Selfie death. Bomb on a plane. Pedophilia. Menstruation. Sex dream. Aggressions of our inner selves. Things you are not supposed to talk about at a dinner table – presented by 24 singing models in extreme costumes with electronic accompaniment and video visuals.
Taboo Collection is a catwalk-concert by two exceptional Hungarian artists and an untraditional choral ensemble. Costume designer of the year 2016, Fruzsina Nagy, created the captivating outfits, some of which utilise modern technologies such as 3D prints or led lights, and conductor Dóra Halas, pioneer of improvised choral music and collective composing, leads the experimental choir Soharóza, one of the hottest cultural acts in Budapest.
Singers appear on stage wearing a Viagra mask or costumes made of body bags for human corpses, while singing a Brazilian funeral march, children’s songs with aggressive lyrics or new compositions of their own, inviting the audience to face the inner taboos of our society through a fair dose of humour and a healthy batch of irony and self-reflection.
Taboo Collection is fully multidisciplinary in its nature – it completely removes the restricting walls of conventional theatre and traditional choral singing. The extreme costumes and video visuals that go hand in hand with the vocal and the electronic sounds all boil down to a modern “fashion show” on stage that incorporates theatrical dramaturgy as well as solo vocal and chamber choir concert elements. This is possibly the first time that a costume designer and a choral conductor have teamed up to create a new and exceptional performance format, which they came to call “catwalk-concert”. 24 singing models walk down the stage resembling a real catwalk in nearly 100 different unique, surprising and expressive costumes. The show becomes a full experience through the electronic accompaniment of theatre sound designer Márk Bartha and the visual effects created by media artist Ákos Kiss. The makers of this project, including all Soharóza members, worked a full year to bring their dreams and ideas into reality – the end production is the result of a long and intensive collective composing and creative process put together by nearly 30 people with totally different backgrounds.
The performance contrasts the show-window of fashion with taboos from our suppressed subconscious. The collection’s haute couture costumes and the music accompanying their display were inspired by the human body, gender roles, sexuality, different kinds of deaths and even children’s fears. The show aims to mirror today’s age and society, bringing delicate topics closer to the audience.
Thanks to the huge success of the opening show in 2016 at the Trafó House of Contemporary Arts in Budapest, the production has been kept on programme at Trafó each season since its first performance and has already been invited to several internationally renowned festivals in the region (Sziget Festival Budapest, Pécs National Theatre Festival, Musiktheatertage Wien and possibly Europa Cantat XX Tallinn). The performance is perfectly suitable for any country and festivals of all kinds, in concert halls, theatres and even on open-air stage
- collapse -
Dóra Halas, leader of the Soharóza choral ensemble, a Rezső Lantos-awarded conductor, received her doctorate (DLA) at the Liszt Academy of Budapest in 2013. Together with her earlier choirs she is the winner of several international choir competitions and conductor prizes and has also participated at such events as member of the jury. The theme of her DLA dissertation was choral improvisation, from which her current research topic arose: experimenting with collective choral composition and as such expanding the limits of traditional choir music. Her main artistic interest lies in multidisciplinary performances, where she can combine the elements and values of her choral ensemble with that of other arts. As conductor, singer and composer she has worked in numerous theatre and dance productions, among them under the direction of Róbert Alföldi (Hungarian National Theatre), Árpád Schilling (Krétakör), Viktor Bodó (Szputnyik Theatre Company), Roland Rába (Radnóti Theatre), Gábor Goda (Artus). She has also founded and led several avantgarde singing groups. She was the Music Office Manager of the Europa Cantat International Choral Festival at Pécs in 2015. She currently lives in Vienna, but continues to work on a regular basis with her choir and colleagues in Budapest.
Fruzsina Nagy started her career in alternative theatre productions and over the past decade she has directed several individual performances using costumes as the ”main characters” on stage. She has worked with Árpád Schilling at the Krétakör theatre company, Róbert Alföldi at the Hungarian National Theater, Tamás Ascher and Gábor Máté at the József Katona Theatre, Viktor Bodó at the Szputnyik Theatre Company and many others, including international performances in Graz, Basel, Cologne, Vienna, Zurich and Heidelberg. She is highly interested in the relationship between the human body and its surrounding world, working with costumes, masks, make-up, fashion and visuals. She gained “Best Costume and Mask Award” at the Hungarian POSzT festival in 2009 and 2013 and was chosen "Costume Designer of the Year" in 2016 with her Taboo Collection costumes.
Soharóza is a Budapest-based experimental choral ensemble of 25 members, founded in 2008 by Dóra Halas at the suggestion of renowned theatre director Viktor Bodó. The group produces multidisciplinary performances through a completely new approach to choral music and collective singing, utilising special creative techniques. They experiment and improvise with the human voice, language, movement, rhythm, folk music as well as composed pieces, continually searching for new forms and sounds and using collective choral composition methods developed by themselves. The group has also participated in several theatre plays and artistic festivals. They have performed a slang-opera in a cave, organised gastronomical concerts together with a famous Hungarian food-blogger, hosted one of their music shows in an abandoned power-station, participated in flashmobs in concert halls and Turkish baths – just to name a few of their unique appearances. Their studio album, made entirely from musical material of their own, using different choral improvisational methods and some fragments of classical and world music, is available on bandcamp. They have also travelled abroad several times, the most memorable of which is their concert at the Hungarian Embassy of Berlin in 2010. The founding choir members named the group after a 9-month-old baby (Ms. Róza Soha), who was present at one of the most significant concerts of the choir’s set-out: a court performance in a block of flats given for the residents.
Performers – Soharóza members: András ADAMIK, Szaffi ASBÓTH, Judit BIKSZ, Tamás BOGDÁN, Fanni ECKHARDT, Judit Sára ELEK, Sarolta EÖRSI,
Klára GÖTTINGER, Dániel JANKÓ, Ákos LOKODY, Ákos LOVÁSZ, Sarolta MAJKUT, Lilla NAGY, Zsófia NAGY, Luca PERÉNYI, Zsófia REMES, Anna SEBŐK,
Júlia SIMON, András SIPOS, Bálint SZALONTAI, Máté SZILVAY, Borbála TAMÁSI, Tamás TÁRNOKI, Tamás TOSSENBERGER, Eszter ZÁMOLYI
Concept: Fruzsina NAGY, Dóra HALAS, SOHARÓZA
Conductor/Composer: Dóra HALAS
Voice training: Borbála SZEGHŐ
Costume designer: Fruzsina NAGY
Costume assistants: Réka MAGYAR, Dorottya SIMON, Teresa SONNLEITNER
Visual design: Ákos KISS
Sound design: Márk BARTHA
Sound engineer: János REMBECZKI
Microports: Dávid TÖRÖK
Choreography: Éva DUDA
Choreography assistant: Bernadett BERNÁTH
Production manager: Zsuzsanna SZÁLKA
PR: Tamás TOSSENBERGER, Tamás BOGDÁN
Director assistant: Jutka SZOKOL
Directors: Fruzsina NAGY, Dóra HALAS
"I really liked the performance, every moment of it was of superbly high standards."
"I am lucky to live in a country where such things as this performance are born."
"It was heart-breaking and elevating at the same time, very extraordinary indeed."
"The best thing about it is that the choir members, besides carrying out even the most extreme tasks professionally, still remain completely human full of soul!"
"The French have Gaultier who does such extreme things visually, but this was even more than that."
"I am charmed, it was brilliant, smart, cruel, beautiful, sarcastic and sour. "
"You stretched the boundaries of genre; the costumes and the scenery were in my opinion world-class, it was free and artistic in an exemplary way!"
"...you could fill up the well-known, ‘stereotype’ format of the catwalk with such rich content and experience..."
"It was simply just marvelous theatre. Top of Europe! "
"I have seen many theatre plays, but I rarely felt the urge to run backstage to talk with the makers."
"You are the most decisive vanguards of the heart chakra society that I have seen so far."