BLOOM! And The City: Budapest And London Based Dance Troupe Makes Its Philly Debut
This Thursday and Friday night the dance troupe BLOOM! comes to the Arts Bank at The University of the Arts to perform CITY, which takes on the resurgence of European nationalist governments and the consequences of social conformity. This young group, largely based in Budapest, has been thrilling audiences with their humor, awareness, original movement, and intelligence. BLOOM! is made up of choreographer-performers Viktória Dányi, Csaba Molnár, Igor Urzelai, and Tímea Sebestyén, and sound composer Alberto Ruiz Soler. We had some questions for them. They answered. (Make sure to check out their video at the end!)
Live Arts: How did you get together as a group? What are the origins of the name BLOOM!?
Viktória Dányi: Tími, Csaba, and I were classmates in Budapest and later on, when I moved to London, I met with Moreno and Igor at the London Contemporary Dance School (The Place). At that time Alberto, the sound composer, was also studying in London and working with other contemporary dance artists. We gathered as a group for the creation of City on the winter of 2010 in Budapest and since we have continued developing our work together. Regarding the name we were thinking a lot how we could call our collective and we ended up with BLOOM! We found this word identifies us, what we are, who we are.
Igor Urzelai: It was clear from the beginning that BLOOM! would be written in capital letters and with an exclamation mark, almost like an onomatopoeia. The name is the word, but also how you write it, the way it looks and the visual impact of it. That also reflected the way we think when making work, putting together different layers that will complete each other.
LA: How do you create as a group? What is the process? How do you get things done and how do you know they are finished?
Igor: At BLOOM! when an idea or concept is proposed in the studio this idea becomes part of the collective mind. That means that everyone involved is invited to develop this idea/concept and in this way we often get to places that you couldn’t predict beforehand. Ideas then transform and evolve towards its final shape with input from everyone, refined on many layers through the work of each component.
Csaba Molnár: When working as a group, ideas get constantly challenged and infected. But we believe that many minds working on a piece are better than one single mind. That means that when we all agree things feel finished, there seems not doubt about it. It can be a long process to get to a final conclusion, but when we do that seems to be the “one” conclusion and it feels highly rewarding.
LA: Can you describe the work you’ll be performing? How did it come about?
Tímea Sebestyén: City talks about the rules—limitations which defines the individual within the society.
Alberto Ruiz Soler: We usually described CITY as a political pamphlet entwined with movement. We like to describe the piece with this sentence as we are talking about various aspects of society and social dynamics inside and outside the theatrical space. CITY for us is a reflection on what life in a big metropolis can easily become about and what are our roles as individuals when the individuality has been taken away in benefit of progress. As a starting point to create this work we took the image of the Babel tower. We are all from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds so we were interested in seeing how much we have in common and how alien are the others to us and how this affects the social dynamics within the group and in our social environment in general. This idea started shifting slowly towards our own experiences of living in a multicultural metropolis, London and Budapest, and how this applies to the creation of art. At the end of the day we create art for the society we live in, so we all have certain expectations of how it should look like, what it should say, how long it should be, what are the things not allowed or politically incorrect, what the subjects or interest and many other things that we categorizes and rationalize to create what we believe are the audience needs. So, with our work we tried to play around those lines to see if we could identify those edges and make the audience play with us looking at the walls that society has settle for us as individuals to shape us as a group, making us believe is our own choice and will. City is a playful show with a bitter taste that looks at society without shame.
LA: Where do you draw your movement from?
Tímea: For many scenes we first came up with the idea that we would like to reach and from there we started to create movements.
Igor: Ideas are proposed in very different raw forms at the beginning; some times they are an image, a concept, or movement task. We develop each idea in different directions and then find the way to complete them by layering them.
Csaba: In CITY, a big part of the movement vocabulary is inspired by everyday gestures and pedestrian movement. We draw movement tasks from situations in which we would find ourselves every day, and then turn them into choreography.
Thank BLOOM! Have a great show.
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