Meg Stuart
Damaged Goods
Jozef Wouters/Decoratelier
MOUVEMENT, Chasseur de Palimpsestes, Lauriane Schulz [ Frans ]
Tip Berlin, Die Aura-Jägerin, Arnd Wesemann [ Duits ]
INFERNO, Hunter: Meg Stuart, Smaranda Olcèse [ Frans ]
The Irish Times, Built to Last, Michael Seaver [ Engels ]
The Irish Times, Built to Last, Michael Seaver (review) [ Engels ]
Examinor, Built to Last, Chris O'Rourke [ Engels ]

Dublin Dance Festival 2015: Nothing lasts forever except forever

Five stars *****

First, the body. Solid. Upright. It begins to sway. Then the hand, seeking simple gestures, clenching and unclenching. Next the arm, extended, bending, seeking shape and form. The urge gradually brings all parts of the body to movement and from there to motion. Set against an electronic soundscape, five performers relentlessly seek, find and are frustrated by patterns, culminating in a cacophony of movement and sound before one of the performers quietly brings the others to a halt before turning to nervously address the audience. So begins Built to Last, by renowned choreographer, Meg Stuart, making her Irish debut and kicking off the Dublin Dance Festival 2015 with an excellent production that sets the bar high.

When describing itself as a history of dance, Built to Last does itself a great disservice. For it speaks not just to the history of dance, but to the making of dance, to the need of the body to give expression, with or without music. Of an insatiable urge that can find momentarily release in forms and patterns, none ever big enough to accommodate all that needs to be expressed. Indeed, at times classical musical forms, if momentarily merging with the body’s expressiveness, seem to inhibit it, hamper it, forcing the body to break out and seek new pathways. At times fleetingly recognisable moments appear, tender tableaux temporarily take shape before passing away in the search for newer forms. At other times it appears as if the lunatics have taken over the asylum as the struggle to find shape grapples with restrictions and the need for form. If all is shifting, what never changes is the striving for expression, the endless searching, the body constantly reaching out to catch the stars and channel all that heaven will allow.

Co-produced by Meg Stuart’s, Brussels based Damaged Goods and Munich’s Münchner Kammerspiele, Built to Last is a wonderful, innovative, and often humorous exploration of the making and history of dance. Self-consciously self-deprecating at times, it never ceases to engage, despite its uninterrupted two hours in length. Performers Dragana Bulut, Davis Freeman, Anja Müller, Maria F.Scaroni and Kristof Van Boven give a delightful ensemble performance, as well as creating exquisite individual moments. Stuart’s sensitive yet powerful choreography, at times delicate, wild, playful, was always revealing the vulnerability and humanity beneath, as well as her deep love and passion for dance. The only thing to do is surrender to it.

If dance forms aren't built to last, dance surely will as evidenced by this charming, insightful and, at times, sublime production. A must see.

DE STANDAARD, Speelse agressie en jazzgeweld, Charlotte De Somviele
NRZ, Choreographie der Körpererkundung, Michael-Georg Müller (22.09.2015) [ Duits ]
Deutschlandradio Kultur, Das Ende einer Ära, Christoph Liebold (18.06.2015) [ Duits ]
Deutsche Bühne, Unbequeme Zügellosigkeit, Vesta Mlaker (20.06.2015) [ Duits ]
NRZ Der Westen, Choreography of the exploration of the body, Michael-Georg Müller (22.09.2015) [ Engels ]
DE MORGEN, De gêne voorbij gedanst - Pieter T' Jonck

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