Built to Last
A reinvention of history and dance, a masterly confrontation of 5 simple humans in contact with the masterpieces of 12 great composers. A feat of pure choreography by the prodigious Meg Stuart.
A mobile that evokes the solar system, a dinosaur in kit form, primitive-futurist tribes in a museum display case, music with the rousing force of a tidal wave. Meg Stuart has built a time travel machine and confronts her performers with classics by Beethoven, Xenakis, Dvorak, Rachmaninoff and other seminal composers, placing her simple humans in the face of monuments that incarnate history and transform it into a future full of promise. In the rolling fire of a perpetually renewed dance, they meet the challenge with brio. Whether symphonic, minimalist or expressionist, they gape at icons of the past, affirming their absolute modernity.
Working for the first time with existing classical music, the prodigious Meg Stuart creates an experience poles apart from Maybe Forever (FTA, 2008). In Built to Last, she puts Western heritage through the wringer to extract the essence of human grandeur. A feat of pure choreography.
PRODUCED BY DAMAGED GOODS + MÜNCHNER KAMMERSPIELE
CHOREOGRAPHED BY MEG STUART
PERFORMED BY DRAGANA BULUT + DAVIS FREEMAN + ANJA MÜLLER + MARIA F. SCARONI + KRISTOF VAN BOVEN
DRAMATURG BART VAN DEN EYNDE + JEROEN VERSTEELE
MUSIC DRAMATURG ALAIN FRANCO
SOUND DESIGN KASSIAN TROYER
SET DESIGN DORIS DZIERSK
COSTUME DESIGN NADINE GRELLINGER
LIGHTING DESIGN FRANK LAUBENHEIMER + JÜRGEN TULZER
VIDEO PHILIPP HOCHLEICHTER
PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH USINE C WITH THE SUPPORT OF GOETHE-INSTITUT MONTRÉAL + MINISTÈRE DES AFFAIRES ÉTRANGÈRES D’ALLEMAGNE
WRITTEN BY FABIENNE CABADO
TRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
PREMIERED AT MÜNCHNER KAMMERSPIELE, MUNICH, APRIL 28, 2012
MEG STUART | DAMAGED GOODS (Bruxelles + Berlin)
Imperfection, Failure and Beauty
The American choreographer and dancer Meg Stuart splits her time between Brussels and Berlin. After a few years in New York, she moved to Belgium where she created her first works starting in 1989. Her staging of Disfigure Study was a mix of dance and theatre, and featured fragmented, twisted bodies, inspiring the name Damaged Goods, the company she founded in 1994. Intense and dramatic in her initial pieces, her dance focused on states of being where the body disintegrates, struggles against itself, falls, thrashes, flails and crawls. Weakness and flaws lie at the heart of her work – a source of emotion and empathy, and also of beauty. Underlying her characters’ vulnerability are desire and determination, which motivate their actions. With time and the effect of diverse influences, the artist often referred to as “the choreographer of disaster” has become more serene in some of her later dance pieces.
Crash Landing (1995-1998) consisted of improvised encounters between various artists in events that she orchestrated in cities across Europe, an indication of her taste for collaborations with individuals from a wide range of disciplines. The many collaborators in the more than thirty works she has created include the videographer Chris Kondek for ALIBI (FIND, 2003) and her new work Hunter (premiere March 2014), the choreographer Philipp Gehmacher for Maybe Forever (FTA, 2008), and Benoît Lachambre and Hahn Rowe. The latter collaboration led to a Bessie Award for the trio for the piece Forgeries, Love and Other Matters (2004). Also involved in Built to Last are the visual artist Doris Dziersk for the set design (her fourth for the company after Do Animals Cry – Usine C, 2010), and the composer and music dramaturge Alain Franco, a close collaborator of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.