Helga Lázár: It depends

“It depends, brought to life in 2019, is Helga Lázár’s first and so far only solo performance, performed together with a man-sized marionette puppet she built herself. Combining a proprietary puppet technique using horizontal cords with the tools of physical theatre, the performance begins with the same playful experimentation that brought it to life. The female performer begins to explore the possibilities of interacting with a marionette puppet modelled on five different male models, to then speak of attachment and dependence, relationship dynamics, struggles for dominance, independence, and loneliness in a sensual and poetic, abstract and associative mash-up. Playful and intimate, philosophically charged but at the same time strongly manifested in the physical, these are connections in which the hierarchy of man and puppet is upended, the indissoluble bond between creator and creation prompting a constant redefinition of the relationship through dynamic change. The artist-performer Helga Lázár studied figure theatre and marionette making in Stuttgart almost in parallel with her puppetry studies in Budapest. Stuttgart was also the starting point for It depends, which she worked on with David Shuckart, who composed the music, and Domokos Kovács, who was responsible for the choreography.” Júlia Sándor, curator

Concept, visuals, game: Helga Lázár
Choreographer: Domokos Kovács
Music: David Schuckart

“The production ‘It depends’ signals a new era in many ways: the completely independent production, in which, in addition to the role of performer, the young puppet-performing generation’s already important member, Helga Lázár, also takes on the tasks of author, visual designer, and implementer. Of course, the solo project was not created alone either: the distinctive music by David Schuckart and the choreography by Domokos Kovács indicate a striking co-creative collaboration.
I see the performance as a study, as an experiment, as a workshop exercise, but before anyone misunderstands, there is nothing derogatory about it. Even at the almost uniformly high quality of the Kecskemét Puppet Festival, I saw several performances whose creators had drawn from decades of routine, without taking any risks: watching Helga Lázár’s emotional, erotic, intimate dance with the life-size male puppet, one has to wonder about the often unapproached boundaries and related landscapes of the puppet genre. And freedom and dependence, strength and physics, life and lifelessness, connection and vulnerability. ‘It depends’ is a poetic, sensual puppet dance about social loneliness.”
Tamás Jászay, Revizoronline.com

Helga Lázár
… studied puppet theatre directing at the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest, figure theatre at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart, and theatre at the Freie Universitaet Berlin. She lives in Leipzig and is active as a performer, director, and scenographer in Germany and Hungary. Since 2018, she is a visiting lecturer at SZFE, where she will start her doctoral studies in 2020. In her dissertation, she is researching the definitional issues of figure theatre, and as a creator she is working at the interface of body and figure theatre and performance. In her own productions - It depends (2020), Horror Vacui - a holistic masturbation (2021), (1) put the roots down (2) then push them deep into the ground (2023) - she explores autobiographical themes using improvisational figure theatre methods.

Helga Lázár is a PhD student and guest lecturer at the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest and a guest lecturer at Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart and Dongseo University Busan (Korea).

Domokos Kovács
… was born in 1993, he graduated from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in 2017 as a puppet actor in the class of János Meczner and Gábor Tengely. He was a member of the Csillagszemű folk dance ensemble led by Sándor Tímár for 5 years, studied tai chi for 7 years and has been actively dancing contemporary dance for 10 years. Since graduating from university, he has worked as a freelancer all over the country and abroad, as an actor, dancer and choreographer. In his independent productions, such as “Reburn a Cathedral” (2022), “Dancing on a Grinder” (2021), and “H.A.N.” (2017), he boldly experiments with blending puppet theatre and dance, resulting in an innovative form of physical puppet theatre. In 2019, alongside Eszter Gál, he had the opportunity to teach at the University of Film and Theatre Arts as a guest lecturer.

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