About The Symptoms
Photo: Gábor Dusa
The Symptoms – Company of Réka Szabó
The Symptoms is a performance collective organized around the Hungarian dancer and choreographer Réka Szabó. Originally a mathematician, Szabó has been building her company with dancers and actors since 2002. The members of The Symptoms are not simply performing artists but fully involved contributors, whose personalities, creativity, and team spirit fundamentally define every work of the company.
The Symptoms pieces are carefully thought out, intellectual, and humorous creations mixing dance with text-based acting and movement. They typically use commonplaces as a jumping board, transforming them into grotesque, ironic, and often touching collages. The troupe works in a variety of formats, producing pieces for the stage as well as performances and free improvisations for public spaces and galleries.
The company recognizes no generic boundaries, handling text, movement, music, and visual effects as ingredients of equal rank. Fond of special technical solutions, they treat of everyday problems that preoccupy all of us, addressing these themes in a deeply personal language. In recent years in Hungary, social apathy has presented an increasingly pressing problem, forcing The Symptoms to change the audience’s attitudes of passive reception. They employ special tricks to dislodge spectators from their cozy roles and move them to thought, even action. All of this is wrapped in a vision that is grotesque, self-ironic and poetic at the same time.
The repertoire includes genres as diverse as a dance performance informed by interactive video technology, a piece of political dance theater, and “life-disco”, as well as street performance and an interactive fairytale of a play for kids.
Over the years, The Symptoms have been invited to various festivals and venues in Europe, including The Place in London, the National Theater of Prague, the Schauspiel in Köln, the Tanzlabor in Bielefeld, the Savoy-teatteri Helsinki and the INFANT festival in Novi Sad. In 2014, their show Apropos was invited to premiere at the Alexander Kasser Theater of Montclaire University, New Jersey.
„Réka Szabó dancer-mathematician and her company are creating the most unusual performances of the present theatre scene, by mixing in many ways dance, text, music, drama and humour.
Réka Szabó doesnt care of the borders between genres, she is rather interested in language in wider sense. She quotes on stage texts of Thomas Mann or equally mathematical rules.”
(Sisso: Réka Szabó – Treasure which exists)