Meg Stuart
Damaged Goods
Jozef Wouters/Decoratelier
Articles
Interviews
Teaching
Radio France International, Hunter - Rosslyn Hyams, 09.02.2015

Hunter – interview with Meg Stuart

A transcription of an interview with Meg Stuart by Rosslyn Hyams, on the occasion of the French premiere of Hunter at Les Spectacles Vivants du Centre Pompidou.


Rosslyn Hyams: Why did you choose to name the performance ‘Hunter’?

Meg Stuart: “I like one word titles. Hunting has a certain urgency about it. It’s not just searching but actively looking. For a large part of the piece, I am looking into my own personal archive, my movement archive and family history, searching for connections and clues. How do they all link? How did I get to where I am now?”

How much more would you say this is a research into yourself, your own personal history and previous works?

“Making a solo means that I don’t need to explain and translate my ideas to performers. Usually, I shape movement material based on their proposals or the way they move. Here I’m relying on myself. Of course, every person is influenced, is a myriad of others and all the other things that have crossed their path, wanted or unwanted. In Hunter, I’m diving into the wreck, positively seeing what has changed and what has remained since I started dancing. How and what does my body want to express? I always say the body is a container for memory. In Hunter, I am really putting it to the test.”

“You mentioned the word myriad - myriad on stage - with not only your movements and the style of movements but also with the decor, the scenography and sound. Is this very multi-layered, multi-facetted appearance, Meg Stuart?”

“It’s a solo made with others. I invited a handful of collaborators to share the process with me. I gave Chis Kondek, the video artist, some old super 8 movies my father had made in the seventies and we created some original material as well. We even did some reenactments of Yoko Ono’s cut piece and a tribute to Cindy Sherman. The result is a mix between real memory, fictional meetings and reenactments. Vincent Malstaf did the sound design. I asked him to work with sound effects, which creates some almost ‘cartoonesque’ moments but is also quite strong because I’m moving to the sound of keys and doors slamming. I wanted to dance to voices of others as well. When you’re alone in a private space or on stage, you often put on the radio or have unfinished dialogs with other people. So it made sense to not just dance to music but to have other people’s presence through their words in it as well.”

“Towards the end of the piece, two speakers are swinging and creating a sort of Doppler effect. As I am screaming, the speakers are reflecting the sound and bringing it back to me. So Hunter begins with an installation – I’m creating a collage, live on stage – and it ends with a sound installation.“

Dance has evolved as well as where you’ve evolved. Do you feel that contemporary dance is very different today from when you were starting out? Are the challenges the same?

“In the beginning I was searching for a language that related to a resistant body, looking at it in fragments. It was a lot about ‘no’, as opposed to ‘yes’ - a kind of anti-virtuosity. I wouldn’t say it had a punk-aesthetic but it certainly had a big mode of resistance. Over the years, I’ve opened up on all levels. Experimenting with many different styles and approaches. The speaking, conscious dancer, expressing the state of things is something very present in performance - especially as dance has moved into the contemporary art world. Maybe it’s a reflection of that. It’s not enough just to criticize and to show an air of resistance on stage, it’s also to imagine possible outcomes or solutions, or at least to dream together on how things might be.”

Independant Dance, Crossing Borders Talk: Meg Stuart, Frank Bock
Négocier et douter en espace. Dramaturge Jeroen Peeters dialogue avec le scénographe Jozef Wouters sur le projet INFINI de Decoratelier - Jeroen Peeters (19.08.15) [ French ]
Negotiating and hesitating in space. Dramaturge Jeroen Peeters in conversation with the stage designer Jozef Wouters on the INFINI project of Decoratelier - Jeroen Peeters (19.08.15)

© Damaged Goods — info@damagedgoods.be — +32 (0)2.513.25.40