Choreographer Pál Frenák has a reputation for making sensual, highly aesthetic shows that don’t shy away from provocative scenes. His dance company’s style combines classical and modern techniques with mimicry and sign language, and takes inspiration from circus, theatre and fashion. At Trafó on Thursday and Friday audiences can watch the remake of one of his most acclaimed pieces, The Hidden Men (Les hommes cachés), which premiered in 2004.
The one-hour choreography holds up a mirror to male character types from Hercules to Narcissus, with a heavy dose of black humour. Grown men spitting out dummies and a dancer rolling about in a satellite dish as a symbol of the womb are all part of the show. The mix of dance and acrobatics on ropes (pictured top) is described as creating a dream-like piece that immerses viewers in the unconscious mind of boys and men.
Frenák’s sensibility to body language and gesture is often attributed to being brought up by deaf-mute parents, which meant that his first means of expression was sign language. Following the early death of his father, he spent several years in a state-run institute, where he practised dance moves in front of the mirror. Later he studied classical ballet, folk dance and modern dance in Budapest, before moving to France in the 1980s where he worked with several stars of classical ballet and studied new dance techniques.
The Compagnie Pál Frenák was established in Paris in 1989 and became a joint Franco-Hungarian company based in both the French capital and Budapest ten years later. Les hommes cachés (or Fiúk in Hungarian) won the prestigious Rudolf Lábán award in 2006 and was made into a film in 2008. The piece was remade with two new dancers in 2010.
The Hidden Men (Les hommes cachés) – remake
Compagnie Pál Frenák
3 and 4 March at 8pm
Trafó House of Contemporary Arts
District IX, Liliom utca 42.
Tel. (06-1) 215-1600 www.trafo.hu