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2015-07-27

On The Road_Echoes_Milan Tomášik: HUNTING SEASON by Zsuzsanna Komjáthy

Transparent movements

Simply put, Milan Tomášik’s performance, the Hunting Season, performed on Friday at KIOSK Festival in Žilina, Slovakia, is clever. Or more detailed: it is a clever, well-matured and complex choreography, which has the rare and valuable quality to feed every layer of the spectator’s curiosity. From chunky jokes to delicate historical and technical dance references, it invokes several relations simultaneously through the movements, while in the cross-fire of registers and references it is able to remain absolutely ‘meaningless’ and facile.
So as I said, HS is a clever choreography. But how did they pull it off? Let’s start with understanding the anatomy of the performance a bit more deeply! The key concept that we can adapt to sketch the skeleton of HS is transparency. Regardless of what aspect we choose to examine the choreography from, in the very core of it we will find transparency. And what do we know for sure about transparency? I mean, what is the main characteristic of anything that is transparent? That it allows something that is behind to become visible. But in the moment we would recognize anything, it (the medium) deflects our gaze from it, and reflects it back to us. The whole process indicates that we cannot define the meanings anymore (that are probably hidden behind it), and cannot identify the place of deflection (the certain point on the surface) either. The long and the short of it, we cannot penetrate transparency, since it is always-already penetrated. Our sight is lost in the medium as in a second reality that is unseen-but-visible and that is dispersed by a mysterious force. Transparency works as a snake that bites into and eats its own body; in other words, transparency allows the kind of intensity that can never be recovered to become visible. It concentrates and traps all the movements, the angles, the meanings and the structures.
photo: Natália Zajačiková
Let us think about it for a while, and examine it further! We can use the expression of transparency for instance to cover the ‘vaudevillish’ structure of the performance, that is on one hand the source of its humour. On the other hand, it is a tool to make the construction of the performance visible, or reflect the happenings in it – what else would be the function of the compčres, or the significance of the appearing heads and the returning clownish moves of the dancers? Or just think about the structure of the choreography for a second. It obviously consists of two parts, but each of them is so transparent and so nimble, we cannot distinguish and separate them anymore. They are embedded into each other. What about the inhale-exhale (or from another point of view, the contraction and release) dynamics of the choreography? The function of this intensity is on one hand to uncover the natural forces of the body, to reveal the elements of the movements and to disperse the elements of the movements at the same time (and through them, to control the whole performance). But on the other hand, its function is also to make fun of some typical dance genres, and some typical emotions and tones that are common both in the classical and modern dances. The parody (or as it is often defined, the second reality) traces us back to the source of the humour, and makes the representation of HS cyclical and infinite. Clever, isn’t it?
But the question of transparency is still not that simple. Because the dynamics of the inhale-exhale game makes something else visible, what is related to the deep core of every possible movement: time. However, in the moment we recognize this, our gaze is deflected, and we perceive the internal side of time: the movement again. Interesting, mirrored point of view, huh? Movements recover movements through the intensity of rhythm and time in the horizon of reflexivity, which, as a second reality, can never be recovered. HS can never be recovered. 
Zsuzsanna Komjáthy – KÖM by L1 Association On The Road
KioSK 2015 New Slovakian Theatre and Dance Festival, Stanica Žilina - Záriečie, 23-26.07.2015

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