Photo: Dányi Viktória
Premier: 2024. March 08.
Juranyi Art Incubator House

Réka Szabó and The Symptoms present:
Croon or Croak
A Community Performance 
with Twelve People Who Have Lost Their Vocations, and a Bird

Croak. It’s a shame I could not say what I meant to say. What I should have said. To those concerned.

Croak. It’s a shame that I let it go on. That I believed there was a limit. Nevermore. Quoth the Raven.

Croak. It’s a shame that my fury is eating me alive on the inside. That it wasted me. If you look at me now, you will not believe what I could do once. Perhaps I no longer come off as someone worth fighting for.

Croak. It’s a shame that I believed everything was questionable. That I had no choice.
 Croak. It’s a shame that there was no more of me. Always alone, so miserably.

Croak. It’s a shame that I, too, betrayed us all. Don’t give me that look. There is no right decision to make.

Croon. It’s a shame to regret.

Croak! Croak! Croak! — quoth the Big Black Bird perched on a small, bald Hungarian tree.

Yet it would be a shame to leave it that. Not to hang together tight, not to sing, scream, or dance, not to own up to what I have become.

For who am I if I cannot do what keeps me alive? I will no longer teach my people, one and all, / much greater things than what you call /college / knowledge…

And this NEVERMORE, this shame, this damage is a loss beyond words.

The project entitled The Bird Experience, sponsored by the Creative Europe Program, brings together a contemporary dance troupe from each of five European countries who think in a team in their own ways as they treat the theme of loss, involving various civil groups and a big black bird.

In Hungary, Réka Szabó and her creative team work with a closed drama group featuring twelve determined civilian adults from various walks of life. They are all individuals who have lost, or are in the process of losing, the ability to honor their vocations, which had been at the core of their identities.

In this community performance, we join forces with civilians and the Big Black Bird in an attempt to initiate a dialog on how to articulate loss, the awareness of anguish, the experience of how we feel. We offer confessions of power, pain, courage, loneliness, struggle, shame, and betrayal—in text, voice, and movement.

The show provides a glimpse into performances staged simultaneously in real time in four other countries. The participants are: NextDoor Project of Copenhagen (DK); The Symptoms/Szünet Együttes of Budapest (HU); Northern Sustainable Futures of Moskosel (SE), Zita Dance company of Athens (GR), and Asociación Companiá Danza Vinculados of Grenada (E). 

Actors and creative contributors: Tímea Andorka, Katalin Balpataki, Márta Barbarics, Zsuzsanna Bereczky, Ági Blaskó, Piroska Clease, György Cseh, Kata Kiss, Krisztina Losits, Andrea Pászthy-Sipos, Andrea Simon, Lilla Szűcs

Featuring Balázs Oláh, dancer
Director: Réka Szabó 
Dramaturgist: Zsuzsanna Simányi
Creative collaborators: Lili Raubinek, Viktória Dányi 
Light: Miklós Mervel
Video: Benedek Bognár
Consultant: Kinga Kánya
Sponsor: Creative Europe Program

Mourning one’s vocation is an illegal form of grief. While it is considered perfectly normal to give vent to our grief in public if we have lost someone close to us in an accident, mourning the loss of one’s vocation is often baffling, and possibly questionable, for the world at large.

In addition to staging this performance, we engage with that theme on several levels, in partnership with Napfogyatkozás Egyesület (Solar Eclipse Association).

We curate narratives and author articles on being deprived of one’s vocation, while Réka Szabó runs a blog on troupe proceedings.

We set up a closed Facebook group for those affected by loss. 

We organize round-table discussion sessions:

January 25, 2024, 17:00-18:30, Jurányi Szkéné Room: Decision or Coercion?

February 15, 2024, 17:00-18:30, Jurányi Szkéné Room: Accepting loss from a male perspective.