Achterland is a seminal choreography in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s highly individual body of work, as it contains the fruit of what preceded it as well as the seeds of what was to follow. It was for this 1990 production that De Keersmaeker first wrote specific dance material for men, adding three male dancers to her then predominantly female company. The dominant femininity and minimalism of several earlier Rosas pieces gives way to an ambiguous no-man’s-land, in which a playful blurring of boundaries and signs is undertaken. Young girls wear ladies’ clothes, a woman dances wearing a man’s shirt, a man uses the female dance idiom – all joyously immersed in music written by György Ligeti and Eugène Ysaÿe. The violinist and pianist performing these scores are positioned in the middle of the stage. They are not only musicians, but are actively involved in the theatrical dance play, an approach that De Keersmaeker would repeat in many subsequent works.