La Biennale di Venezia has awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to American dancer and choreographer Meg Stuart and the Silver Lion to dancer and choreographer Marlene Monteiro Freitas from Cape Verde. The acknowledgments to the two artists were recommended by the Director of the Dance Department Marie Chouinard and were approved by the Board of Directors of the Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta.
Renowned for her important, scathing and incisive improvisation projects, which involve a multiplicity of artists, Meg Stuart – who hails from New Orleans but has lived for over twenty years in Europe where she founded her company, Damaged Goods, in Brussels – is the author of solos, large-scale choreographies, and site-specific installations featured in galleries and exhibitions such as Documenta X in Kassel.
Meg Stuart was chosen for “having developed a new language and new method for each creation, collaborating with artists working in different disciplines and moving between dance and theatre. Through improvisation (a fundamental aspect of her practice), Stuart has explored physical and emotional states and the memories of them. Seeking ever new contexts and new territories to explore, her work has continuously redefined itself” (from the motivations).
The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement will be awarded on June 22nd, at the opening of the 12th International Festival of Contemporary Dance. On the occasion of the presentation, Meg Stuart and Damaged Goods will reprise the performance Built to Last (2012), an uninhibited choreography set to classical and contemporary music.
The Silver Lion will be awarded on June 28th: on this occasion Marlene Monteiro Freitas will present her most recent work, Bacchae - Prelude to a Purge, with her company of 12 dancers and musicians, who offer an original reinterpretation of the tragic myth by Euripides.
The 12th International Festival of Contemporary Dance of the Biennale di Venezia will take place from June 22nd to July 1st 2018.
In the past, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Dance has been awarded to Merce Cunningham (1995), Carolyn Carlson (2006), Pina Bausch (2007), Jirí Kylián (2008), William Forsythe (2010), Sylvie Guillem (2012), Steve Paxton (2014), Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (2015), Maguy Marin (2016), and Lucinda Childs (2017).
The Silver Lion, dedicated to promising young artists in dance, or to the institutions that have distinguished themselves for cultivating new talents, has been awarded in the past to Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's Performing Arts Research and Training Studios (2010), to Michele Di Stefano (2014), and to Dana Michel (2017).