Meg Stuart
Damaged Goods
Jozef Wouters/Decoratelier
Berliner Zeitung, Menschen in Regalsystemen - Michaela Schlagenwerth (28.09.18) [ Duits ]
La Libre, Meg Stuart, Lion d’or à Venise, dans de nouveaux territoires - Guy Duplat (19.01.18) [ Frans ]
Le Vif, Trip à la sauce indonésienne - Estelle Spoto (24.01.18) [ Frans ]
La Libre, Meg Stuart, Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, tests new waters - Guy Duplat (19.01.18) [ Engels ]
Mouvement, D'huile et d'eau - Sylvia Botella (30.01.18) [ Frans ]
Mouvement, Of oil and water - Sylvia Botella (30.01.18) [ Engels ]
Disfiguring dance, refiguring the human - Allyson Green & André Lepecki on Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods (05.18) [ Engels ]
Contemporary Performance, In Performance: Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods, Until Our Hearts Stop - Philip Gates (08.05.18) [ Engels ]
Le Devoir, Until Our Hearts Stop: jeux interdits - Mélanie Carpentier (26.05.18) [ Frans ]
Lèche-Vitrine, Entrevue avec Meg Stuart sur UNTIL OUR HEARTS STOP - Philippine Vallette (28.05.18) [ Frans ]
La Libre, Comment peut-on survivre au chaos? - Guy Duplat (02.06.18) [ Frans ]
De Morgen, Instagram avant la lettre - Pieter T' Jonck (20.06.18)
Die Presse, Tanz der intergalaktischen Krieger - Isabella Wallnöfer​ (01.08.18) [ Duits ]
TanzRaumBerlin, Scope for freedom - Astrid Kaminski (03.18) [ Engels ]
Der Standard, Practicing dying with ironic grandeur - Helmut Ploebst (24.11.18) [ Engels ]
FAZ, Ear candles to ward off pain - Eva-Maria Magel (19.11.18) [ Engels ]

Everyone must make up their own mind about what lies beyond and any higher being. But what would such a being see if it observed people on this side? Perhaps creatures like the three rolling around the dancefloor of the Frankfurt Mousonturm. Anyone attempting to help Jule Flierl, Claire Vivianne Sobottke or Gaëtan Rusquet may have come in for some abuse, or perhaps received a marriage proposal. One begs for a little bit of love in ludicrous, red platform shoes and an alien with giant ears and a face mask bedecked with glittering stones chirps strange arias. The third is initially maltreated by the others and then healed – with the help of an ear candle that is set alight as if we were visiting an Indonesian natural healer. Meg Stuart may have imported the idea of the ear torch from Indonesia as this is where inspiration for her most recent performance has been sought. The American choreographer called the evening that rounded off the third Rhein-Main dance festival “Celestial Sorrow”. It’s an ambivalent title. Could this supernatural sorrow be a being that rules over everyone and everything? Or a misery that besets the heavens and is simply observing human creatures and the idiocy that they perpetuate on Earth. Meg Stuart is anything but someone who regards herself as a god. “Celestial Sorrow” also possesses that combination of seeing the bigger picture and inward perspective that is a trait of much of her work. Stuart always balances the imperfect nature of man – alluded to by the name of her company ‘Damaged Goods’ – with a curious imagination and a good deal of irony, which straddles the intractable and obsessive when the sorrow gets too much. This is also the case in “Celestial Sorrow”, which Stuart created with the Indonesian artist Jompet Kuswidananto. Kuswidananto is responsible for the heavens to a large extent. He nevertheless makes them look earthly using many different-sized light bulbs, some loudspeakers with a retro look and interlinked crystal chandeliers. But like these utensils, which sometimes glow a gentle orange, sometimes a bright glistening white, they possess something other worldly, the commentary on and motivation of what’s going on beneath them could be simultaneous. The sound, sometimes culminating in ear-splitting noise, is provided by the live musicians Mieko Suzuki and Ikbal Simamora Lubys, who initially produce such a spherical prelude that the audience fears that the performance will not progress beyond joss sticks, a little bit of hip movement and bizarre garments like a cape crocheted out of golden festive garland. But then Stuart’s machine starts to get into full swing in the centre of the stage surrounded on four sides by the audience. The dancing is so arrhythmic that all the turmoil experienced over a human lifetime, from personal failure to the impositions of global politics, flashes through one’s mind in the scenes. Memory is explored with little distinction between personal and social aspects while there are sharp borders alongside a conciliatory note, supported and provoked by everything from a hard beat to the Indonesian tearjerker, the latter presented as a procession under a cape of flashing lights. In this respect, “Celestial Sorrow” is ideal for the end of a festival, focusing on the music, on one hand, but also the perception and observation of the body – and also the handicapped body – on the other. The deficiencies of the world, which Stuart’s performers convey in a storm of guitar and drums, provided a final, brightly coloured bang.

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