Mechanics of Distance
by Máté Mészáros
Mechanics of Distance is a site specific choreography for three dancers and a musician. The audience follow the performers in the space at a proximity of their choice. Each time it is performed, the piece is adapted to the specific space and location.
The performers from three very different backgrounds (a classically trained ballet dancer, a dancer with a folk dance background and a dancer trained with contemporary techniques) and the musician interfere with one anothers’ personal spaces so much that the recipient/spectator can make away from their usual urge/constraints for interpretation. The bodies place the dance in the perspective of fine arts by their plasticity, materiality.
Mechanics of Distance focuses on positioning static and moving bodies in space, cramming matching and mismatched systems into it and examining the distance between bodies. To illustrate this problem the choreographer’s tool is to find the right gesture, the translation of abstraction to physical body.
The piece presents encounter-variatons of bodies in space stimulating free interpretation. Episodic events drawn from social and personal contexts represent emotional, moral or intellectual situations.’ In Mészáros’ choreography the direct, tangible togetherness and closeness meet a more elevated, solemn dimension, and supplemented by a more political dimension with the aim of finding an answer to the question of how far the limits of dance can be extended, what potentials are underlying a specific, poorly exploited (infra)stucture and what the endless dimensions of experimentation are, the open space waiting to be explored. (Dorottya Albert, szinhaz.net)
Length of the show: 60 minutes
Choreography and concept: Máté Mászáros
Creator-performers: Jenna Jalonen, Máté Mészáros, Zsófia Tamara Vadas
Music: Áron Porteleki
Consultant: Tamás Bakó
Producer: SÍN Arts Centre
Premiered at the National Dance Theatre, Budapest / 26 May 2019
The choreography was realized with the support of the Zoltán Imre Programme of the National Cultural Fund and was amongst the Aerowaves Priority Selection in 2020.
Máté Mészáros graduated at the Hungarian Dance Academy in 1999. After 3 years at the Szeged Contemporary Ballet he has worked at various European companies (CarteBlanche – Norway, Lanonima Imperial – Spain, Ultima Vez – Belgium). After his return to Hungary in 2014 he has created four choreographies – Hinoki, United Space of Ambivalence and Mechanics of Distance – this latter was in the Aerowaves Twenty20 selection. His latest creation is Through Light – an installation of light and bodies to be premiered at Trafó Budapest in November 2021. All his works toured extensively around the continent and overseas. He is a regular guest choreographer of various European dance companies and theatres and gives partnering workshops. In his choreography he applies a high level of physicality, regards the body as a structural phenomenon. He approach the body as a dynamic object and the space as an ever-changing scenery created by the counter-effect of objects, bodies, sound and light.
These presentations are happening as part of the Perform Europe project East Goes to East.
Perform Europe (https://performeurope.eu/) is an EU-funded project aimed to rethink how performing arts works are presented across borders in a more inclusive, sustainable and balanced way by testing new touring and distribution practices and providing policy recommendations for a future EU support scheme. This 18-month journey includes a research phase, launching a digital platform, testing a support scheme, and designing policy recommendations.
Perform Europe is funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and co-managed by a Consortium of 5 organisations: IETM – International network for contemporary performing arts (https://www.ietm.org/en), the European Festivals Association (EFA) (https://www.efa-aef.eu/en/home/), Circostrada (https://www.circostrada.org/en), EDN – European Dancehouse Network (https://www.ednetwork.eu/), and IDEA Consult (https://www.ideaconsult.be/fr/).