Video: „Do Animals Cry“
Stuart, Meg: Do Animals Cry
Meg Stuart lives and works as a choreographer and dancer in Brussels and Berlin. Her first piece, “Disfigure Study” (1991), was created in conjunction with her invitation to perform at the Klapstuk Festival in Leuven, Belguim. In 1994 she founded her own company, Damaged Goods, and made Brussels her artistic home. Collaborations with artists such as Philipp Gehmacher, Ann Hamilton, Gary Hill, Benoît Lachambre, and Hahn Rowe followed. Theatre residencies at the Schauspielhaus Zürich (2000–2004) and Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin (2005–2010) led to working together with theatre directors such as Stefan Pucher, Christoph Marthaler, and Frank Castorf.
Meg Stuart created over 20 productions with Damaged Goods. She has initiated several improvisation projects, and her works have been shown at documenta X (1997) in Kassel, Germany, and at Manifesta 7 (2008) in Bozen, Italy. She received the 2006 German Theatre Award, 'Der Faust', for “Replacement”, the 2008 French Critics’ Prize for “BLESSED”, and, in New York City, the 2008 Bessie Award for her complete works.
Since her professional breakthrough, with her 1991 piece “Disfigure Study”, Meg Stuart has remained a kind of seismograph of current social states of mind. The bodies which she invents are repeatedly present-day. Like no one else, the choreographer elicits unseen movement potential from the bodies of her dancers. She has worked with nervous tics and other distortions in order to transpose the performers in physically extreme states which get under the skin when watched. On the other hand, she has a great sense for the theatrical means she consistently exhausts in her productions for which she engages bodies borne by trembling rays of dissecting light and live sounds.
Meg Stuart’s works are characterised by a strong nearness to visual arts, and in her most recent works, this presents itself in the form of spaces similar to installations. Female artists like Doris Dziersk, with her cardboard paradisiacal landscape constantly dissolving within a steady downpour of rain, have significantly characterised the atmosphere of “BLESSED”, and they create visually powerful, onstage spaces which influence the dancers’ game.
Following her departures into narrative theatre with “Do Animals Cry”, at first glance Meg Stuart’s latest piece, “Violet”, recalls a return to her artistic beginnings. Facing the audience, five dancers – three men, two women – stand against a stage wall covered with black, light-reflecting foil. They lose themselves in a 90-minute piece of pure dance. Despite the fact that each of these figures evinces her/his very own extremely gestured movement language, observed from the distance they form an energetic field of togetherness in which the slightest touch suggests a great event in the end. If her earlier pieces were characterised by playing with the vividness of the body and an enraged resistance to its disappearance, in “Violet” Meg Stuart wards off every semblance of pessimism with the potential for another form of human togetherness.
5 dancers – 1 musician – 80 min
the fault lines (2010)
2 dancers – 1 video-artist – 42 min
3 performers – 80 min