© Chris Van der Burght
“Ignorance is a blessing, because knowledge implies complexes. And complexes lead to shame. You would think that the person who can shamelessly display his crushed selfesteem is truly blessed. He is.”
— De Standaard
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 own way but now they decided to collaborate once more. Meg Stuart has choreographed BLESSED, a new piece 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 a work of great sombreness focused on the unrelenting struggle for life, BLESSED comforts us with the sensitive power of the aesthetics of destruction. Our world of artificial gadgets, role models and external appearances is breached by the most basic fundamentals.
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 hurricane Katrina, BLESSED shows a slow collapse with no escape routes – all the way to a slow-motion run through a destroyed wasteland.
In 2008, BLESSED was awarded with the “Prix du meilleur spectacle étranger” by the Syndicat professionnel de la Critique de Théâtre, Musique et Danse (France). In 2012 with the New York Dance and Theater Award – Bessie Award – for Outstanding Visual Design (U.S.A).
© Chris Van der Burght
Choreography Meg Stuart
Created And Performed By Francisco Camacho & Kotomi Nishiwaki
Music Hahn Rowe
Dramaturgy Bart Van Den Eynde
Installation Cenográfica Doris Dziersk
Costumes Jean-Paul Lespagnard
Light Jan Maertens
Sound Vincent Malstaf & Milos Vujkovic
Assistant Choreographer Abraham Hurtado
Production leader Tanja Thomsen
Technical Coordination Robrecht Gesquière & Jan Maertens
Scene Frank Laubenheimer
Production Damaged Goods & Eira
Co-production Kunstencentrum Vooruit, Volksbuhne An Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Pact Zollverein, Centro Cultural De Belém, Théâtre De La Bastille, Festival D’ Automn