In Until Our Hearts Stop, an American premiere, six performers and three musicians find themselves in a place that is both a nightclub and an arena: an unreliable, high-octane refuge, a place of desire and illusion, experiencing extreme intimacy at each other’s hands. To the sound of throbbing basses, piano and drums – a mix between improvisation and composition – they connect and explore each other, drawing the audience into their immersive world.

Meg Stuart is a New Orleans-born choreographer and dancer living and working in Berlin and Brussels. Stuart moved to New York in 1983 and was actively involved in the downtown New York dance scene. Together with her company, Damaged Goods, she has created over 30 stage works, ranging from solos to large-scale choreographies, sitespecific creations and improvisation projects. Stuart strives to develop a new language for every piece in collaboration with artists from different creative disciplines and navigates the tension between dance and theater. Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods has an on-going collaboration with Kaaitheater (Brussels) and HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin).

The Indefinite Article for Until Our Hearts Stop is a special collaboration between Dean Allyson Green and Professor André Lepecki, both of whom have worked with Meg Stuart throughout her career. They reflect on her work and their experiences of it over the last several decades. Dean Green will also be filming an Office Hours with Meg Stuart on May 5! Here’s an excerpt from her memories of working with Meg and André :

I remember our excitement for Meg when she was given the commission to create “Disfigure Study.” It was remarkable in those days to get such support to spend time in the studio, and then to present in Europe, hurrah! Watching the last rehearsals, I knew she had created something special; a new and distinctive voice that spoke to how we were all recovering, adapting and moving on. She had discovered the seeds for what would blossom over the next years. I remember trying to encourage her to trust when her work was ready to be seen, but she had so many doubts at the start. The pressure was great. I recall watching as André quietly offered insightful collaborative dramaturgy that grounded and amplified Meg’s visual, physical and conceptual explorations. 

Office Hours

Coming Soon: Meg Stuart and Dean Allyson Green (NYU Tisch)!

Watch a trailer for the show

UNTIL OUR HEARTS STOP (2015) - Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods & Münchner Kammerspiele (Trailer)
Short documentary UNTIL OUR HEARTS STOP
Short documentary: Until Our Hearts Stop
Rehearsing UNTIL OUR HEARTS STOP: The music they play
In this interview with the online platform ASK HELMUT, Stuart's collaborators Samuel Halscheidt, Stefan Rusconi, and Marc Lohr talk about working with dancers, the process of collaborating for the stage, and how they developed the music for this project.

Have you heard it on vinyl?

Until Our Hearts Stop vinyl album

The music from Until Our Hearts Stop has been recorded and released on vinyl, in a limited edition of 300 LP’s. Listen before the show:

Dance Scholars Love Meg Stuart

Read more about her work in these essays:

Choreography as Apparatus of Capture” by André Lepecki (2007)

At a certain point in the history of Western subjectivity, a certain social (and socializing) activity called dance fell prey to a Stately (and theological) apparatus of capture called choreography.

Dance in General or Choreographing the Public Making Assemblages”  by Rudi Laermans (2008)

The dominant discourse on dance and choreography still testifies of a solid body humanism. Notwithstanding the vocabulary used, which may very well stem from one of the branches of poststructuralist thinking, dance critics and theorists routinely presuppose that the human body is the distinctive medium of the art form called dance and, by implication, of choreography as the art of writing, composing or performing dances.

A Dramaturgy of the Body” by Christel Stalpaert (2009)

Despite the dramaturg’s bridging function between theory and practice, a twofold structure remains the basis of this dramaturgical model. Theory and practice lie next to one another, and they should not be confused with one another; they should remain clearly distinct. But why keep on dividing theory and practice in a dramaturgical context when contemporary performances testify to the fact that a dramaturg is not necessarily the theoretical ‘outsider’? He might as well be called just another member of the ‘artistic family’.

Dance, Dramaturgy and Dramaturgical Thinking” by Synne K. Behrndt (2010)

While the notion of a dance dramaturgy that emerges through practice suggests a fluid conception of dramaturgical process, we might also use ‘dramaturgy’ as a shorthand term for critical, discursive and interpretational processes, as also occurs within the theatre.

Intimacy, In Theory

Queer theory scholars write about nighlife, dancing, and public sex to theorize on intimacy and queer worldmaking.

Theatre Journals: Dance Liberation,” David Roman (2003)

Mainly I went to dance and to be part of the sense of queer culture that the space enacted. Dance became the entry point to other forms of queer connection: friendship, sex, employment. But it also was a means in itself, a way for me to begin choreographing my own movements through the world as an openly gay man. I loved dancing because it gave me a way to be in my body and to be around other gay people in a way that was very new for me.

The Land of Somewhere Else: Refiguring James Brown in Seventies Disco,” by Alice Echols (2008)

In this glitter-ball universe, gay men and the “ladies,” either as vocalists or as much-sought-after objects of desire, held sway against an aural backdrop that featured that relentless four-on-the floor THUMP. What could any of this have to do with the heteronormative macho funk of James Brown, Mr. “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine.

Ghosts of Public Sex: Utopian Longings, Queer Memories,” by José Esteban Muñoz (1996)

The works I have surveyed in this article, taken side by side, tell us a story about the primary linkage between queer desire and queer politics. Taken further, this work allows the spectator to understand her or his desire for politics alongside the politics of desire. The lens of these remembrances and the hazy mirages they produce not only allow us to imagine utopia, but, more importantly, whet our appetite for it.

Of course the nightclub is not always an idyllic space and can quickly turn to violence, as we too well know. These short essays are part of an issue of QED:  A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking organized around the Pulse nightclub shooting in June 2016:

The Sound of Everynight Life,” by Julia Steinmetz

The dance hall has always been a site of resistance forged through sweat, bodies, and souls entangled for the night by a shared rhythm, glistening in the temporary suspension of the everyday.

Locked Eyes,” by Ramzi Fawaz

In queer studies classrooms, we discuss the most visceral and intimate aspects of lived experience from sex and sexuality, to pleasure and desire, to family and alternative kinship—we make these realms public, objects of collective concern, so that our students can begin to imagine that a classroom might not be so far from a dance floor, a consciousness-raising session, a political planning meeting, even perhaps an intellectual orgy.

Let's Dance

Berghain nightclub in Berlin, Germany. Stefan Hoederath/Getty Images

Get ready for the show with a virtual trip to one of the world’s most famous nightclubs, Berghain in Berlin, described by the New York Times as the “best club in the world“:

Maybe it’s the hypnotic techno, hedonistic frisson or illicit party favors, but globe-trotting clubbers rave about Berghain, a huge disco in a weedy stretch behind the Ostbahnhof station in Friedrichshain (; admission 12 euros). How else to explain the 45-minute wait at this ungodly hour [3:30am]? According to its detailed Wikipedia citation, “Berghain is best-known for its decadent, bacchanalian, sexually uninhibited parties which often continue into the following afternoon” And some stay even longer.

Read more about it in this in-depth Rolling Stone piece: “Berghain: The Secretive, Sex-Fueled World of Techno’s Coolest Club.”

Berghain: Volume 08, the latest installment of the Berghain series on Ostgut Ton Records, is mixed and compiled by Berghain resident Fiedel.

Extra Credit

"Harlem Night Club," by Langston Hughes

Sleek black boys in a cabaret.
Jazz-band, jazz-band,—
Play, plAY, PLAY!
Tomorrow. . . . who knows?
Dance today!

White girls’ eyes
Call gay black boys.
Black boys’ lips
Grin jungle joys.

Dark brown girls
In blond men’s arms.
Jazz-band, jazz-band,—
Sing Eve’s charms!

White ones, brown ones,
What do you know
About tomorrow
Where all paths go?

Jazz-boys, jazz-boys,—
Play, plAY, PLAY!
Tomorrow. . . . is darkness.