We interviewed choreographer Meg Stuart over the course of the 28th Edition of Tanz im August Festival, where she was present with the solo “BLESSED”. An apocalyptic scenario in a stage format, including funny appearances by a Brazilian carnival dancer: a sonny boy, clad in white and sandals, stalks through a cardboard paradise with a Swan Lake swan, South Seas palm tree and hut. But soon his paradise is left to decay. The catastrophe enters in the form of relentless rainfall that brings destruction instead of blessings. Time becomes the critical factor, and while Doris Dziersk’s stage design begins to collapse, the dancer and choreographer Francisco Camacho is subject to a transformation and confronted with the impossible task of building a shelter with soggy cardboard. Given the context of hurricane Katrina, Stuart’s piece shows a slow collapse with no escape routes – all the way to a slow-motion run through a destroyed wasteland. Stuart and Camacho had already worked together on Disfigure Study in 1991; in 2007, Stuart developed “BLESSED” for him, embedded in a sound collage by Hahn Rowe. The piece was awarded the 2008 French Theater, Dance and Music Critics Award for best foreign performance, and a Bessie Award in the category ‘outstanding visual design’ in 2012.
by Giovanni Sabelli Fioretti