Works Interviews Criticism Ágens Photo Video CD Audio samples News E-mail Partner:

Exposed Nakedness

Doda / Origo, June 2000

Upsetting, startling, disturbing, dazzling. These are the most appropriate attributes charactersitic to the performances by Attila Csabai and his Contemporary Dance Company "KompMánia". This observation is especially apposite to their latest performance entitled "Homo non est". This dazzling amusement may be accompanied by indignation, however, the audience, while feeling to be nailed to the chairs of the auditorium, had the opportunity to experience something "from the other side".

The latest, and in the same time the greatest hit by KompMánia was achieved on the occasion of the "Comprehensive Festival of Various Kinds of Art" held in Veszprém, West-Hungary in 2000. On the festival nine awards were issued. Three of them were won by KompMánia (namely the "Award for the Best Female Dancer" --Márta Ladjánszki--, "The Award of the Audience", and the "Special Award of the Jury") for the "play" entitled "Romance i.e. A Desperate Search for Idyll". This play also won an award on the "4th Review of the Alternative Theatres" in Hungary. The play "Homo non est" was strongly inspired by the "Romance" as well as by the performance entitled "Ways of Transubstantiation". It is so revolutionary and so frank that it almost brings the audience into confusion or embarrasment in the true meaning of this word. This true sincerity made certain people to leave the auditorium during the performance, others generated chair-creak in their elementary trouble... However, those who remained in their sit till the end of the play obtained the honour of being shared in a secret which cannot be uttered in a common way, for the manifestation of which the only apt and proper way is Art.

On the stage a special territory is delimited by common white chalks thrown around a "playground ". On this ground a slide can be found one of the pillars of which is a walker. Nearby it a starnge climbing frame is situated: it is rather resembling to a ladder of infinite lengt stretching out to the sky... A whole arsenal of torture equipment and an armchair covered by green hair... On the top of the set a nude and almost completely motionless character resembling to an angel is sitting... The key motive and motif of the play is nakedness as it is anticipated by its subtitle "Exercise for Naked Body". This play was performed by only certain invited members of the Company, namely by Balázs Károlyi, Krisztián Gergye, and Attila Csabai himself. The "triplet" formed by them realized the "dream of movements embedded in nakedness". The three men is almost completely naked during the whole performance. This nakedness serves as an elementary tool of communication expressing, symbolizing, and making discernible their defencelessness and frankness. Under their skin these men wear various wounds, in their vulnerability they resemble to children. While dancing they try to hide or cover this state by embracing, hugging each other, and themselves.

The only female actor and character in the play is Ágens, also acting as singer. Her song wells up from the spiritual depths of clear and profound love. This song is free of common words: it is rather a clustered crystal-chain of pure voices embracing and sheltering the dancers. Her song is an organic and integral part of the whole performance as well as her uncovered pregnancy, her beautiful round abdomen hiding a baby to be born... She is present on the stage as the essence of maternity appearing in the circle of either voluptuous males or playing boys, insect-like beings, or dancers shattered by ballet-shoes. The characters convey some xenomorphic essence representing symphonic cross-sections of wrested and tormented figures, queer fishes... The title of the performance also hints at the state of some "unfit, improper, indecent" mode of existence in a more abstract or figurative sense: "Homo non est" * "The Man Who Doesn't Exist", or the "The Man Who Doesn't Have Mate".

Translation by J.K. Tar