A Performance Installation by Boglárka Börcsök & Andreas Bolm
Figuring Age portrays three elderly dancers from Budapest, aged between 90 and 101. The work consists of a durational performance and a two-channel video installation running simultaneously in separate spaces.
In 2015, choreographer and performer Boglárka Börcsök had the chance to meet several elderly dancers in Budapest. Wanting to work with some of them and knowing that their age would make it impossible to bring them back on stage, Börcsök and filmmaker Andreas Bolm decided to create a documentary called The Art of Movement. It portrays Irén Preisich, Éva E. Kovács and Ágnes Roboz, who were once part of the early development of modern dance in Hungary. During the filming, Börcsök’s role alternated between dialogue partner and dance student to stimulate the elderly dancers’ bodies and memories. The physical engagement continued during the editing process. Börcsök and Bolm watched the footage again and again to study the gestures, movements, and personal stories of Irén, Éva and Ágnes.
The three ladies entered Börcsök like ghosts and she began to perform them. The embodiment of Irén, Éva, and Ágnes is a continuous work of transforming and becoming – a Vertigo. The aging body does not contain only one body. Rather, it is multiple bodies layered in time and decay, in memories and experiences. In Figuring Age, Börcsök interweaves the stories and memories of the elderly dancers with their everyday gestures, postures and dance movements, tracing how the three women changed their lives and movement practices to survive the sociopolitical shifts of the 20th century. The slowness and fragile heaviness of their bodies demand a different economy of attention, giving visitors space to rethink and negotiate their relationship to aging and death.
In a separate room, the two-channel video installation reveals the elderly dancers in their private homes. The stillness of their rooms, filled with personal objects and memories, becomes the scenographic backdrop for their dynamic performances on screen.
Concept & realisation Boglárka Börcsök, Andreas Bolm
Performance Boglárka Börcsök
Production Musik der Jahrhunderte - Christine Fischer
Country of production Germany
With the collaboration and support of Akademie Schloss Solitude, Freie Tanz- und Theaterszene Stuttgart, Musik der Jahrhunderte, Produktionszentrum Tanz und Performance, Theater Rampe und dem Kulturamt der Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart im Rahmen von Tanzpakt Stuttgart, Montag Modus/MMPraxis,
PACT Zollverein Atelier No.63 Platform, Experimental Platform for the Arts, Workspace Brussels Residency Program, Hellerau – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste- Residency Program. Part of the work was developed in the frame of the exhibition „20 Dancers for the XX Century by Boris Charmat/Terrain“.
© 2020 Boglárka Börcsök & Andreas Bolm
IRRITIERTE STADT Festival, Stuttgart,
MOVING IN NOVEMBER, Helsinki
ImPulsTanz, [8:tension] Young Choreographer’s series, Vienna
°FAR Festival, Nyon
COME TOGETHER Festival, Hellerau
SPECIAL MENTION at ImPulsTanz, [8:tension] Young Choreographer’s series, Vienna
Reviews & Publications
Das darüber Nachdenken Review including Figuring Age by Rico Stehfest in the frame of Come Together Festival in Hellerau, Tanznetz.de, 2022.09.18
Nyon : faire danser les fantômes du passé French review on Figuring Age by Maxime Maillard in the frame of Far Festival Nyon, La Cote, 2022.08.16
Paths through ImPulsTanz, Part 1 Review including Figuring Age by Léna Megyeri, on Springback Magazine, 2022. 09.06
Die späte Wiederkehr der Éva E. Kovács nach Wien Review on Figuring Age performed in mumok at ImPulsTanz Festival by Alfred Oberzaucher, Wiener Tanzgeschichten, Tanz.at, 2022.07.29
Wiedererweckung verdrängter Größen Review by Helmut Ploebst in the frame of ImPulsTanz, Der Standard, 2022.07.27
‘Figuring Age’ ImPulsTanz Review by Ditta Rudle, Tanzschrift, 2022. 07.25
Im Dialog mit Geistern Gespräch mit Christine Standfest in the frame of [8:tension] Young Choreographer’s series, ImPulsTanz, FAQ Magazine, excerpt online and in print 2022.07.06
Helsinki’s Moving in November: pasts, pleasures, projections Review by Anna Kozonina including Figuring Age at Moving in November Festival in Springback Magazine, 2022. 02.14
Conversation between Boglárka Börcsök and Kerstin Schroth Written dialogue published in the frame of Moving in November Festival Helsinki, 2021. 12.8