You can all stay home, for all I care. I don’t want to be nice. I’ve got nothing in my hands, not even kind words, to lure you to this place. All I’ve got is this great yearning in my heart to get rid of all this junk, all the building blocks of my deliberately sheltered existence. We hoard our junk-heap within us, carrying it about with mounting weariness, fumbling miserably among the wreckage of our lives.
Clearing the Attic is a solo dance by Réka Szabó, the artistic director of The Symptoms. As such it is deeply personal and dramatic, but also replete with her requisite grotesque humor. During the performance, the protagonist takes inventory of her “disposable stuff,” discarding trifle daily routines and petty anxieties. This lonesome scrapping of things of the soul gradually evolves into a monumental confession that takes tally of all afflictions possible in life, all our paranoid fears and irrepressible ambitions breathing down our necks. Text and movement follow the same emotional curve yet remain independent in telling their own stories about the protagonist, with an interminable stream of words accompanying her strenuous exercise on the sit-up bench until she runs out of steam. Billed as a one-act ballet solo, Clearing the Attic commingles and juxtaposes tales in words with those related by the body, in a performance miniature of raw power and gentle poetic beauty.
The piece garnered an award at the 2007 Budapest Fringe Festival, and has been invited for performances at Kosztolányi Dezső Theatre in Subotica (SCG), Bratislava in Movement, the Ars Poetica Festival in Bratislava and the Moon Ride Festival (Košice) in Slovakia.