meg stuart on assumptions

I hate assumptions in choreographic practice. Around 2000 there was a schism among choreographers, in Europe anyway, of those performing ideas and of others working with dance and theater concerns. With this conceptual approach there seemed to be an assumption that to articulate one’s ideas, one had to adopt a neutral pedestrian behavior, reject theatricality, and even resist movement all together. I completely support the ongoing re-examination of the performative contract of dance-making, but at a certain moment I felt like screaming. A lot has happened since the ’60s and Judson Church. It must be possible to acknowledge this research. What about bodies in crisis? Bodies that are not in control? What about complex physical and emotional states? Is it possible to give these irrational bodies a platform to address contemporary issues while embracing a theatrical context? I created ALIBI (2001) with these questions in mind. Dance for me is not analytical or rational, and it doesn’t need to be, but that doesn’t mean it is simply intuitive or free flowing either.

– Meg Stuart

The entire conversation between Stuart and Catherine Sullivan is a treasure-trove of ideas about choreographic practice.