Nominated for the Rudolf Laban Award 2017
“When you look into my eyes, what you can see is the reflection of yourself”
SELFY is an artistic space created for self-reflection. In this open-source performance, where spectator and performer share the same “stage” in close proximity, the experience wins over “narrative”. Gyula is dancing on the thin line between trance and representation.
SELFY is a constant journey between in and out, between the internal universe and the external world – the reality. While jumping continuously, Gyula aims to become so thin, so transparent that his identity could evaporate, allowing the spectator to see his own reflection. The performer becomes an abstract mirror and having a look into it, one might ask himself: who am I really? Is my identity what I used to think it is?
SELFY is an interactive, participatory, contemporary dance performance. By bringing the audience on stage and improvising, jumping in between them, Gyula questions the convention of watching dance and dance performances. In this proximity, where the spectator could be touched by the performance, both metaphorically and literally, the question of freedom and our relation to it is being challenged. How do we react in such a situation? How do we handle the responsibility, which comes with “total” freedom? Some choose to stay in the safe, well-known position of being a passive observer – while others let themselves be taken on a journey into the unknown: to reveal the hidden potential that each one of us carries, of liberating our own body and soul.
Wherever we look on the planet, we can see how the world around us is changing faster and faster. The question of identity (personal, national, cultural, economical, etc.) is being challenged more in our time than ever before. Many decision-makers around the world seem to think that the solution to the contemporary issues is in reinforcing structures and systems from the past, from human history. They have endless arguments over the idea of marriage, nation, etc. They invest an enormous amount of time and energy into finding solutions to the ways of preserving some of these customs and habits, while the environment in which we live in is unlike any other before in our past. Our customs and traditions have developed through the centuries, strongly connected to our habitat, the nature that surrounded us. In a world, where travelling and meeting other people and cultures is easier than ever before, does it still make sense that one spends all the rest of his life with the first person he fell in love with? Is it still relevant to stick to the concept of the secular nations, when the biggest problems we face in our time are global? Is it still possible to speak about an authentic micro-community?
Creativity is an essential part of the human being. Are we able to use it innovatively or are we going to repeat the same patterns over and over again, which we have been served “on a silver plate”? It didn’t take much engagement from us, to learn how to repeat what our predecessors did. It takes a lot more personal investment though, to observe and analyze the world, to find the right questions and keep on working towards the answers.
SELFY deliberately puts the audience and the performer, dance and theater in the middle of uncertainty, among question marks. It breaks down our habit of consuming the ready-made (art, food, articles, etc.), in order to give a chance to build a fresh and personal ID. SELFY takes the spectators on a personal journey from their traditionally passive position into a place where they have to be constantly active. A place where each person actively contributes to the outcome of the performance, through his reactions, choices and personality. Without being aware of it in the beginning, they create a new community and they enter a world of symbols and metaphors, where every moment aims each one of us, personally. When Gyula says “I am a human being”, everyone could identify themselves with his words, but what happens when he continues by saying “I am a man”, “I am skinny” and so on?
SELFY is yourself among themselves when we are ourselves – together.
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