Under Their Power; Sandy is Going Out by Viktor Szeri – review

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[A Viktor Szeri review by Dóri Albert]

If there is a genre in music called self-depressive-synth-pop, why couldn’t it exist in dance as well? On the verge of anxiety, schizophrenia, self-identification and defenselessness, on the multimedia scene, where movement, silence vs. low beats (music: András Molnár) and dynamic light design (Kata Dézsi) interact, Viktor Szeri’s thrilling performance Sandy is Going Out drives us deeply into the everyday experience of loss, despair, desire and inertia, a state mostly defining the generation Y.

Anna Biczok performing Sandy is going out; Sandy by Viktor Szeri review
Anna Biczók performing Sandy is going out; photo by Boglárka Éva Zellei

A whole universe lies behind a name: Sandy recalls and gathers the common feelings and states of the young generation; in this world performer and spectator bounce back and forth from a cool party-like sensation to moments of subversive, sobering recognition. Once you dissolve and indulge in the irresistible rhythm, some discontinuity arises suggesting that it’s not time to lay back.

Playing with the aesthetics of excess and repetition marks the core structure and dramaturgy of the performance, while a brutal trash sensitivity defines its style and atmosphere. Three different characters of different ages are shaking their naked bodies in front of the wall covered with a layer of transparent plastic foil, while Brenda Lee’s I’m sorry rockabilly-pop hit is endlessly replaying. Who is responsible for the music, who might stop it, for how long will it challenge the dancers (and us)? – we might ask after watching their exhausting physical work for around ten minutes. But soon we realize that the whole piece plays with extremity and exaggeration, and in all its sequences lies the attempt to reach the level of the unexpectedly too much, too honest, too cruel, too harsh, too loud, too instinctive.

Viktor Szeri performing Sandy is going out; Sandy by Viktor Szeri review
Viktor Szeri performing Sandy is going out; photo by Boglárka Éva Zellei

When the music fades, the dancers come to the centre of the stage, close to the audience sitting in a half square, and start their solos in silence– bigger and bigger, more and more complicated, more and more intense movements are developed from gesture-like, slight movements. Step by step, from moment to moment as the movements intensify, from an ordinary twist of their wrists we witness the process of arriving to a stage of brutality in which the dancers fall down like heavy stones: Lili Raubinek repeatedly springs to the wall, Viktor Szeri unmercifully slaps himself to the floor, Anna Biczók clashes her feet heavily to the floor while she moves on the stage as the electronic music smoothly fades in and takes control over them (and us).

Viktor Szeri’s choreography intermingles not only the different media but also the usual party dance elements with non-referential motives, forming a rhythmic space where the common meets the bizarre, and the familiar meets the unknown or the unarticulated. In this playground constraint and the loss of control inseparably melt with desire and passion, where identity is subjected to a continuous formation process, always shifting. Sandy is Going Out, a sensorial confession about the central issues of generation Y, might be disturbing and/or uplifting at the same time, but one thing is certain: Szeri and his collaborators found a powerful and sensuous language for an actual social(and political) context through the hazardous fusion of popular culture and arts.

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Click & read the portrait of Viktor Szeri.

Click & read the review of Phoenix and here to read the review of Melinda’s dream choreographed by Szeri.


Creator: Viktor Szeri. Performers: Anna Biczkók, Lili Raubinek, Viktor Szeri. Music: András Molnár. Light: Kata Dézsi. 05/04/2019. MU Theatre

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