IMA international premier at the Edinburgh Fringe
Our company has again been invited to the world’s biggest arts festival: IMA will be performed 112 times at the Edinburgh Fringe between 4th and 27th August, where we have been given our own venue. This is the fourth time that we are present at the Fringe, where in 2018 another of our performances, My Land, was voted the best of 4,200 productions by festival critics.
The Edinburgh Fringe is the world’s biggest arts and culture festival, attracting around two million visitors a year and it is also the third biggest event in the world in terms of ticket sales after the Olympics and the Football World Cup. This year’s festival will again feature around four weeks of events and 4,000 performances from all around the world.
This year we perform IMA, our most recent production that premiered in 2022 in the program of the Bartók Spring International Art Weeks when it was performed in the Müpa Tent. The ground-breaking production, directed by Bence Vági, will have its own unique venue at the Fringe festival, thanks to previous professional and audience successes, the Murrayfield Ice Rink, an arena seating almost 4,000, will be adapted to meet the production’s needs.
The Fringe’s most prominent organiser, the Assembly Artistic Director William Burdett-Coutts came to Budapest to see IMA in person, which he described as an unprecedented form of circus and dance. This is one of the reasons why the troupe has been signed up for such a huge number of performances; it will be performed 112 times between 4th and 27th August.
The work, which combines contemporary dance and circus arts, breaks new ground, offering a unique immersive experience in which the audience becomes part of the performance. IMA aims to take the audience out of their everyday lives through a unique installation evoking sacred atmospheres. Visitors are immersed in a never-ending space of darkness illuminated by millions of points of light, while losing their sense of space and feeling as if they have been transported out into the universe. The space, made special with lights and sounds, merges with the movement of the performers, uplifting you and at the same time taking you to the depths of your soul, like a prayer.
IMA is a one-man show, which is performed –at the Fringe- in turns by seven of the troupe’s world-class artists. In this meditative journey, the artists are not only performers, but they also accompany the audience. The production places a strong emphasis on the interdisciplinary creative process: visual and lighting design, music and sound combine to create a spacious, floating experience. Music by composer Edina Mókus Szirtes, and sound designer, Gábor Terjék, is an essential part of the performance, as are the lights, for which lighting designer Attila Lenzsér, was responsible. The IMA installation is the work of Bence Vági and Tamás Vladár, while the antechamber – which plays an important role in the IMA throughout arrival – was created by Árpád Iványi, while the costumes were designed by Emese Kasza.