Hinoki 2.0

I’ve seen this performance in Trafó tonight, and it was well worth my time. The following description and opinion is highly personal of course.

Ever since I’ve grown tired of the theater plays usually available in my city I started visiting dance related performances and ballet as well, seemingly it suits my taste much better. I’m kind of amazed by the wide and open space of interpretation that is offered by something that completely lacks vocal grammar and language. It’s certainly not without problems especially for someone quite new to the whole genre, because we are full of preconceptions brought from language and they don’t work in the inferential area of music and movement. Language is a very rigid structure compared to the nonverbal reality laying beyond words and conscious thoughts. If theater is philosophy then dance is psychology.

To me it was surprising that Hinoki was presented with live music of an acoustic drum kit, some kind of a stratocaster guitar and a BOSS RC-50 looper multi-effect pedal. On my way out I think I also spotted a TE OP-1 but I’m not entirely sure. Most of the music was done by drumming not on the kit only but on the guitar also and applying various looping methods and tape delay, reverse echo with other various sound effects. At one point there was even a bow involved, and just as I was thinking at the start that I’d be afraid of ground or feedback loops occurring while using such an equipment, once it seemed to happen but Áron solved it very fast. Or was it intentional? It doesn’t even matter, to be perfectly honest.

Do you remember being born? It’s most probably a very rude awakening, the world being overwhelming and burning with noise and light you need a lot of time getting used to. This is exactly how Hinoki felt in the first few minutes, like an explosion in your mind ripping it apart. There’s nothing to fear though, as the slow recollection of your pieces and the categorization of the world begins and you are used to being there, even if it takes some effort.

Before I go on I must admit it, that I was mildly uncomfortable during the whole hour, because of the live act in the left corner. I couldn’t help myself but keeping checking back to the drummer and guitarist, kind of breaking the whole experience every single time. Honestly, I couldn’t focus perfectly even though the lights were dim on him, the musician was still very noticeable and I think the principle of “less is more” could have been very fitting to Hinoki in this regard. Don’t get me wrong, the live music was a very very strong point but not hiding the instruments is something I must complain about a little bit. It may have been just me, who knows? But anyway with a bit different lighting, the stage could have been rid of the spot in the corner that kept diverting my attention all the time.

The figures on the stage very often do a full cycle of resting and waking, then getting dirty from being alive, fighting and forming pairs then getting dissolved in the shadows once again. Most of the time there were 5 or 3 dancers active that made the whole performance kind of asymmetric by default. You can feel that the whole “story” is mostly about the feel of being broken. There are so many ways to break, and there is not a single way to interpret this word as it can refer to some kind of disorder, introducing something whole into the picture, it can mean some kind of loss but the parts not fitting anywhere can be considered broken as well.

I wonder if it really worths analyzing these experiences after a certain point. Indeed when someone makes a choreography and you are watching it being presented then one is tempted to say they were translating something to a language that I also need to translate into a third language but as there is no language involved, I really doubt that this is the correct way of phrasing what is really happening. Somehow movement escapes language entirely and building up an entire story just to interpret seems like a poor way of framing what is really happening on the stage.

Seems to me that the most authentic description and interpretation would be just writing down some kind of script of all the happenings, because all of us know the meaning – even without words – of being on the ground, getting close to someone, ducking in a fist fight or stepping and moving in the black fragments of something that becomes a part of us by contact, even if just for a certain time like everything else. The world becomes nothing but a mess full of births and deaths even if we don’t view it like that usually after the one hour of Hinoki is over.

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