ENG | Yes, I am a… is a series of interviews curated by Francesco Guazzo within the section NEW LOOKS. Their ensemble collects a sampling of the widest variety of spectators and tries to understand how professional and human identity can influence the gaze when watching performances.
Vakulya Zoltan is a Hungarian dancer and choreographer, currently residing in Belgium, Brussels. In the last 10 years he worked with several choreographers and visual artists from Europe and Africa, such as David Zambrano, Kendell Geers, Radouan Mrziga, Vera Tussing, etc. He is currently a member of HODWORKS company in Hungary and Mal Pelo from Catalunya, Spain. In his choreographic work he touches on the relationship of music and dance, new media design and the political reality that surrounds him. The new piece he choreographed together with Lee-Chen Wei called ‘Together Alone’ has been nominated for several international awards such as the Total Theater Award in 2017.
FG: Could you tell me how your professional and human identity may or may not come to influence your gaze as a spectator?
When I watch a performance, I always try to give myself to the show. I’m trying actively to forget about expectations, about what I want to see. I try to watch with a really pure eye, and just be taken by what I see. I like to meet emotionally with the show I see, and then let it resonate in me, in my intellect, my emotions and my body too.
FG: Starting from your own context and coming up to here: a sentence on power (especially, for example, the power that an artistic director has).
I think that when you are choosing shows for your festival of course it’s a very delicate situation because with that you promote certain people and you don’t promote others, so obviously it creates some kind of hierarchy.
For example, here in Bassano I feel that Roberto Casarotto has a very wide range of tastes of the shows: it’s a big mix what he does and I really respect that, because I see that there are so many different programs, and so you can see so many different aspects of dance in this festival. If you’re asking me what I think about using this power, I would say he’s using this power very beautifully, and very smartly, very intelligently. I’ve spent here more than a week in Bassano and in Cittadella and I feel an energy that I haven’t felt in other festivals… every festival has its own character, but this one has a very special character and I found that also through the people who are here – like you are, like we are – that make it happen: it’s very welcoming and very curious, and everyone is curious, it’s very nice and everyone – I feel – is free to ask me any question and also people are free to ask me questions. I think this has also been happening like this because that power is being used well.
FG: A desire for BMotion 2020.
I think that what is now happening here is not only great but also challenging. I’ve seen a show in which a certain thing that happened really challenged my emotions and intellect: and I was very happy that then I could talk with people about it and I could let it go, I could place it in myself and feel good about it. I’m very happy that these things happened. So what I want to say is: these things should continue, this freedom. There’s a certain freedom of speech here and I find it very beautiful. I’m coming from Hungary and such a freedom no longer exists there. But returning to my desire for BMotion 2020, I was walking with my friend and we were talking about how great all this is and here and I’ve actually just said: I hope that this festival will not grow bigger, because I feel that it is already so well balanced, in terms of what the events, the amount of shows, the amount of activities, the engagement from the people, the variety of the different people and different creations, that I’m almost hoping that it doesn’t get more, because that maybe will be overwhelming, maybe… I wish that this perfect balance will be what is going to continue. But apart from that, I wish that locals will get even more engaged with the festival, or even people from Venice, or from other bigger cities.
Cover photo by Francesco Guazzo
English text revision by Elena Baggio