fatigue

Viktor Szeri

Do you know that famous side effect of burnout – feeling trapped in a deafening, slow-motion techno party? Me neither. Yet Hungary’s Viktor Szeri would have us believe that Fatigue, his self-indulgent solo, has something to say about the state of mental exhaustion that takes so many people to the brink.

Fatigue does set in quickly on the audience’s side, once it becomes clear that Szeri’s heart is set on swaying his hips in one spot for 40 long minutes, at an excruciating pace. Occasionally, as András Molnár’s crashing beat alters slightly, he stretches his arms upwards, or freezes mid-undulation. Hope flickers into view, but each time, his little routine resumes.

Too many choreographers, starting with Gisèle Vienne, have shown genuinely hypnotic rave scenes for Fatigue to be anything more than a shoddy effort. No amount of strobe lighting, sped-up slideshows or Windows 95 fire screensavers was going to help, but Szeri throws in the kitchen sink anyway. Fair warning: dizziness and headache may ensue.

Laura Cappelle

Viktor Szeri is standing on a large stage. Staring blankly into space, he starts moving slowly. Unengagingly, he shifts his weight from one foot to the other. His hands clench and unclench as his torso sways. It’s a potentially interesting premise,  but hope dies down as quickly as Fatigue settles in, both on stage and among the audience members. His feet seem glued to the ground throughout his 40 minute marathon, in a work which lacks the level of hypnotic minimalism needed to justify its endless repetition. 

As András Molnár’s techno score booms out of the speakers, we are presented with a club with a membership of one: Szeri. He seems indifferent to the audience as well as to the many light changes, with one exception. A light cone appears as his arms reach up and he looks to the ceiling. Is he about to be beamed up by aliens? Is this the moment of change that we’ve been waiting for? No. The light disappears and we’re left with monotony.

Ingeborg Zackariassen

If dance is a way to share emotions, can a dance about depression be a pleasant experience? In Fatigue, Viktor Szeri seems to dismiss this question altogether. He looks set on transmitting his existential exhaustion to everyone present – and to be fair, since his piece came at the tail end of days of wall-to-wall performances and late-night discussions at Spring Forward 2024, he did have a receptive audience.

Following the slow flow of a synthesiser, Szeri sways apathetically from side to side, sometimes in stretched-out, circular hip-hop elements, elsewhere raising his arms and bending his knees as if clubbing.

Szeri challenges the audience to endure the numbing (and, towards the end, plainly torturous) repetition. Yet despite its critique of fast culture, the performance culminates in a phantasmagoria of strobe lights and flashing projections, thus embodying the very issues it seeks to address. I left the theatre drained, unsure whether the chaotic ending represented a cheeky joke at our expense, or merely a collapse into self-absorbed aesthetic nonsense.

Marína Srnka