Hodworks’ latest production, Mirage, challenges the limits of contemporary dance. […] The choreographer has left the beaten path and her style is more mature than to be discussed in terms of experimentation. […] The solos and the back-breaking duets conjure up images of utter helplessness, only to be played down in the next moment. […] Everyone is equally exciting and weighty in this performance, which contains no trace of the usual contemporary-dance moves.
A ‘counter-work’, ‘spoof’, ‘pamphlet’, ‘diagnosis’, ‘memorial’ are some of the words that Hodworks’ première, Mirage, brings to mind […] The first two thirds of the work, ostensibly a ‘though-provoker’, is a harrowing example of testing the limits of tolerance.http://szinhaz.net/2019/02/15/halasz-tamas-palackposta/
The performers and brilliant characters of Mirage (Emese Cuhorka, Jenna Jalonen, Csaba Molnár, Máté Horváth, Jessica Simet and Zoltán Vakulya) enter the stage, an entirely empty space, in black leotards, one by one. Closed from wrist to ankle, the shiny dresses – passé dance-spacesuits that look terrible on any body type – are symbolic of an era. […] The six dancers in black leotards are driven by curious energies. They present us with grotesque character fragments and gesture-sketches. They portray half-human, half-animal creatures of dreams (nightmares); hissing, groaning characters, which become entangled in weird poses. Their performance is now startlingly funny, now repulsively shocking. […]
Adrienn Hód (and her co-creators, the performers) masterfully deal with these phantasms and phantasmagorical figures […] They stage a grotesque tableau of creatures – living in the moment, vegetating, aimless and sinking. […] The last third or quarter of Mirage is a spectacular, cheeky, startling ‘finale’, which rounds off the painfully risible, horrific social sketch and hallucinogenic tableau. Adrienn Hód has picked an assortment of piano pieces, chiefly the well-known ones, from the eighty-five constituting Béla Bartók’s For Children. […] In this movement, many a moment, medium and hero of 20th-century dance comes together in a distorted mirror with an ornate frame – with wit, love, in a masterfully stylised and spoofed manner, occasionally eliciting wild laughter. […] Silk gloves and studded knickers, flitting ponytails, tambourine and castanets dangling from groins, a ‘bull woman’ contemporary warrior solo make for a creative pageant, with sharp parody and a fair amount of melancholy. Adrienn Hód’s Mirage, two movements in particular, enticingly plays on atmospheres, and the figures take the risk and dance on the emotional razor’s edge […] The first half of the performance seemingly deals with society on the whole, the second stages the specific self-image, history and reflections of dance. Seemingly only, though. The two halves communicate subtly and consistently. After all, like any other art, dance can only be interpreted and truly understood in a broader social context.https://dancefeed.org/mirage-hodworks-review/
Adrienn Hód has been researching the correspondence of movement and voice, pushing the limits of the domain further and further, to create constellations which may eventually highlight this atemporal emptiness. (…) In Conditions of Being Mortal (2014), through gibberish attempts and with the unconscious movements that emerge from flesh and nervous system altogether, a kind of ‘baconish’ logic of sensation is realized, what seems to be as indivisible, cruel and motorized as the figure in the painting Lying Figure in a Mirror (1971) by Francis Bacon. If we continued our examination with Grace (2016), Solos (2017) and Sunday (2018), we would discover an arc, or rather a vortex in the surface of choreographies regarding the development of the connection of movement and voice. There is a tendency, in which movements are more and more limited and (dis)closed, while voices/noises are more highlighted and choreographed. Just as if Hód’s goal would be to realize the reciprocal of the usual moving-music constellation in dance performances, and pourenfinir to create pure vocal choreographies told in the ‘language’ of movements. And that’s exactly what seems to be accomplished in the latest piece of Hodworks, Mirage. In this performance, the field of inquiry is quite tight. In the beginning of the show, there are two, three and then all the six dancers onstage, barely and haltingly moving, forming amorphous, animalistic and bodily noises like gurgle, burp, laugh, and voices that don’t even have names. The first half of the performance can be considered as a series of still-acts, where these voices seem to paralyse movements as the dancers freeze from one pose into the other. The whole stage becomes a ring of static movement-study that usually painters create to examine the relationship between the different elements of the picture. However, in this choreography, it also allows us to examine the changing accomplishments of reflexivity of subjectivity today. (…) After this analyzing first part, in the second section of Mirage, a singular constellation of voice (music) and movement (dance) is rendered. The two quality move next to each other in parallel, without forming a correlation. To the tunes of classical melodies, a rocker (Zoltán Vakulya) and a naked ‘ballerina’ (Csaba Molnár) arrives; their dance just does not fit into the environment the music would suggest. While hearing Hungarian folk music, a tough rapper (Jenna Jalonen) is moving in front of us, etc. The choreography is constantly moving in the field of failure that never condenses to be a whole. It follows the structure of a ‘broken thing’ that read from a certain perspective, can represent the fundamental quality of human nature. On the other hand, it also makes possible to deploy humorous acts emerging from the deviation of music and moving, to reflect on the choreographer’s personal relationship with creating and to make visible some aspects of the creation process itself. This is how the medium, i.e. the texture of the performance is cracked from many perspectives, just to come to an end without an exact lesson learned.
I believe the chief merit of the performance to be that it attempts to achieve the impossible: identify the natural in our social existence, see over to the ‘other side’, speak of our forgotten (lost) roots and stage that which can only be seen and rendered visible in the imaginary regard. The outcome cannot be measured to anything, it does not follow a given pattern, it is not imitative; the narrative on stage cannot be representative, but rather, is necessarily presentational, a play of imagination that is so free and unbounded that whatever could happen on the stage does in fact happen.
Adrienn Hód has for a while now been passionately seeking the truth of the human body and its paths of liberation. She is doing just that now, staging ‘creatures of impulses’ – i.e. dancers capable of transcending and destructing their personal limits – who are capable of creating ‘superhuman’ (or rather ‘subhuman’) roles and revealing their body identities, bare and brutal.
So whom and what can we see on Adrienn Hód’s out-of-the-ordinary stage?
We are looking at particularly gifted artists capable of transcending their personal limits, self – (i.e. mental) identities, and – by undertaking unidentifiability and temporary boldness of descending to the impersonal – keeping their bodies in a continuous metaphorical (hovering) state, an ecstatic high tension, a concentration of their libidinous forces. Allowing the viewer to witness their vigour they rendered transparent the passion and bliss of bodily existence, confronting anyone with an open mind with the boundlessness of potentials within.
I would like to thank Adrienn Hód for the perseverance, the hope and unconditional freedom she has given me, her viewer, with her creation. I thank her for disregarding my prejudices, my biased and clearly false expectations of her not having anything to say. She had no wish to educate or impart something clever, but rather, to provide an example of the ability to be and be unfailingly present.
MaNcs, vol. 31, no. 7 (14 February 2019)
Mirage, the latest performance of Hodworks, a troupe of independent dancers regularly working together, and choreographer Adrienn Hód, is not unlike a genre-transgressing, iconoclastic punk-rock band at the top of its game coming out with a folk-based death-metal album. The novel means of expression in the case of Hodworks is not the result of ecstatic dancing experiments, but of profound preliminary research. The outcome could now be numbness. Moreover, the piece seems to be aimed at liquidating contemporary dance. Never before has it been this obvious that the state of powerlessness, vulnerability, captivity and its various stations can be conveyed in terms of moving and sound-uttering bodies, and systematically at that. Emese Cuhorka, Csaba Molnár, Zoltán Vakulya and Jessica Simet (accompanied, for the first time, by Jenna Jalonen and Máté Horváth) create individual emotional situations and conflicts in simple black leotards.
To create the illusion of illusionlessness with just the body and without any other means in a way that is never for a moment boring but often extremely funny, like a morbid funeral – now, that I call poetry.