In 1986, De Keersmaeker first ventured into the terrain of contemporary classical music with Bartók's string quartet Quartet No. 4. In a choreography punctuated by both playful and combative accents, De Keersmaeker took on the task of distilling a dance score out of Bartók's complex rhythms and layered harmonies. In Die Grosse Fuge (1992), De Keersmaeker sets out to find a male vocabulary, with Rosas’ dancers challenging gravity in a piece that sought to provide a physical translation of Beethoven's ingenious use of counterpoint. Each of the three pieces constitutes a choreographic response to a specific historical score, unveiling De Keersmaeker's penchant for both abstract conceptualisation and narrative composition.
In Brussels the music will be performed live. The Ictus ensemble will interpret Quartet no. 4 and Die Grosse Fuge, while the Brussels Philharmonic will play Verklärte Nacht under the baton of Alain Franco.