Dance in Times of Isolation

Due: Monday, April 6 @ 5 PM

Assignment Guidelines

During these extraordinary times of social distancing and isolation due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19, renown dance artist, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker has invited people to engage with her seminal 1983 work Rosas danst Rosas (a shorter version of the chair section, Rosas, can be found here). This invitation is similar to the Re:Rosas project she launched in 2013 when she invited anyone to create their own versions of the dance, following a plagiarism case with Beyoncé (see additional resources at the end of this document).

For this assignment, you will follow De Keersmaeker tutorials to learn the choreography and then create your own version of the dance. View the links below for the tutorials and for examples of how others have adapted Rosas throughout the world:

Dance in Times of Isolation

Re: Rosas – The Trailer

Re: Rosas!

As part of your research for your creative process view the original film (link provided above) and read the article, Womanhood in Rosas danst Rosas. This will give you a context for the background and meaning of the piece.

For further inspiration, you can view a documentary of the making of the work. To hear young Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker talk about her choreographic ideas go to min. 05:19-07:50.

Guidelines for your adaptation:

  • Length: around 1 minute
  • Methodology: Learn the movements as taught in the tutorials. Manipulate the material and variations to create your own version. Maintain the integrity of the original choreographic concept and movement material.
  • Location: intentionally choose a location for your work
  • Music: You may use the original music provided in the tutorials. You may change the music. Or you may use silence.
  • Dancers: You can dance alone. You can dance with others. You can dance with dancers and non-dancers. You can collaborate online, ie: through zoom, to create a virtual version with multiple dancers.
  • Documentation: Film your dance. Upload it to our Google Drive Folder in the folder titled Dance in Times of Isolation. DUE: MONDAY, APRIL 6 @ 5 PM
  • Responses: View everyone’s work and jot down in your movement research notebook:
  1. Your work: Why did you choose your specific location for the dance? How did you go about making your own variation of Rosas? How did the specificity of your current circumstances inform your work? How and why did you choose silence, sound, or music? What was most interesting to you about the process? What surprised you? How would you further develop the piece?
  2. About your peers’ work: What was most interesting to you? What did you notice about the way in which they manipulated the original choreography to make it their own? What is a moment that you saw them moving in a way that you found unexpected? How did you experience their site even though you were not physically in their site. What meaning did the piece evoke for you? Articulate one, “What if…” question for each work.


Additional resources:

Beyoncé v DeKeersmaeker: can you copyright a dance move? (The Guardian, October 2011)

To view specific scenes drawn from Rosas danst Rosas go to mins 02:31-02:54 and 03:17-03:31 of Beyoncé’s Countdown video.

Beyoncé Accused of Plagiarism Over Video (The New York Times, October 2011)

Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker vs. Beyonce (CULTUREBOT, October 2011)

Beyoncé, De Keersmaeker-and a dance reinvented by everyone (The Guardian, October 2013)