Derivations: Rosas danst Rosas

In 1983, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker had her international breakthrough with Rosas danst Rosas, a performance that has since become a benchmark in the history of postmodern dance. In June of 2013, Rosas & fABULEUS invited choreographers to submit their own films based on the original choreography. They received 250 films from all over the world: from Australia to Burkina Faso and from Mexico to Shanghai. The selected films were shown in the Kaaitheater on a wall of fame from October 8th through 12th in 2013, the last day of the revival of Rosas Danst Rosas celebrating its 30th anniversary.

The film Derivations was first shown at the Kaaitheater in Brussels, Belgium where Rosas danst Rosas had its original 1983 premiere. Derivations was reimagined as a dance-theatre hybrid for the stage in 2019 and premiered at Carolina Performing Arts’ Re: Rosas UNC Library Takeover, an event celebrating the performance of Rosas danst Rosas as part of the Carolina Performing Arts season. The stage work builds on the minimalism of the original choreographic structures and movements while abstract moments from the company’s work Dedicated are layered within the repetition. The fierceness of these movements is countered by dancer Steven James Velez’s humanistic presence and responsive gestures. The script, co-written by Comerford and Richard Kirkwood, was pre-recorded by Kirkwood and serves as a score to drive Velez’s movement. Inspired by the exhaustion and perseverance that come with the work’s original design, Comerford created an emotional tension that contrasts sharply with the rigorous structure of the choreography.

Derivations is choreographed and directed by ShaLeigh Comerford and is based on Rosas danst Rosas with original choreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.

Derivations Film Direction & Editing by Jon Haas. Spoken performance by Richard Kirkwood. Music by Mike Wall at

Re:Rosas! is a project by Rosas and fABULEUS and produced in association with Danspunt.

This work was performed as a part of Re:Rosas UNC Library Takeover at UNC’s Wilson and Davis Libraries, hosted by Carolina Performing Arts and University Libraries; Gallery 202’s Movement Art Gala in Roanoke, VA; Westgate Wine in Raleigh, NC; and Revolutionaries in the Dark in Durham, NC.  

Estimated Run time: 10 minutes

Press Release

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