The Symptoms are 10 years old. The artistic director of the company is 44. This evening of two works marks this double occasion.
I will be all of these things one day
Following the two solos of Réka Szabó, The lilac ant-eater (1999) and Clearing the Attic (2006), which were performed at numerous international festivals, Réka is now presenting her long-awaited third solo, a personal inventory. In the piece the protagonist is simultaneously present as a little girl, a middle-aged woman, and an old woman. The performance is geared around the question of whether you can escape from the tower where you locked yourself up by the time you turned 44 years of age.
I want to be nice. And I’d love you to come along. I wish I was curious about you. If only I could pay attention. I have nothing important to do. My head is clear, my ears aren’t ringing. It’s not too late. I’m in no hurry. I’ve got time to look around. I’m light and airy. Soft and strong. Long and narrow, too, as I take a breath. I’m not screaming. I’m not pissed off. I sleep well. I have no pain. I won’t take my laptop home. I’m in the mood for making love. I walk everywhere. I can do all this.
“Yet Szabó never ceases to amaze with her penchant for metamorphosis.” (Krisztina Horeczky, Népszabadság)
Human statistics, subjective inventory. Life fragments from the age of 7 to 77.
In the BBC’s „7 Up” documentary series, we follow a group of children through life. They are 56 years old today. The fragmented life-documents re-visiting them every 7 years show us how unique and yet how similar human life stories are.
This was the starting point of the workshop of the Symptoms in the autumn of 2012, under the leadership of Petra Ardai, Artistic Director of SPACE Theatre from the Netherlands. They have collected their real or fictitious memories up to their imagined age of 77. The resulting performance is poetic, touching, humorous, and personal and universal at the same time.
The first version of this work was performed at the Trafó house of Contemporary Arts in December 2012.
“It is sincere, unadulterated and without frills or pretense, like an unspoilt child’s face which you can look into and learn things about yourself. The narratives and sheer being on the stage here come across with such lithe and artless simplicity as if the venue were not theater but a friendly gathering after midnight, where everyone in the company experiences a rush of confessional urge. (...) No posturing, no dissonance, not a single false note. It feels good to see and hear The Symptoms dare to be — and know how to be — themselves.” (Csaba Králl, Life and Literature)
“In spite of its emphasis on speech over movement, the witty, playful, original performance this evening once again proved The Symptoms to be one of the most loveable dance companies in Hungary today, even as they struggle heroically with the current crisis of independent theater. Their outspoken sincerity, self-irony, and deeply felt humanity add up to a comforting, dignified voice of protest in a barbaric, hystericized country.” (Krisztina Horeczky, Népszabadság)