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 ]

Dublin Dance Festival review

Meg Stuart’s questions some classical music myths in her new show, and makes something uplifting amid the sturm und drang.

Four stars ****

In taking on classical music warhorses, choreographer Meg Stuart has created a theatrical experience equally epic. Sprawling across two hours, Built to Last throws stones at monuments to the past, questioning our tacit relationship with bombastic expressions of heroism and ultimately presents an uplifting affirmation of the human spirit.

Fourteen excerpts are used as metaphors for historical narrative. Stuart questions how this music can be appropriated and given an immovable mythical status, even though our perceptions of history constantly change. Actor Kristof Van Boven quotes Beethoven: “What’s in our hearts and in our souls must find a way out”, an antidote to another Beethoven quotation claiming that “eventually, music is always a threat”. This is the tension underpinning the entire performance: how does the individual interact with prescribed versions of history?

Sometimes the performers confront the blaring pomposity face-on with manic jerky movements on the edge of self-control, as in the case of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony. At other times they approach the music as time travellers, responding to the sounds with a contemporary vocabulary, like the German Expressionist dance that matches Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire.

It’s not all serious. Aside from Van Boven’s quips to the audience, some images are deliberately funny, like Van Boven and fellow performers Anja Müller and Davis Freeman appearing in a kind of a Victorian museum case, or Müller as a Wagnerian-like Goddess-heroine up among the revolving planets. The overall effect is complemented with energetic and pitch-perfect performances by the five performers, that include Maria F Scaroni and Dragana Bulut.

Examinor, Built to Last, Chris O'Rourke [ Engels ]
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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