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József Trefeli

2013 Cie József Trefeli / Jinx 103
Two dancers and one roll of barrier tape; that is all Jinx 103 needed to amaze me. The simplicity, the dynamics, the playfulness, which was somehow maintained with dead serious tools, the atmosphere; all of this contributed to the birth of an astonishing performance.
The piece started out with the two dancers, József Trefeli and Gábor Varga chanting a Hungarian nursery rhyme and using a roll of barrier tape to create evanescent, ephemeral sculptures. These postures are held out for no more than a couple of seconds and then followed by another one. The tape falls helplessly to the floor, having completed its artistic mission. It might be interesting to note, though, the pejorative meaning of this. Barrier tape is usually used to, for instance, keep ordinary citizens out of a dangerous territory, such as a crime scene, or some major construction site. And somehow this function of the prop is realized, too; after this series of tape-sculptures, the two performers create a circle on the stage, they mark their territory, shutting the audience out, excluding them from the playground which also happens to be a fighting arena, even if the duel taking place in the ring is a playful one, reminding one of a teasing display of power.
The nursery rhyme itself is also a ghost of childhood, and just like the fact (at least for me) that the performers let this tape-tures fall on the floor without any regret, there is no compulsive clinging to the past; letting go is a matter of attitude, not a matter of fear.
The nursery rhyme goes as follows: “Egyedem-begyedem tengertánc, Hajdú sógor mit kívánsz? Nem kívánok egyebet, csak egy szelet kenyeret.” The second part of the rhyme is worth some emphasis: “I do not want anything else, just a slice of bread.” In Hungarian, if you break bread with somebody, it means that you are becoming friends. It suggests simplicity and a kind of ritual, just like the whole choreography. Furthermore, the word “sea-dance” in the first line also somehow reminds me of the belonging, the vibration shared by the performers, and the co-dependency appearing in the structure of movements.
The choreography was created in the spirit of the title; when two persons say something at the same time by accident, in English you say “Jinx” and in Hungarian you say “103”. The only difference is that in Jinx 103 these meeting points are intentional: one of the dancers starts a dance pattern and the other follows, so the dance movements include both identical and contrastive segments. The choreography abounds in traditional Hungarian folk dance steps, and a part of the music is also of Hungarian folk music. The energy of folk dance is perfect for this function of playfulness: it is loud from all the clappings, it is dynamic thanks to the kicks, and it requires undivided attention from the dancers to synchronise the movements. It suggests concordance and equality.
The battle appearing in this dancing ring is only a teasing one, as if the steps of one performer asked the other, “what will you do now? Will you follow me? Can you keep the tempo?” This joyful dual is supported by the dancers keeping almost continuous eye contact with each other, the audience functions only as a group of witnesses for the scene of playful teasing. Using Hungarian heritage and joint meeting points, the performers create something that is serious and childish, ancient and modern, entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time.
I honestly hope it was not the first and last time I saw the performance.
Critic A Pásztóy


23.05.2013  La Fleur du Dimanche
Festival Nouvelles – Danse Strasbourg
L'humour s'est d'ailleurs invité dès l'ouverture du festival avec la pièce "JINX103" de la Compagnie Jozsef Trefeli, superbe duo enlevé et tournoyant de Jozsef Trefeli et Gabor Varga, qui, prenant la mesure de leur corps, jouent sur le déséquilibre et la proximité du spectateur en revisitant les règles des danses folkloriques et en les dépoussiérant d'une manière explosive.

22 05 2013 Geneviève Charras

Festival Nouvelles Strasbourg – danse – performance : un chantier bouillonant!
Première soirée d'ouverture officielle ce mardi 21 Mai de la 23ème édition du festival "Nouvelles" à Strasbourg, initié par Pôle Sud depuis l'origine.
L'eau a coulé sous les ponts de l'Ill depuis, la structure a tissé de nombreux partenariats, dont cette année encore celui avec le FRAC Alsace et la HEAR.
Démarrage en trombe avec la performance de Jozsef Trefeli et Gabor Varga ""Jinx103", un duo "suisse" ou helvète de la plus grande originalité.
Un "branle" bas de combat!
Ils sont tous deux d'origine hongroise et revendique pour cette prestation, au studio, tout près du public, leurs origines mêlées de danses dites traditionnelles ou folkloriques. Le ton est donné, juste, rythmique, scandé du bruit de leurs pas sur le sol. Auparavant ils se sont amusés à se mesurer à définir un espace corporel à l'aide d'une guirlande rouge et blanche? ruban de chantier urbain.
Une balise dès lors qui va fonctionner comme un métrage, une frontière, une limite. Souriants, légers, les deux danseurs virevoltent sous nos yeux devenus "fertiles". A l'unisson, puis en écho et canon, leurs figures très virtuoses, exigent concentration et précision. On se plait à y reconnaitre postures et gestuelles empruntés au folklore suisse et autrichien, à cette géométrie de l'espace corporel propre à un langage très mathématique, très "tyrolien" aussi avec jeux de jambes, de genoux, frappés corporel, changements de direction....Rythme endiablé, toujours à l'écoute l'un de l'autre, en osmose dans une belle complicité performative. A vous couper le souffle parfois, tant la tension et la précision semble pourtant si simple, si naturelle à assurer, coulant de source vive. Ils oscillent en déséquilibre, chancellent, esquivent les gestes, décalent les espaces en autant de scènes de vertige.
Les langages se mêlent opérant une fusion des cultures, des styles, des genres. Du bel ouvrage pour cette revisitation de la "csardas", leur danse d'origine. Ce "branle" hongrois contemporain dès lors, ébranle les traditions et relooke avec bonheur ce que l'on aurait pu consigner avec dédain dans les placards de la mémoire. La musique de Frédérique Jarabo mêle aussi les genres qui se fondent les uns aux autres et donnent une tonicité réjouissante à cette prestation qui faisait ce soir là office d'apéritif, de mise en bouche d'une longue soirée.


PARFUMERIE (CH)                                                                 15/11/2010
Jozsef Trefeli goes through an imaginary audition, and attaches himself to the judges table to not be thrown out,… a moment of dreamlike happiness in the style of Chaplin, mixing song, dance and theatre.
Patrick Mohr

SYKE (AU)                                                                              11/07/2010
The centrepiece of the production is, very arguably, 'the audition', in which an actor, desperate for a part, tries everything in his diverse performing vocabulary to impress the arbiters, including, finally, handcuffing himself to their table. The mock ballet that ensues, with three dancers on stage, one still handcuffed to said table, is nothing short of a comical masterpiece, in the angular, unexpected, fresh manner of Borge, or even Chaplin. Wonderful!
The final scene is both beautiful and tragic: red carpets are rolled-out symmetrically; televisions positioned almost as if on an altar; worshipful diehards watch, as their idol dies an operatic death. The comic element is always present, however, which is precisely what makes it bite.
Lloyd Bradford (Brad) Syke

ARTSHUB (AU) 12/07/2010
There is a fabulous, quite intense section for Trefeli as a stage struck auditionee. (Star Struck on the director?) He tries everything, from 'Les Misérables' to Michael Jackson and Queen's 'We Will Rock You'. This segues into a brilliant parody of ballet and showbiz dance - with his hand trapped on the table - wonderfully done to a reworking of 'Beat It'.
Lynne Lancaster

The first elements of József Trefeli’s creation are very promising. They show the originality of the subject matter, which is revealed through the quality of the research and of the performances of young artists who are not content to simply make a show, but who are wholeheartedly committed to explore the relationship with the body, to images as much as to a critical context, and this from the word go with a sense of quirky offbeat unconventionality.
Iréne Filiberti

TRIBUNE DE GENEVE (CH)                                                    29/03/2009
With Safety In Numbers József Trefeli has signed (to his name) one of the most successful choreography’s for a large group seen in Geneva in the last decade. Exploring the power of belonging to a group, the way to blend in or stand out. The finale takes your breath away, as the 25 dancers of Ballet Junior form a chain through the connection of their bodies, falling like dominos to better reconstruct themselves, in the form of the famous lying down 8, the symbol of infinity, and beyond.
Bertrand Tappolet

GRAIUL MARAMURESULUI (R)                                               21/06/2007
The road danced between intimacy and appearance
A performance that provoked as much laughter as it did admiration wasé.si.mal. The choreography and interpretation were both by József Trefeli who created his own company under the same name in Geneva. An extraordinary piece which exhibits virtuosity, perfect control of the body and equally an eloquent sense of humour in his dance with its universal message, from this Australian of Hungarian parents living in Switzerland.
Anca Goja

TRIBUNE DE GENEVE (CH)                                                   30/04/2007
József Trefeli is definitely not afraid of getting wet
It was he, along with two other choreographers, who led the closing of the International Dance Day at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva.
The night before, the same József Trefeli gave the last performance of his solo “In-fi-ni-té-si-mal” at the Salle des Eaux-Vives.
The piece of about forty minutes does not need to confirm Trefeli’s talent as a performer, as this requires no further proof after his time in the ranks of Guilhermo Botelho’s Alias Company. He confirms here his rich creative personality; from beginning to end, the solo bristles with the choreographer’s fresh ideas.
Skilfully drawing on the support given by sound and light, Trefeli intrigues, amuses and finally moves without ever losing hold of a simplicity that is synonymous with great talent. He even makes interesting what might have been just a cheap effect: taking clothes from a bucket of water that he puts on as they are cold and wet to dance with. The weight of the soaking wet clothes does not detract from the intelligent lightness of his movement language.
Benjamin Chaix

24 HEURES (CH) 13/07/2006
La danse émergente en vitrine - Festival de la Cité
József Trefeli et Madeleine Piguet, avec Tu me prêtes ta brosse à dents?. Ce portrait d'un couple, acerbe et ludique, a vu le jour l'année passée, grâce à une commande de l'Association pour la danse contemporaine de Genève (adc). Empreint d'une gestuelle du quotidien détournée vers le burlesque qui fait penser à la compagnie genevoise Alias (dont Trefeli est un des danseurs phare), ce duo se joue sur fond d'un «faux» décor: une maquette miniature d'un salon, filmée puis projetée sur grand écran. De la première rencontre à la vie en commun, en passant par des crises et autres petits bonheurs, les danseurs jouent avec d'humour les étapes-clés et les fantasmes d'un amour banal.
Anna Hohler

Un spectacle de théâtre-danse venu de Genève, par ailleurs exceptionnellement expressif et intelligent, qui mise sur une combinaison - aussi simple que brillamment et minutieusement conduite - entre un scénario personnalisé sur le thème du couple et un montage vidéo... "naïf" (séduisant): Real Life Wrong, mise en scène et chorégraphie Jozsef Trefeli (comme le festival Atelier est doté de prix, le metteur en scène - chorégraphe - interprète a reçu le prix pour la chorégraphie).
Miruna Runcan

…Tu me prêtes ta brosse à dents ? de József Trefeli ouvre la soirée avec un joyeux brio. Un mur d’images filmées sert de décor à cette souriante chasse aux petites vérités privées qui fissurent ou soutiennent le couple idéal. Il y a celles que l’on découvre à l’insu de son conjoint, celles qu’il vous livres dans un moment d’exaltation, au cours d’une danse échevelée, ou encore celles qui ne doivent pas quitter l’alcôve sous peine de ridicule. József et Madeleine suggèrent tout cela avec une gentillesse et des ressources physiques
Benjamin Chaix

Jozsef Trefeli, qui officie dans le premier volet comme maître d'hôtel. Littéralement, il fait valser assiettes et clients. Et son solo à partir de l'ennui dodelinant du garçon de café en fin ou en début de journée est délectable. Virtuose dilettante, Jozsef Trefeli sait comme personne jouer des segmentations du corps pour en tirer des effets de domino: comme personne il peut laisser ignorer au haut de son squelette ce que fait le bas.
Michelle Pralong




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