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Hungary Hungry for Candoco / 9 October 2010

photo of two dancers posing against a white background

Candoco Dance. Photo by Hugo Glendinning

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By Chris Owen (Dancer)

Hungary was Candoco’s first European tour date of 2010 and I was one of the lucky ones to spend a week there prior to our performance.

Kimberly (associate artist for Candoco) and I were based in Pecs, a historic provincial city in South Hungary. Pecs was awarded Capital of Culture 2010 and with such a prestigious title comes somewhat of a face-lift. An influx of art dominates the city, new bars and restaurants decorate the streets and transport has moved away for new pedestrian zones filled with flamboyant water features. I would say a very successful nip/tuck job.

Away from the tourists Kimberly and I were tucked away in a studio working with a group to create a piece to be performed as part of a curtain raiser (alongside a duet performed by Kimberly and Zsuza, the organiser). The group clearly had experience in contact improvisation; something Kimberly and I were aware of before we arrived. This in mind, we were interested in giving them a taster of Emmanuel Gat’s process, in order to help develop skills in movement memory, spatial connections, awareness of each other in space and encouraging overall depth of inquiry into individual solos.

With the group being multi-national, there was a variety translations simultaneously exchanged all over the studio. Experiencing this, Kimberly and I became interested in the irony that paralleled within the reality of being lost ‘in translation’ and proceeded with this as a concept for structuring the piece; with perhaps the possibility of using some text to help enhance this. However due to time constraints and other outside influences, we were unable to explore this idea in time for the final work. So we focused on investing the time we had into the movement that had been generated through Emmanuel Gat’s process but still remaining close to the idea of communication.

The evening programme was very successful, despite the day leading up to the show feeling somewhat chaotic. I was pleased to see that all the performers in the group managed to successfully channel their nerves and apprehensions into their performance. To finish off the evening of dance, Candoco performed In Translation (Emmanuel Gat) and Imperfect Storm (Wendy Houston), the latter of which was surprisingly well received considering the volume of text that may or may not have been understood by our humble Hungarians.

Back home in the studio this week we have been busy rehearsing for our London dates next week. So don’t forget to book your tickets for either Monday 11th or Tuesday 12th October at Queen Elizabeth’s Hall. Or both!

Keywords: dance