Boglárka Börcsök draws the audience like a magnet into the shrinking world of old age, she is helpless and fearless at the same time. With a sneering expression, she fights politics, then as now, and a beatific smile appears on her face when she (one of the three ladies) manages to make a hint of a dance gesture with her arms […] A thrilling and extraordinary performance that leaves a lingering impression.
Ditta Rudle, tanzschrift.at, 25 July 2022
Boglárka Börcsök and the director Andreas Bolm should be celebrated for giving space to the legacy of three Hungarian dance artists, who were prevented by the unfavourable periods of time from continuing their promising careers, with a performance that is as moving as it is captivating.
Alfred Oberzaucher, tanz.at, 28 July 2022
Transgenerational immersive performance-installation at the border of film, dance and theatre.
Figuring Age interweaves the stories and memories of the slightly forgotten and now deceased artists Irén Preisich, Éva E. Kovács and Ágnes Roboz, who contributed to the development of modern dance in Hungary in the 1930s and who were 90, 96 and 101 years old at the time of their collaboration with Boglárka. Based on video footage filmed in their private homes, dancer and choreographer Boglárka Börcsök and filmmaker Andreas Bolm created a meticulous choreography of embodiment that brings their protagonists back to the stage through the performer's body and voice. Börcsök incorporates gestures, postures and dance movements into their personal stories, which are imprinted on their slow and fragile bodies, and which require a special movement economy. In doing so, she traces how these three women modified their approach to movement to survive the socio-political changes of the 20th century, revealing how resilience, silence and trauma are inscribed in body and movement.
Running alongside the performance is a two-channel video installation that captures the dancers in their homes. The silence of the rooms, filled with personal objects and memories, becomes the scenographic backdrop for their final on-screen performance.
Figuring Age is not only an impressive choreography of bodily memories, but through the individuals' life stories, it also offers a broader framework for thinking about the possible causes of the current rise of nationalism in the post-socialist Hungarian context.
concept, choreography, costume, scenography & production Boglárka Börcsök & Andreas Bolm
elderly dancers Éva E. Kovács, Irén Preisich, Ágnes Roboz
light & sound Andreas Bolm
production assistant Martyna Bezrąk
english translation David Robert Evans
performance produced by Die Irritierte Stadt Festival of Arts, Montag Modus
video credits Andreas Bolm & Boglárka Börcsök (editing), Lisa Rave (camera), Elisa Calosi (production manager)
video commissioned by Montag Modus/ MMpraxis
performance Boglárka Börcsök
Supported by the NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ International Guest Performance Fund for Dance, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
The Hungarian choreographer and performer Boglárka Börcsök (1987) has become a notably influential figure in the field of contemporary dance and performance in recent years. She studied contemporary dance both at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz and at the internationally renowned P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) in Brussels.
She currently lives in Berlin and focuses on her interdisciplinary work. However, as an established dancer and performer, she continues to collaborate with various progressive choreographers such as Lygia Lewis and Joachim Koester. Since 2016, she has performed irregularly in choreographer Boris Charmatz's experimental project 20 Dancers for the XX Century, which is conceived as a living archive – twenty dancers of different generations present excerpts from prominent dance solos of the 20th century. At the same time, she has participated artistically in the creation of some of the performances from the MONUMENT series by the renowned artist Eszter Salamon, who uses them to explore the relationship between choreography and history.
Boglárka Börcsök's work is inspired by the principles of observational documentary and archival research. Her work is constantly concerned with the projection of memory and history into the personal gestures and movements of the individual. She also draws on the method of „extended choreography“, where she uses visual techniques or movements in unexpected contexts to define herself against the rigid notion of composition as a dancing body.
Andreas Bolm (1971) is a film director and producer based in Berlin. In his youth he worked as a musician and sound engineer in Manchester, England, but soon became attracted to visual culture and turned his interest towards experimental photography and video. His films have been featured at many renowned festivals around the world. Bolm's films depict people in their natural, social and familial environments and explore the fine line between documentary and fiction. He studied at FAMU in Prague and at the University of the Arts in Berlin (Film and Theatre Studies). Together with director Marcus Nechleba they founded the production company pickpocket production, which is behind some of the award-winning films of directors Maren Ade and Sonja Heiss.
Boglárka Börcsök and Andreas Bolm have been working together since 2017. They have presented their project Figuring Age with an amazing acclaim at the Moving in November festival in Helsinki or at the ImPulsTanz festival in Vienna in the young choreographers section [8:tension]. This April they will present it at Spring Forward in Dublin, where it is part of the prestigious Twenty23 selection of the international Aerowaves network.
interviews with Boglárka Börcsök
photo Andreas Bolm