Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Questionnaire with participant Eszter Herold (H)

photo: Szabó Roland

Have you been (when) to Budapest - Hungary with your pieces and artistic works earlier?
As I am a Hungarian artist and teacher of dance, I mostly perform my works here, in Budapest.

What do you know about Hungary and what kind of information do you have about our dance life?
A lot of inspiring things are happening, although independent artists are not supported and not well-financed. I am wondering how long the energy of freelance and alternative theater makers will last. I cross my fingers. And I am praying.

Could you share with us if you have any idols in theater/dance life?
I wouldn’t use the word IDOL. I have learned and I am still learning a lot from the works and philosophy of Pina Bausch, Sasha Waltz, Márta Ladjánszki, Gábor Goda, Csaba Horváth and Joseph Nadj.

What kind of piece will you bring to L1danceFest and does this piece mean any differences or similarities to your earlier works? Where did you perform it already?
My piece titled VISITATION is going to be a premiere at L1danceFest 2014, so I haven’t performed it yet. I have danced just a short part of it in Hradec Králové (Czech Republic) in July, where I could spend 3 deep and intensive weeks with creating and searching in the frame of Visegrad Artist Residency Program, with a scholarship I have won last year. 
It is going to be a duet with Ági Gyulavári. The last time I have created a duet (mostly I make solo performances) was 2011, so I am very excited about this work – I am wondering, if I have improved, if I am ready, mature and experienced enough to lead a creating process. I feel the responsibility of it. In the creating period I am in the 5-6th months of my pregnancy, so I have to deal clever with a lot of constantly changing phenomena – energy, time, body-state, mood, physical and mental borders of female being. 
Visitation is a part of a complex artistic idea called CONVEX PROJECT – which I have started to build up in June 2013. Nine artistic works (dance pieces and visual art installations) are planned to create (reflecting on the nine months of pregnancy) until the end of 2014. Five of them are ready. The topic of CONVEX PROJECT is waiting and wasting, the physical and psychical erosion of female being, whose body and inner world is ready for conception, but she still doesn’t get the child she desires for.
During the working process my life has changed all of a sudden – I have got engaged in December and have got pregnant in March. So I have changed the direction but not the basic topic of the project.
VISITATION is inspired by a short story of the New Testament, the meeting of Mary and Elisabeth.

Do you have your artistic statement, could you share with us?
Tactility is my (artistic) statement.

Do you have any hobby besides working as a performer or creator?
I am writing. I have already published a few times some lyric texts, but that is an other kind of life. You need the same awareness like in dance, but you need more silence and more time for that. I have just one life. When I am dancing, I am not really writing. The time I will be not dancing, I will write. I am quite sure. 

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!
I did not start dancing at the age of 4. Therefore I had to work harder and in a different way than others to achieve talkative, expressive and prime movements. I also had to have long and honest discussions with my body – I had to understand its limits and to find and raise a universe between these boundaries. Of course, I have studied through a lot of contemporary dance genres, but because of the facts mentioned above, as a
dancer and as choreographer I had to work out my own non-verbal vocabulary, which is not written and which will never be fully accomplished – it has to be constantly formed and improved by myself. My work as a creative movement teacher is quite unique in Hungary, since there are just a few secondary schools of arts and drama incorporating this subject in their curriculum. I am searching the frontiers of dance, being interested in common human gestures, in simple physicality, in common human needs and motivations which let people move, and which are universally understandable. 

How did your summer time go? Did you get any new inspirations? Do you have a best experience during this summer?
I had to teach at my workplace (Nemes Nagy Ágnes Secondary School of Arts) until the end of June. On the 1st July I was leaving to Hradec Králové (Czech Republic) with Zsuzsi Palman graphic artist, where we spent three weeks with planning, dreaming and creating. In August I had my 33rd birthday, have started the rehearsal period of VISITATION, and I am waiting for my baby - I am in the 6th month already.

Does it mean any differences to play your pieces in different countries? If so, could you please tell us in what sense?
Maybe in abroad people and organizers do not look at your papers. I am not a qualified dancer (I have 3 degrees - Hungarian literature, German language and literature - Dramapedagogy - but no one in dance). In Hungary I see, that if you haven't graduated at one of the two dance high schools of Hungary, your name is not appreciated. You have no real chances on stage and in ensembles. 

What does it mean to you to be in the process and to show the work to the audience? What kind of feedback are you open for?
In the last years I have learned how important, useful and helpful it could be to have a supervisor during the creating process, who is not involved in the project as a creating person, but who knows and understands the frames and directions of your work and aim, so he/she can have "objective" point of views and opinions. Now I have two partners, who will guide the Visitation: Ádám Márton Horváth, the composer of the piece, and Zsuzsi Palman, with whom we go on with the creating of the missing parts of the CONVEX PROJECT. 
The rapid feedback of the audience is another thing - and a totally other genre. That is more difficult to carry, because people you meet there directly, will not know you, they come with different backgrounds and with different levels of understanding and sensitivity. Still I am open for meeting them. Although, pregnancy is a very special state of mind and mood. 

Do you read critics about your works? What kind of critic do you need?
I always read everything, if there are any written critics available. I need open-minded, progressive feedbacks. Conversations. Dialogs.

Do you criticize other’s works? Do you write about it?
If people ask me to give feedback, I do. Earlier I have published a few critics in dance on a literary web page. Now I have no time for it. Although I think it is useful for me to summarize and to give form to my metaphoric and mostly non-verbal impressions. 

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

Here you find some words, could you put them in sentences which could be kind of ars poetic of yours!
To share hug is the religion - creating community is the performance itself - to sense faces, getting closer and closer to others and to myself. 

Do you have any question?

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