Tamás HALÁSZ about Cain’s Hat

Ellenfény 2000/7.

Translated by Ágnes Varány

Gábor Goda is one of the most original philosophers, directors, dancers and choreographers of Hungarian dance. I should say as attributes: modern, contemporary and new. But I don’t, because Artus had some genres before, but in the last couple of years they call themselves simply a “theatre”or a “theatre company”.

The Artus company has 1,5 decades. Their new performance is based on “Cain’s offence against the law, and Moses’ legislation” by Lipót Szondi. Goda is a philosophical, open person, whose works are always based on literary works. The performances of Artus are in a safe distance from narrativity. This is because the literary and scientific works used as bases are not of anecdotal type.

Compared to Artus performances grandiose in their execution, volume and complexity of style, Cain’s hat is a short play. Intimate performance with wispy tricks, intimate movements, lyrical and bizarre gags. Goda is the master of small signs, and his company alloys clear dancing with clear thought. The performance forms a bridge between the library and the stage. Intellectual, yet not argumentative: it shows already acquired knowledge and places kept for what is yet unknown at the same time.

The tension of the dangerous and acrobatic dance performed on the hidden steel structure of the pile of rocks determines our feelings in itself. The performance given by the moving body supported onten points and the magician’s tricks good enough to be those of professionals show the difference between the real and the possible, the unreal and what can be experienced. These tricks – papermaché rocks dancing in the air, a butterfly the size of a handpalm, floating, follows around the dancers – recall at the same time the mystical world of the circus and Moses „competing” with Egyptian priests before the pharao, using forbidden magic for this, turning his cane into a snake…

Beside the great dancer work and music, the oldest and simplest, clear and mature symbolism characterizes the latest performance of Artus, which is both universal and unique, although sometimes difficult to follow, but perhaps due to its symbolic character.