© Chris Van der Burght

Meg Stuart / Damaged Goods & EIRA


Dance / Performance - Brussels

Festival Complicitats 2008

Teatro La Laboral︎

07/03 | 21:00 
08/03 | 21:00

The American choreographer and dancer Meg Stuart and the Portuguese choreographer and dancer Francisco Camacho met in New York in 89. He followed her to Belgium to dance in her debut work Disfigure Study. After that, each went their way, but now they decided to collaborate once more. Meg Stuart has choreographed BLESSED with Francisco Camacho in a sound design by Hahn Rowe and a set design by Doris Dziersk.

In BLESSED, basic elements such as rain, carboard and the human body form the basis for the ultimate defence against total ruin and final destiny. Though an excellent sombreness work focused on the unrelenting struggle for life, BLESSED comforts us with the sensitive power of the aesthetics of destruction. The most basic fundamentals breach our world of artificial gadgets, role models and external appearances.

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 climate change, BLESSED shows a slow collapse with no escape routes – all the way to a slow-motion run through a destroyed wasteland.

Choreography Meg Stuart
Created with and performed by Francisco Camacho, Abraham Hurtado & Kotomi Nishiwaki
Music Hahn Rowe
Dramaturgy Bart Van den Eynde
Installation Doris Dziersk
Costumes Jean-Paul Lespagnard
Light Jan Maertens
Assistant choreographer Abraham Hurtado
Assistant set design Ania Pas
Production manager Tanja Thomsen
Production Damaged Goods & EIRA
Co-production Kunstencentrum Vooruit (Gent), Volksbühne  (Berlin), PACT Zollverein (Essen), Centro Cultural de Belém (Lisboa), Théâtre de la Bastille (Paris), Festival d'Automne (Paris)

Meg Stuart (USA), is a choreographer and dancer, living and working in Berlin and Brussels. After her dance studies at the New York University she created her first full-length piece “Disfigure Study” (1991), commissioned by the Belgian Klapstuk Festival, which launched her choreographic career in Europe. Stuart founded her company Damaged Goods in Brussels in 1994. Together they created more than thirty productions, ranging from solos to large-scale choreographies and including site-specific creations and installations. Over the years, Meg Stuart has initiated and performed several improvisation projects. Her artistic practice constantly redefines itself while searching for new presentation contexts and territories for dance. In 2008, her complete oeuvre won a Bessie Award and the Flemish Culture Award.

Francisco Camacho (Portugal) studied dance, theatre and voice in Portugal and continued his studies in New York at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio and the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. He danced with several choreographers, including Paula Massano, Meg Stuart, Alain Platel and Carlota Lagido. Since 1988 Francisco Camacho's own work has been presented in Europe, America and Africa. Apart from the solos and group pieces that he directed, he also created several performances in collaboration with artists active in dance and theatre. Within the context of exhibitions of artists like Pedro Cabrita Reis and Francis Bacon, he also developed site-specific projects.  The Portuguese press association Casa da Imprensa awarded his work with the prizes Bordalo 95 and 97. In 1994-1995 he received the prize ACARTE/Maria Madalena de Azeredo Perdigão. Francisco is the founder of EIRA, his own production house. 

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