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Ágens and the Company KompMánia

Gabriella Medgyesi

Ágens : My performances are theatrical because my relations can't be adapted for concerts. I don't just go on stage with an instrument in my hands or a band behind me. The only things behind me are my voice and a crew . Ferenc Boudny , my composer provides the music, so we use play-back for the music and the singing is live.This is a theatrical relation in itself and I build upon this a situation in which I'm able to reveal myself. Of course I had to find the right companions which is not easy in my case. It's difficult to tune in to each other.

Ágens : Working with the Company KompMánia is like a blood treaty,you know there's a sort of artistic love between us , a relationship based upon unconditional trust.We believe in each other so we can create such entirely new things and elemental relations that we hadn't been able to do until now. This was something we knew from the very start.
Music : Excerpts from 'Átjárók' as performed in October 1999.

Ágens: Time flies.I've started singing nine years ago.Due to the reactions recently I've drawn some interesting conclusions of this voice-flood that burst out of me and with which I didn't really know what to do.In an external approach it's a falsetto-guttural singing technique that also contains some of the voice-ranges of classical singing.From an internal point of view it's the transmission of a system of relations and information- very exact information according to my listeners.

Ágens : I collect knowledge and stories from the world.You can imagine me as a writer or poet- sometimes I have to force myself into such categories.There's no school for writers and poets but people keep telling me that 'You've got an opera-voice so how come that you didn't go to the Academy of Music ?'.I like to say that it's a sort of flood , something revealing itself, a mass of information or some kind of story which I express through my singing.This is my way of definition .

Ágens : This is the way I can express myself without words merely by voices.This is the most suitable relation to what I 've learned in the world.And I'm able to define it. Now I'm in a phase when I use words as well. Still not in Hungarian,though-this is really interesting-but in my own so-called 'found language' or Latin.
Music: Excerpts from 'Átjárók'.

Ágens:Like a shout or stepping up to someone to shake him-this how I sing.In the minute that I give it some words it becomes a totally new form of expression.It gets more disciplined. You can pour anything into an elemental scream.
Music:Excerpts from 'Átjárók'.

Attila Csabai: I used to have an intensive ballet training in my childhood which gave me a boost for all my life but then I had to stop because my parents didn't want me to become a professional dancer saying 'you can't make a living of that' and stuff like that- you know there had been an example for that in my family.So I used to go to a normal high school and to an art school in Pécs in parallel.This is where I got involved in classical ballet. Then I won a scholarship to Marseille when I was sixteen or seventeen and that opened my eyes to contemporary dance.

Attila Csabai: After finishing my studies in Pécs I used to work for four years in a dance school in Budapest .We had several performances in places like the Petőfi Csarnok.But working with Wies Bloemen in Holland was the real thing that encouraged me in creating my own artistic language.

Attila Csabai: After coming back to Hungary I worked for a theater as a dancer and started teaching as well leading a dance workshop. These were my initial steps to my own language of form.

Márta Ladjánszki: :I used to study modern and classical ballet under the guidance of Magdolna Zákány stepping up a grade in every half a year from the beginner's level.That's where I met Attila and Nikoletta Bartus with whom we founded the Company KompMánia to participate in 'Inspiráció' a festival for contemporary dance in 1997.We debuted with a performance (' Miféle másik lénynek?') filled with enthusiasm and impulse and won the award of the audience.

Krisztián Gergye:I started dancing when I was twenty.You're not likely to start ballet at that age so I chose Indonesian dance because it was an absolutely different world that just fitted my personality I fell in love with it.It just carried me away and I'm still under its influence.

Krisztián Gergye: It consists of slow , carefully executed movements.It's like a tribute to slowness.It's about making every single gesture extremely slowly. Sometimes you almost just stand on the stage in a 15 minute-long solo piece.I've heard people saying'Oh, you're only standing there.'-still it's dancing but a different language of form, another world.

Krisztián Gergye:It's a two-dimensional dance and the most important thing for me-no matter how crazy it may sound- is the way I can turn Indonesian dance into a contemporary one by adding dynamics and personal feelings, developing it to a three-dimensional form.
Music: Excerpts from 'Átjárók'

Attila Csabai: What I try to create or get out from other people as a director,choreographer or dancer is much more than just using the different techniques I have mastered .Horton, Limon,Graham to name but a few..The most important aspect of creation is developing your own language of form.This kind of body -theatre is really intuitive, it's like grasping and expressing the very first moment of an inner storm .Our performances have always been born like that.This process requires absolute, heedful concentration.

Ágens : Attila Csabai had this idea of creating an improvisational piece based on my singing where my voice leads the dancers and I'm also led by the voice which is thought itself.You can put an equal mark between thought and voice.So this thought revealing itself in a powerful, elemental voice makes the dancers improvise.Three different parallel stories take place on the stage. I'm the fourth one pushing another story towards the dancers.And it has a different influence on each dancer as well as on each member of the audience.The common point is the elemental voice or the thought itself.
Music: Excerpts from 'Átjárók'

Ágens: 'Átjárók/Passages' is a totally exact definition or summary of what happens on stage namely our attempts to find the relations and passages within ourselves during this performance.This is like trying to show your own essential relations which is obviously impossible for it would never come to an end or perhaps only in the last moment before our death.Maybe only then we can see the point of all what's happened to us and understand the story in which we've played.So I don't give up hope and 'Passages' is the proof that I sort of have a hunch of my own story.The dancers translate my hunch to their own essential relations making an amazingly free and brave gesture giving insight to their inner worlds which can be revolting and perplexing but also very elemental and touching on the other hand. .So there's a chance of catharsis which is getting very rare among the empty, merely technical solutions of today's art scene.

Márta Ladjánszky:I knew that I wouldn't lay emphasis on virtousity but rather on giving out things hidden inside.I tried to show every tiny detail.The auditorium is semi-circular in order to let everyone choose their own aspect .So you can pick one particular person and enter his or her aura if you want.

Krisztián Gergye: It seemed to be an impossible experience to find myself in such a figure.My composition using mirrors and masques tried to show a quest for identity.Of course the music was the source of all what happened.Ágens has always been a great musical influence for me.

Attila Csabai:I was really interested in the meanness and loneliness of middle-class people .You know, just waiting for someone who would never come .just waiting surrounded with your childhood memories and dull days .I always thought of Ágens as a real figure so I think I found a passage through her voice.

Attila Csabai:The first thing we got from Ágens was an amazing sort of love and trust : If we all give this to each other in the company then it will create an atmosphere of safety and respect and modesty that's essential for conscious work .A very special relationship was born and that's the secret.

Ágens: Some people from the audience told me that it's a really interesting fusion of contemporary music and dance but we never thought of it like that.For us it's more about our bonds, how you crawl towards another person.So the crawlings resulted in this performance.We all have to surrender ourselves to each other otherwise nothing would happen.