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Before we go

Before we go

Before we go

Meg Stuart, Simone Aughterlony, Benoît Lachambre: three choreographers welcome three incurable patients in the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. Backstage, far from daily life, three danced dialogues begin: each will only happen once. Once the initial fears are overcome, grief turns into an apotheosis.

Before We Go is a film like no other. Developed with help from a group of musicians, dancers and actors who accompany Jorge León throughout his career, it is a proper choreographic and musical creation. But instead of being delivered on stage, it is targeted at cinema, in a somehow baroque documentary. A troubling feeling of immediacy lurks the footage. Through dance obviously, but also through the presence of these three characters, who soon will disappear. The proximity of death, worrying and painful at first, slowly transforms into a celebration of life. Bodies freed from gravity, traded skeleton costume; shamanic visions which, with help from dance and craftmanship, become rituals, symbolic acts that keep the dread away and fan the flames of every life.

(Sylvain Maestraggi)

Prix Renaud-Victor at the FID-Marseille 2014, ex-aequo with Ce qu'il reste de la folie (What remains from Madness) by Joris Lachaise.

Stuart, Meg

Meg Stuart, born in New Orleans, is an American choreographer and dancer who lives and works in Berlin and Brussels. The daughter of theatre directors, she began dancing and acting at an early age in California and regularly performed in her parents’ productions and those made by family friends. She made her first dance studies as a teenager focussing on simple movement actions. Stuart decided to move to New York in 1983 and studied dance at New York University. She continued her training at Movement Research where she explored numerous release techniques and was actively involved in the downtown New York dance scene.

Invited to perform at the Klapstuk festival in Leuven (1991), she created her first evening-length piece, « Disfigure Study ». In this choreography, Stuart approached the body as a vulnerable physical entity that can be deconstructed, distorted or displaced but still resonates and has meaning. Interested in devising her own structure through which to develop artistic projects, Stuart founded Damaged Goods in Brussels in 1994.

Damaged Goods is a flexible, open structure that facilitates the production of highly diverse projects and interdisciplinary collaborations.
As her work evolved, Stuart began to navigate the tension between dance and theatre. The use of theatrical devices, in addition to the dialogue between movement and narrative, are recurrent themes in her choreographies.

Stuart’s artistic work is analogous to a constantly shifting identity. It continues to span a wide range of scales and constantly redefines itself while searching for new presentation contexts and territories for dance.

Stuart’s choreographic work revolves around the idea of an uncertain body, one that is vulnerable and self-reflexive. Through improvisation, Stuart explores physical and emotional states or the memories of them. In the book « Are we here yet? » (2010), she reflects on her practice in a conversation with Jeroen Peeters and describes the exercises, tasks and narratives that she uses in workshops and as part of the creative process.

Alongside her work as a choreographer, Stuart regularly teaches workshops in composition and improvisation worldwide at organisations such as Forum Dança (Lisbon), Movement Research (New York), ImPulsTanz (Vienna), Ponderosa Movement & Discovery (Stolzenhagen), HZT (Berlin) and Tanzwerkstatt Europa (Munich).

Source: Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods

More information

Aughterlony, Simone

Lachambre, Benoît

León, Jorge

Before we go - générique

Artistic direction / Conception : Jorge León

Artistic direction assistance / Conception : Anne Paschetta, Isabelle Dumont, Célia Dessardo

Choreography : Meg Stuart, Simone Aughterlony, Benoît Lachambre

Interpretation : Meg Stuart, Simone Aughterlony, Benoît Lachambre

Set design : Ann Weckx, Silvia Hasenclever, Natacha Belove

Costumes : Ann Weckx, Silvia Hasenclever, Natacha Belove

Technical direction : Victor Ridley

Sound : Quentin Jacques

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Julie Frères

Duration : 82'

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