Program text on the piece by Meg Stuart, Ann Hamilton and Damaged Goods

Programme note 1 Sep 1998English

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Contextual note
This program notes were first published on the occasion of the première of 'appetite' on September 9, 1998 in Kaaitheater, Brussels (B). André Lepecki was dramaturg of the production.

In the collaborative process of making appetite the on-going conversations between Ann Hamilton and Meg Stuart started very early on in the process, before rehearsals. Discussions soon started to fixate, almost spontaneously, around metaphors of lightness, weightlessness, flight. It became clear for both artists that the piece had to be based on explorations of the current conditions in which desire for lightness emerges. Hamilton worked in the studio with the dancers, and proposed scenes, props, objects and actions to explore this state of lightness. Stuart followed Hamilton's suggestions and organized some of those scenes into sequences of movement. Those scenes are there, distilled, in appetite.

A book accompanied the entire creation of the piece. A book from which another metaphor was taken to serve as appetite epigraph and further theme. This book was always around. It emerged from Hamilton's purse at the beginning of the process and it kept following the group, as we moved from studio to studio, from rehearsal stage to the final stage of the Kaaitheater, where the piece would open the season. There, the book insisted in laying around, half-open, half-asleep, waiting for opening night. The book was Elaine Scarry's The Body in Pain. Its presence was important and generative, for it provided the missing link to the general concept of the Insert Skin project, of which appetite is the final piece.