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(Forint = HUF –  stand for the small Hungarian change.)

Tuesday afternoon, February, 5.  Once more coming back to the first day of the afternoon’s great prelude at the Miskolc National Theater.  Two dancing  production in the  theater’s repertoire  was not in the schedule of the SZEM festival, yet a marvellous idea by the organizers to have brought it on stage,  not only to see by the international artists, but  as well by the locals and the Hungarians from the four corners of the country were able to learn how sophisticated talented dancing artists the National Theater of Miskolc has. The choreography was by Mr. Attila Kozma introducing by dancing Miskolc’s past life of hard-working class, hopelessness and violence. In the second act, Medeia, the terrible mother becoming the murder of her children without any explanation.

The two play’s in a nutshell … The first scene was in the heart of Miskolc, more precisely, at the warning traffic lights at  the “electric police”, i,e. at the traffic light’s on the main intersection.  There isn’t even one person at Miskolc and even around the country,which place talking about when saying the word “FORINT”   Either at Miskolc or elsewhere in Hungary. It is as saying to an Aussie,  Bondi Beach, no matter if the person lives thousand of kilometers away from the scene, surely knows where to connect the place. The dance show of to-day speaks about a strange figure milling around  at this emblematic area. He lives in his own world on the street. He is not a beggar, and not fighting, nor barking at anyone. Most of the locals thinks he is a madman. He’s got hot-and-cold, merrily walking around, but sometimes screaming like hell, rushing  in a  hurry like he was about to be chased. He is „Sanyi” , Alex and a part of the cityscape.  The people were waiting for the tram to arrive … that never stopped for them … in the meantime they wanted to get Sanyi to speak with them, but the „lonely hobo” just carried on his everyday’s drama. What an enjoyable, excellent performance by twelve very talented young dancers, plus the lonely hobo! Interesting and thought-provoking story was unfolded in front of the audience. In the second act,  Medea,   the heroine of Greek mythology, the barbarian sorceress kills her children .. there is no limit of hatred. The grieving father asks to be given his children’s murdered  body, Medea denies even the funeral. The play’s dramaturg is Mr. Attila Rácz.

Wednesday afternoon, February, 06., Verscio „Yo SOY USTEDESM„ … “I AM YOU” –  Scuola Teatro Dimitri, Switzerland. Lights and sounds: Luca Sartori, Puppets: Laura Belli, Installations by: Raul “Nene” Vargas Torres, Tuthor: Davide Giovanzana.

In brief about the superb act: In the mist of darkness, a broad-shouldered man slowly sneaked through the paths of the audience, dressed as the high-priest entering the auditorium which was almost on the same level of the performance. With eyes wide open the audience minute-by-minute were swept to different scenes, dictatorship, scene from the bible, baby crying, the loud sound of electric saw and  merry sounds of the Carnival. even though the YO Soy Ustedes was a non-verbal solo-performance, the strong, absurd and surreal images were perfectly brought upon surface. We all frozen feeling the dramaturgic tension. Summarizing the actor and his act … “Nene’s” performance focused on human behaviors and reveals its relation to power, authoritarian, religion, love, double standard, the profane and sacred. The whole performance is based on the cyclical paradox of the history of Latin America. Raúl “Nene” Vargas Torres is a circus and physical theater performer from Bogotá, Colombia. He is currently finishing his Masters of Arts in Theater at Scuola Teatro Dimitri in Switzerland. Was lucky enough to catch him after the performance for short  interview.“Nene” was a simply, yet serious chap and more serious in every step in his performance. Asked him about his so-called early days …”I was 8yrs.old when I started to make performances on the streets of  Bogotá with my elder brother aged 12. We both had wonderful time on our street-shows, as jugglers, acrobatic, break-dancing,  playing on drums, percussion, making the folks walking by stop for a while to watch our show. As year went by, at the age of 18, I realized I wish to be a real artist, but I didn’t see the  road to get there in Columbia, so I first targeted France to study there, but without any certificate of proof of artist studies, I wasn’t excepted. Same happened later trying  in Italy. My high hopes were getting lower. Then I turned to Switzerland, there they didn’t ask for any “paper”. I showed performances and was excepted and from then on I am very grateful for the Swiss Nation to be studying there. Not to mention, I am  since then not performing as a hobby street dancer, but I am supported to study, teach and make performances. Soon I will be heading to Turkey for 2 months to join a theater class, as a mentor and also will  participate next month at Turkey’s annual ‘Street Festival”. I am ongoing in writing, arranging performances on my own, which I much enjoy.”  Q.: How did you come… influence to write “I AM YOU”?  “I wish to act so the audience will recognize themselves in my performances that it why the title is I AM YOU ! … Growing up in a post-war country imprints a lot of memories. Anyway, the play is integrated to be international.  Q.:  Are you living in democracy? A.: People can express freedom of speech, but there is no value to it. Overall, the TV channels  also have great power, in pack on our influence, and I do not even know what the truth is upon the fact. About  I AM YOU … it has a lot to do  with my Dad, he was a military man,  grow up, seen the movements going around.  It is absolutely natural, that everyone has more or less “V”, victory, a little dictator in him/herself … sorry to have said that, but this is how I feel. All the wars are the same. With my performance I wish, try to push people to think about it!…sighhhhh. “Nene” with a wide smile and shinning eyes said … “You know what !?!  Global warming is already the trigger,  then …all around the world will have to face the same problem. The time will come no need to look over the neighbor’s fence.”  Hmmm, I think a lot truth lies in his words . Very interesting artist and hope he”ll come around next year to the 2nd International SZEM Festival with some awesome show again. He was much appreciated by the locals and the international artists.

Wednesday, February, 6. „1984” Performing from the  Academy of Performing Arts Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Casting: Amila Terzimehić, Benjamin Bajramović, Jasenko Pašić, Dramaturg: Dragan Komadina, Adnan Lugonić, Puppets design: Naida Begović, Neira Sinanbašić, Video: Edita Gazibara, Photographer: Velija Hasanbegović Light and sound: Sretko Vujić, Irhad Hodžić, Mentor: Dino Mustafić.

Short description the piece: Three uniformed persons symbolized from head to toe the social structure of Oceania. One day Winston meets a person who shares his opinion: Julia. The two of them, are alike Adam and Eve, led the battle against Oceania. Living in a country led by half-mythic leader the Big Brother. This was a deeply touching drama written by Life! Benjamin Bajramović  brought his graduation theater play to Miskolc. This drama’s premier was held on stage at the Sarajevo War Theater in November, 2011 and later in January, 2012  at the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo.  The play is corresponding the adaptation of George Orwell’s:  “1984”.  Winston Smith, is an officer in totalitarian machinery of superstate Oceania, and one day he starts to think with his own head. How strange … the irony of life … George Orwell with this novel, even in the year of 1948 had in a way predicted the future we will live in. His ability was unsurpassed in noticing then the dissect social and political problems.  In deed, a very dramatic performance, where you  really felt, you were even nailed to your seat. After the act they invited the SZEM’s artists for a talk. Benjamin Bjramović  said: “It  was one year ago I graduated and this was my high examination act. During the show I say the word “History” 33times. Just thinking about any era History for the humanity was terrible. New dictatorships came-gone-came.”  He is fond of poems and his favorite time is spending on writing. Jasenko Pašić, joined this play upon request from his friend, Benjamin and was glad he excepted to be in the play.  Six years ago he graduated. Amila Terzimehić, said it is a very hard era that they are bringing alive on the stage. She feels lucky to have not felt on her skin these terrible days. Somehow her mother avoided her from the sights and pain, protected her whole family in not getting effected during those bloody days.  She said: “It is most important to show other  societies as well … even in our democracy nation … as  to keep in mind, the time is changing, but the wars are still going around  our world and that the horror that lights the fire should  never again show up and the  humans to have those experience.” 

… To be continued with some coming updates …

Update and snaps Aggie Reiter

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