„we really have to learn how to care“ Eszter Petrany, dancer, choreographer _ Wien 4.12.2022

Liebe Eszter, wie sieht jetzt Dein Tagesablauf aus?

Dear Eszter, what`s your routine at the moment?

As a freelance dancer my daily routine is constantly changing. At the moment I am doing a research for an upcoming piece, so I have a pile of books on my desk, I am reconstructing an old dance notation. Also, I am travelling a lot between Vienna and Budapest, my life is quite hectic right now, therefore I have some ground rules that are absolutely needed in order to find (and hold onto) some sort of a structure.

I start every day with a huge breakfast and I do a training that includes strengthening, stretching and dance improvisation. I had some injuries in the past and fortunately I was able to avoid surgeries, but that means there are certain rehab exercises which I need to include in my routine every single day.

Another important part of my day is my dog, Mr. Darcy, who needs his big walks and my attention. He gives me so much joy and happiness, I am trying to be a good dog-owner and a little bit of a mother to him. Last but not least we try to find some quality time with my boyfriend too, either it’s a lunch or dinner together, or just walking the dog together.

Eszter Petrány, MA
dancer, choreographer, dance educator

Was ist jetzt für uns alle besonders wichtig?

What`s now particularly important for all of us?

I am not sure if this is a general question or you mean something specific, but I will just say what came to my mind first. Empathy. I think taking care of ourselves and our environment is more important than it’s ever been. Whether it’s our bodies, our micro-environments, families, workplaces, whether it’s all those unknown people who are currently escaping from war-zones or we talk about our planet itself, we really have to learn how to care. Anywhere. Anyhow. I think kindness, empathy and care are very-very important.

Vor einem Aufbruch und Neubeginn werden wir jetzt alle gesellschaftlich und persönlich stehen. Was wird dabei wesentlich sein und welche Rolle kommt dabei dem Tanz/Theater, der Kunst an sich zu?

New start, new beginning. What will be essential and which roles will dance/theatre, art play?

I don’t really believe in concrete ends and beginnings, life is continuously waving, changing, pulsing, even though we experience more and more of those extreme swings… I can see it very closely how important the role of the theatre is right now, even for those who can’t really afford it. In Hungary the general, public mood is truly awful, but those theatres that offer smart, critical, reflective performances are still constantly sold out. I think it’s because that layer of the society, who want to understand the world, themselves and each other a little bit more, that layer that is full of open-minded, curious people who want to evolve (in one way or another) is for sure existing! I think the role of dance, theatre and all art forms are not changing. It can expand or sometimes go rather into the background, but I still think that its role, importance and power are quite stable and contiunous to be. My biggest wish would be to judge and support dance and theatre companies based on their qualities and successes. It would be a dream to exclude more of those political and highly personal decisions that are working underneath.

Was liest Du derzeit?

What are you reading currently?

I am currently reading the short stories of William Somerset Maugham. They are light and smart. My mother gave me the book and I really like her taste.

Welches Zitat, welchen Textimpuls möchtest Du uns mitgeben?

Which quote, text will you propose to us?

I have two quotes for you, which are very different, but actually they talk about the same in different contexts. One is from James Baldwin, who said: “Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.“ The other one is from my idol, Jane Goodall: “Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved.”

Vielen Dank für das Interview lieber Eszter, viel Freude und Erfolg weiterhin für Deine großartigen Tanzprojekte und persönlich in diesen Tagen alles Gute! 

5 Fragen an Künstler*innen:

Eszter Petrány, MA
dancer, choreographer, dance educator


Foto_Balázs Koch

29.11.2022_Interview_Walter Pobaschnig. Das Interview wurde online geführt.


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