Perhaps when all is said and done, the body doesn’t remember either and everything is a subtle illusion of lack, which helps to define or exhaust the game.” —Wim Vandekeybus


Since What the Body … Vandekeybus has created nearly 20 performances with changing international casts and has made nearly as many film and video productions. From his very first performance, music has been an important stimulus for his productions. He has commissioned works from David Byrne, Marc Ribot, David Eugene Edwards and Mauro Pawlowski (deus), among others. Vandekeybus and Ultima Vez will be touring the revival of What the Body Does Not Remember worldwide throughout 2013.



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