Saturday, August 25, 2012

questionnaire with participant József Trefeli (HUN/CH)



When have you been to Budapest - Hungary with your piece and artistic work earlier?
I have performed many times in Hungary with my own work and as a member of Alias Cie, at Szegedi Thealter Fesztivàl, TRAFO and Petöfi Csarnok. JINX 103 was the last work I performed in Szeged july 2012.

What do you know about Hungary and what kind of informations do you have about our dance life?
Even though I was born in Australia, I have a close connection to Hungary as both of my parents are Hungarian. My relatives are mainly in Hungary and I have many close friends involved in the world of Traditional Hungarian Dance. In the stage work I have seen of Hungarian performers, they come across as strong technical  dancers with excellent training and as performers with charismatic stage personalities.

Do you have any preference who do you want to reach with your art and piece?
JINX 103 focusses on reaching a broad range of audience. Novice and experienced audience members , young and old, have given the work a very positive reception. JINX 103 is both straight forward and complex in its themes and goals. There is something for everyone. We take this dance to the people and bring the audience very close to us, aiming to give everyone a front row seat. 

What kind of piece will you bring to L1danceFest and does this piece mean any differences or similarities to your earlier works?
In my recent  work I have aimed at challenging my own and the audiences expectations of dance, aiming for new territory in performance through the juxtaposition of two themes, genres or artforms. In this case JINX 103 combines movement and music,  contemporary and traditional dance and rhythm and ritual.

What exaclty did you work on with this piece and where did you perform it already?
For JINX 103 we created a dynamic space for the movement of two male bodies which listen to one anothers music and movement to dance together in an honest way discovering something new for each and every performance.
Past performances include; Fête de la Danse, Geneva & Meyrin(CH), KC Dunaj, Bratislava(SL), Thealter Fesztival (H), Tanzwoche, Dresden(D), Fête de la Danse, Fribourg(CH), Festival Dehors Dedans, Annemasse(F), Festival Format, Juvinas, Ardèche(F) 

Do you have any hobby beside working as a dancer or creator?
Teaching Traditional Hungarian Dance

Can you write some details about your artistic life - which direction did you come from and which direction do you go right now? Tell us some important steps from your background!
In Australia I began in Musical Theatre as a Tap dancer and singer performing in shows like West Side Story and Show Boat. I moved into Contemporary Dance as it presented new challenges to me as a performer, creater and audience member.  In 1995 I  left Australia to discover the world stage, travelling via San Francisco, and New York to get to Europe, setling in Geneva in 1996 where I joined Alias Cie. After 8 years of creations, I decided to begin a new journey delving into my own work as a choreographer. Since 2005 I have created 12 original works for my own company as well as working as choreographer for Dance Schools, Theatre and Opera Companies in Switzerland. Besides all that, I still enjoy working as a dancer for other choreographers, when I find the time.

How did your summer time go? Did you get any new inspirations?
This summer I travelled to Australia to reconnect with my family and friends. Renewing old ties is always reassuring and gives me strength to want to continue my creative research. I heard a particularly inspiring story about a successful  Artist who only had a 20 year career as a painter. So short a career because she only picked up a paintbrush at the age of 80. The future is bright.

Does it mean any differences to play your pieces in different countries? If so, could you please tell us in what sense?
Different cultures have varying ideas about comfortable distances between performer and spectator. In JINX 103 we take our dance so close to the audience that we enter their “personal space”. Each population deals with this differently, some back away from us leaving us alot of room to dance and others crowd in to get up close and personal. Some even lay down comfortably with their legs hanging in to the space forcing us to step over them in our dance.

Do you work and show your work for getting applause (for the audience) or does the working process mean anything else for you? What kind of feedback are you open for?
Creating contemporary dance is about challenging preconcieved ideas. What is a performance space? What is movement? What can we combine with what else to come up with something new and original? Applause is not simply a response to entertainment but also a sign of respect for the originality of an artistic proposition and not merely a successful outcome. Of course we aim to achieve all of this and more but researching new and unchartered territories means there is plenty of room for failure. Each creation is a step towards the next creation and an Artist is judged by his or her entire body of work  and not by one single show. 
All feedback is welcome. It is up to the Artist to choose to take the information on board or not.

Do you read critics about your works? What kind of critic do you need?
I mopst definitely read critiques about my work. A written evaluation is important as it shows that the work was worth writing about. Especially if the writer is an expert in the field and is capable of expressing their opinions with a skilled pen in hand. Most importantly a written critique affirms the existence a work. If nobody was to write about live performance then the only record we are left with is a badly filmed, poor quality, two dimensional video of a performance that was conceived to be seen live. “as above” All feedback is welcome. It is up to the Artist to choose to take the information on board or not.

Do you criticize other’s works? Do you write about it?
I am not a writer, but am happy to share my opinion on work I feel strongly about, on work that has made me sit up and notice something special or original about it.

Are you open for a round table discussion with the audience after a premier or after your show?
Absolutely. Yes.

József's performance (with Gábor Varga) takes place on 19th September in MU Theatre.

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