Ms. Stuart, who left New York for Europe in the early 1990’s, has a reputation for unfailingly imaginative, provocative avant-garde theatre dance.

 Maybe Forever is an ode to failed love. Immortals struggle with eternity and loneliness. Human beings struggle with each other and with the fact that things are not forever. By turns melancholic and hopeful, Maybe Forever is a love song sung after the passion has died.

Since its 2007 world premiere in Brussels and subsequent tours throughout Europe and America, this refined, melancholic work has received lavish praise for its deep excavations into heartbreak. In this exclusive Australian season, Maybe Forever is the result of a choreographic conversation between the most unlikely of partners: American choreographer Meg Stuart is celebrated internationally for her physically demanding and exuberant yet delicate and emotive creations of dance at the extreme, while Austrian choreographer Philipp Gehmacher’s needle-sharp minimalism reveals the most intricate significances through stillness and silence. Together they have created something far more than the sum of its parts. The work is accompanied by the live music of Belgian singer-songwriter Niko Hafkenscheid. The unlikely pairing of Meg Stuart and Philipp Gehehmacher conjured Maybe Forever from five days improvising in a dance studio, the extremities of their choreographic styles becoming caught in cycles of aversion and touch.
 
Meg Stuart moved from America to Belgium over 20 years ago and formed her company, Damaged Goods, inspired by the imperfection of the human body. Her style is blunt, exuberant and vulnerable. Contrasting this is the inward minimalism of  Gehmacher, whose work retains emphasis on tension, silence and effort. Having trained in London for ten years, Gehmacher has since returned to Vienna, where his Mumbling Fish company is based. This is the first time that either of these artists has performed in Melbourne, and together in Maybe Forever they reinvigorate contemporary dance, creating something far more than a sum of their distinctive parts.
 
Framed by a photograph of two dandelions relenting their seeds to the breeze, the two ex-lover characters tell their story in a succession of dance duets and solos, soliloquies and songs. Singer-songwriter Niko Hafkenscheid (of electronic rock combo aMute) performs live on stage in a sparkly blue tuxedo, tracing the couple’s stories of desire and longing. Maybe Foreverwill startle audiences with its tenderness and honesty, and quietly summon our own revelations in matters of the heart.
 
“IT’S A SENSITIVE PIECE, BEGINNING AND ENDING WITH A MOOD OF INEVITABLE LOSS, YET AS THE TWO INDIVIDUALS ROLL AND ROMP BAREFOOT AND DISHEVELED THE JOY OF THE NOW IS INFECTIOUS.” THE BULLETIN, BELGIUM
 
Stuart and Gehmacher are accompanied live by Belgian singer-songwriter Niko Hafkenscheid, his fragile melodies offering a poignant counterbeat to the rhythms of wracked emotions and astonishing honesty evoked by the work’s central duo.
 
This dance may not be comfortable – in matters of love, things rarely are. By its conclusion, however, these intricate layerings of body, rhythm and time past and present have revealed something extraordinary, not just between these consummate artists, but in ourselves
 
Season Info:
Venue: Merlyn Theatre, The CUB Malthouse, 113 Sturt St., Southbank
Season: 23 June – 26 June. Performances 7.30PM
Opening Night: Wednesday 23 June 7.30PM
Booking Info: www.malthousetheatre.com.au  9685 5111
Ticket prices: $23 – $49+ Min Booking Fee $1.50
 

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