The fractal space of self

Dramaturgical notes on Meg Stuart's 'Disfigure Study'

Dramaturgical notes 30 Aug 1992English

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Contextual note
These notes were written by André Lepecki in prepraration of Meg Stuart's second production, 'No Longer Readymade', of which he was dramaturg and set designer.

Some choreographers see their art not as an exercise on form and technique but as a way of confronting themselves with human condition. They believe that the stage can be a place for knowledge as well as beauty. Their art, being metaphorical and intimate, is provocative by nature: one cannot simply view it and one can hardly review it. Most likely, all you can do is to confront yourself with it.

What fascinates and disturbs the spectator when confronted with the choreographic work of Meg Stuart, is its quality of crudeness, the exposure of an intimate world lying under the solitude of the contorted bodies, stressed by the precise balance between movement and intention on a bare stage. Shards of light direct the spectator's gaze, circumscribing the dancers and underlining vividly their presence; the music by Hahn Rowe is in constant dialogue with every gesture, every intention, in a languid-paranoid atmosphere. Eventually, this aesthetical crudity becomes a psychological cruelty to the spectator, growing from the uneasiness of witnessing an over-exposure of motions and emotions – the audience is compelled to trespass intimate territory, falling into a claustrophobic space shared by themselves and the dancers and where both confront the absurdity of existence according to Stuart: the fractal space of self.