Meg Stuart

'Built to Last' © Eva Würdinger
"Built to Last" © Eva Würdinger

Video: „Do Animals Cry“

Meg Stuart is an American choreographer and dancer living and working in Berlin and Brussels. After completing her studies in New York City and following an invitation from the Klapstuk festival in Leuven, she created her first evening-length piece, »Disfigure Study«, which launched her choreographic career in Europe. Stuart founded her own company, Damaged Goods, in 1994, through which she has realised more than 30 productions, ranging from solos to large-scale choreographies, site-specific creations and improvisation projects.

She has collaborated with many artists, including Philipp Gehmacher, Brendan Dougherty, Ann Hamilton, Claudia Hill, Benoît Lachambre and Hahn Rowe, and has held residencies at Schauspielhaus Zürich (2000-04) and Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin (2005-10). On the invitation of intendant Johan Simons, Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods became associate artist to the Münchner Kammerspiele in 2010. Damaged Goods has an on-going collaboration with the Kaaitheater in Brussels and HAU Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin. In 2008 Meg Stuart received a »Bessie Award« for her body of works and the Flemish Culture Award in the performing arts category and in 2012, she was awarded the »Konrad Wolf Prize« by the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts), Berlin.

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 Twitching, tics and lapses in control are characteristic. Unhinged bodies that fail at becoming images, detached limbs that create no identity. Meg Stuart's works are suspensions with a double meaning: in her choreographies, video works and performances, she always provokes the moment in which language fails and gestures lose their meaning. In her works, we meet very contemporary characters, who are not able to integrate their own disparateness and who lose control in the hall of mirrors formed by interior and exterior, subject and object, body and image. In her artistic processes, Meg Stuart exposes herself to influences, ideas and artists in order to shift the borders of her work method and to strain the vocabulary and context of dance.

Through collaborations with numerous artists, she searches for the edges of dance, its interfaces with theatre, music, video and the visual arts. Again and again, stage designer Doris Dziersk creates eye-catching spaces – most recently the circling, playfully menacing planetary system in »Built to Last«. As in her previous piece, the energetic »VIOLET«, music is the root of a confrontation: Five highly heterogeneous performers are faced with overpowering and sublime classical and contemporary compositions. They find unfamiliar, irritating movements for the so well-known sounds and make new aspects and structural elements of the music – as fragile as they are humorous – audible and visible.
Esther Boldt


     »Hunter« (2014)

    »Sketches/Notebook« (2013)

    »Built to Last« (2012)

    »VIOLET« (2011)

    »BLESSED« (2007)