Monday, February 07, 2005

What I Sat on for Art

And where I went. Good Lord. Yes, I am an iredeemable dilettante where my own work is concerned, but let no one say that I am lax in supporting others. "Pilgrimage" would be hyperbolic, yes. But I took a train, a bus, a hike through the most shattered tattered darkened industrial area of Budapest. But you know I'm not complaining, not really. I love turn of the century light industrial brick buildings with rolled steel windows. That such a built environment was the setting for a contemporary dance performance was just my cup of pezgő, if you will. Choreographed by an Austrian dancer, Anita Kaya, tonight's performance featured two women who dance apparently independently of one another. Only at the last moment do they gaze at one another across the table while seated in the two chairs that served as the stage's only accoutrements.

Tonight's performance, titled modul 1+1, was a part of the L1 Dance Festival that began in Budapest in 2001. Every year, it has become a tradition to have at least one of the performances at their "home," nestled in this assemblage of old factory buildings.

After the performance, the dancers took questions from the audience. Kaya spoke about the communication that goes on between people in the same space. A communication of rhythm and movement and energy that has nothing to do with words. This is why the two women do not directly interact. They expressed different movements at different times, the way that we in the world do. But still they were dancing "together" in this sense of the subtler communication of shared space. I asked Kaya if she considered the audience an agent in this form of communication, and she said that of course, her performance would mean nothing without the audience and their perceptions.

We, the audience, maybe thirty of us, watched from our perch on some rather crumpled cardboard seating. I had a 3-D design project in undergrad that required creating a seat from cardboard. So I felt right at home, if a little unwieldy. It was all very touching, really. The improvised space, the improvised seating, the expressions of gratitude for merely arriving at the place. Art is possible anywhere, then. And maybe it is a good thing to have to work a little for your art. To traverse the old and dark places of your city to be rewarded in this way at the end. And, if you keep an open eye and an open heart, the old and the dark places might be their own unexpected reward.


At 8:51 PM, Blogger svm said...

i think you took sculpture from marshall but terry is STILL having the kids build the cardboard seats! they usually abandon at the end of the term... too bad we can't ship them over to the dance factory!

At 9:40 PM, Blogger RichardKS said...

hi. need your help with another poll. to decide hottest blogger prize. you didn't win, but you were my secret favourite.

At 9:58 PM, Blogger Irma Vep said...


I did have Sculpture with Marshall (insert heart going pitter-patter here), but I had 3D design with Terry and she's the one that made us make the cardboard seat. Laura B. was my partner. Fun project, that. We were too much into making it look cool and cubistic though, and it sort of slumped on one side, sorry to report. Tell Terry there's a home for those 3D projects here in Budapest.

Hellman: I'll be right over. Oh I am disappointed that I didn't win the hottest blogger contest. But this has given me the self-confidence to compete for other "hottest" contests. I'm thinking hottest historic preservation consultant or hottest recycler in Budapest. oh. wait a minute. I'm the ONLY recycler in Budapest. Damn. But I do look mighty fine totin' me some plastic liter bottles, uh-huh.

At 2:59 AM, Blogger SilverMythago said...

cardboards seats, the better to see the dance from...

I would have loved to experience this voiceless communication, it sounds fascinating.

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Irma Vep!
Thanks for your sitting and your article!
;)Anita Kaya


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