Reich wrote Drumming in 1970-1971. Laura Dean choreographed it in 1975, and De Keersmaeker set it dancing again in 1997. In this (the first part only), a long strip of white paper, much of which is still rolled up, lays a horizontal path across part of the stage. As the first of four drummers arrives, Loemij performs a long, riveting solo—kicking out and wrenching herself around. When the second drummer joins, she acquires a partner (or shadow), Mark Lorimer. The changing directions of their unison choreography recall, briefly, Piano Phase, just as certain movements recur from dance to dance (a drop into deep plié is a feature in both Eight Lines and Four Organs).

This is a splendid full-out display of strenuous beyond-counterpoint. De Keersmaeker’s 13 intrepid company members call out signals. Loemij wipes her face during a momentary lull. Lorimer vaults over Dolven. People mill around brainy, hard-to-decipher ways, join, split apart. At the end, Loemij is alone again. She gives the roll of paper a push, and it winds itself up again, obliterating the white path. When it reaches the edge of the stage, the drummers stop dead and the stage goes black.

Cynthia Loemij (left) and Tale Dolven in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's "Piano Phase."
Photograph © 2008 Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos
Cynthia Loemij (left) and Tale Dolven in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's "Piano Phase."


Steve Reich Evening
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
October 22 through 25


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