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Pal Frenák: W_all

Léna Megyeri @Springback Magazine

2019. 01. 08.

Within a couple of days, Budapest’s dance enthusiasts were treated with new productions of two choreographers with very distinct styles. To those who know their creators, both performances delivered exactly what they would have expected. Whether that’s a good thing is probably up to each audience member to decide.

‘When I get involved in something, it shows,’ says Pál Frenák in a report about the rehearsals of his company’s new show, W_all. Indeed: although it was long advertised that Frenák will give full scope to his dancers and only serve as their mentor during the creation process, the show is not much different from his classic pieces. By now, 61-year old Frenák has his own fanbase – no small achievement in the world of contemporary dance. Fans expect some artists (writers, musicians, choreographers) to always reinvent themselves, while others they ‘only’ expect to deliver the well-known and well-loved. Of course it depends more on the artist than on the fans: some of them are keen to explore new ways of expression from time to time, while others cling to their signature style. Whether the reason for the latter is lack of inspiration or whether these creators just do what they can do best, I guess is up for discussion in each case.

Once-radical Frenák has spared his audience big surprises for a while now, and W_all is no exception. Although the 11 performers come with very different backgrounds and abilities, and the list of inspirations on the show’s bill is long and diverse, it looks much like anything Frenák has done