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Sea-Lavender Cover

 

Eva Fahidi and the Budapest company ‘The Symptoms’ in Berlin, January 24th, 2016 in Berlin

I dance my trauma

Eva Fahidi and Emese Cuhorka
Eva Fahidi and Emese Cuhorka 

A square stage, hung with black. Only the first row of the audience is at eye level. All of the others are seated as if in an amphitheatre. Spotlights at the sides. Two women step out from behind one of the black curtains. The younger one is in her early thirties. Her name is Emese Cuhorka. Brief white shorts and a white singlet. Naked legs, naked feet, no adornments, no makeup. A gentle face, light red curls. The woman next to her is smaller. White hair, a white long-armed T-shirt, white leggings, naked feet. She is older. Almost three times as old. She is 90. Her name is Eva Fahidi, comes from Hungary and is a survivor of Auschwitz extermination camp. The two women approach the audience, stand still side-by-side, smile.

This is the beginning of an almost two-hour performance by the Budapest dance company ‘The Symptoms’. Eva Fahidi is part of this company. The piece which the two women have already performed in Budapest is called ‘Sea-Lavender or the Euphoria of Being’. Now they are staging it shortly before the 71st anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz – in Berlin at the TAK Theater im Aufbauhaus, Kreuzberg. Just a few metres away from the stage lies the site where the synagogue of the association Ahawas Reim (neighbourly love) once stood. Not a single stone remained standing at this place in the city. A remembrance plaque tells the story. This, at least.

A 90-year-old woman who has survived the Holocaust: can she empathise with a young woman of today? This is the idea that inspires Eva Fahidi and the dancer Emese Cuhorka. The idea they bring to life in their dance duet. The two women talk as they move together and entwine on the stage. They ask each other questions, they give answers. They belong together, and for almost two hours they approach each other with an intent that reaches to the innermost core. Quite naturally, as if they came from the same family. As if they had always belonged together. Eva Fahidi overcomes the challenging exertions of the performance. And she leaves the hearts of the audience racing. “I want to show myself, with my trauma, with my suffering,” she says. “Despite this, I am a happy person. I enjoy life, I really do, because I want to.”

This is the evening’s message.

 

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