The event is even more exciting for Amanda Graham, associate director of engagement at Carolina Performing Arts and performance historian who earned her Ph.D. in visual and cultural studies. When Graham was a professor, she taught her students about Rosas and De Keersmaeker’s work as a choreographer.
Graham said she hopes people who don’t know much about dance or don’t usually attend live performances will give "Rosas danst Rosas" a shot.
“I think it is also about challenging yourself to see things that you wouldn’t normally see," Graham said. "I think that this is a challenging performance, but that it is also very gratifying in that it gives a lot back, and it teaches us to watch performance not through a narrative lens. I think dance is a little more like poetry in that it’s abstract and it’s gestural. In going to this kind of dance, you’re teaching yourself a different way of seeing and a different way of reading.”
De Keersmaeker said viewing "Rosas danst Rosas" live, rather than on video, is a unique experience.
“Ever since something like YouTube has arrived on the scene, contemporary dance has found its way to much larger audiences,” De Keersmaeker said in an interview with Floor Keersmaeker on Rosas’ website. “Yet this form of transmission still doesn’t compare to the simple, authentic experience of a live performance, in which spectators and artists share the space-time of a live performance.”
Carolina Performing Arts and University Libraries are hosting a dance takeover on Oct. 3. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., dancers will perform a part of the dance from "Rosas danst Rosas" in multiple stages at Wilson and Davis Libraries.
These pop-up performances will feature Durham-based dancers and UNC dance students.
“Our hope, generally, is that people, when they do come to a CPA performance, whether it be this one or any other, that it will actually inspire them to come back,” Rodriguez said. “And not just to see paid performances, but to go to live performances or arts events in general.”
After the show on Oct. 9, there will be a post-performance gathering at Crossroads Chapel Hill with Durham Independent Dance Artists. It will provide an open forum for audience members to process and discuss what they saw and took away from the act, even if they don’t have any knowledge of dance, Graham said.
“As a dance historian, I think it is very important for people to not just attend performances, but also to think about them,” Graham said.
Tickets for "Rosas danst Rosas" are available now and are $10 for UNC students.