From the nominated artists by the Jardin d’Europe co-organizers, the Workshop Foundation chose Claire O’Neill (BE), nominated by Ultima Vez,  to take part in the residency at The Symptoms and Artus Company.
During the first week of September, Claire O’Neill participated in a course for The Symptoms – the company of Réka Szabó. In the second week, she worked together with Artus, Gábor Goda’s company. She took part in the dance marathon on September 5 and attended the course of Martin Keogh on September 11-13. Both workshops fitted the artist’s expectations and provided her with important skills and ideas. Additionally, Claire O’Neill got in intense contact with the local Hungarian dance scene, which might lead to future collaborations.

feedback report Claire O'Neill
Myself & Georgie Rose arrived in Budapest to a very comfortable and colourfulapartment that was a good home for the 2 weeks I spent immersing in thedance/theatre scene of people and studios moving and shaking in Budapest.

The residency itself fell into 4 different experiences during the time there. The first being a teaching opportunity with dance company TÜNET EGYÜTTES,directed by Réka Szabo.

Here I was introduced to the Bakelit Studios where preparations for the L1Contemporary Dance festival were underway. It was a pleasure to meet thedancers in this setting, a funky old warehouse, and I enjoyed the physicalityand wit of the company members. I think the most interesting moment was to speak with Réka ( also a mother to a baby girl) about dance, art, being a woman, and todays world...common ground material but effective in bringing an understanding and context to this exchange. I like to see other mothers in positions of running a company and making performances. Its inspirational and grounding at the same time.

The 2nd experience was a two day dance event ‘TANCMARATON 7’ organizedby the Workshop Foundation and Trafo Theatre. Here I was able to attend and watch many technique classes and repertoire with choreographers & teachers from all over Budapest. Limon, Graham and Horton and contemporarytechniques, as well as contact and body-mind methods were in full swing withfull classes of amateurs and semi professional dancers. I participated in 2repertoire classes and found them far from my own style and performanceaesthetic but was nicely challenged by the need for a strong and flexible bodyto achieve the moves. The event was a nice atmosphere to meet people andfeel the energy of so many dancers wanting to dance.

The next engagement was for me the focus of the residency -a workshop with ARTUS Company, directed by Gabor Goda. At the end of their creation processand dealing with the technical and practical needs, Gabor was apologetic asthere was ‘not much to see’. I found it to be the opposite where there wasmuch to gain in observing companies at certain stages of a process. To be able to watch a run thru of the new work ‘KakaKakasKakas’ at this vulnerable stage was a valuable experience. A crucial times for decisions and finer details of the work. Also an insight to how well a group can be managed and workingin good terms. I was given a great reception into the wonderful ArtusContemporary Arts Studio. It is an awesome space with an industrial edge, and well equipped. The past 10 years there has developed a friendlyinfrastructure to house the performance works and related activities of Artus. I like the way they integrate the mediums to incorporate installation, visualand plastic arts. Also the manipulation of objects and their ritualistic andsymbolic representations. Its thoughtful and exciting work. Which is how I found Gabor to be, and thank him and his team for such open response to my presence.

The last three days in Budapest found me flying into a full bodied, sweaty andchallenging contact improvisation workshop with MARTIN KEOGH. It had been a long time since I practiced this technique so was pleasantly takenhostage again by its satisfying state of experiencing movement in a dialoguesso easily. And it was the skill of Martin that took us on these progressive andimaginative journeys to find our harmonic unions in dance. He is a wonderful teacher with a great sense of ‘what it necessary and at the right moment’. A good lesson as a teacher, to learn Martins methods. It has something to do with a deep passion and desire to move a group towards themselves.

The Wild Card residency through Workshop Foundation has been a rewardingexperience in more ways than one. I felt an immersion into a culture (unknown to me before) and its artistic activities and attitudes. Its importantfor me to see evolutions of dance communities and what they are interestedin and focus on in their work. I define myself more as a artist who questionsher own methods and styles in movement by experiencing   other approachesand questions. There was much to explore and I am grateful for the effort of Pétra, Dóra and Gergő for their welcoming & helpful presence. I felt verysupported especially when it was about understanding my limits to see everything on the performance agenda. My baby sitting costs would not cover being out every night.
I am satisfied with the residency and how everything evolved, and especially happy to have had this opportunity in the first place. It was a necessary time for me to reach out beyond the Brussels communities. I thank Ultima Vez for their recommendation for the residency and The Workshop Foundation for the great organization and friendliness.

We hope to go back one day. Its a funky city.

Claire O’Neil/ Fidget Co. 
October 2009


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