The Issue is a unique visual performance I co-directed with Dóra Halas, where costumes are the main characters on stage. With the help of my extreme costumes this performance wishes to present an abstract living picture of the current state of Hungarian society and its region through short “stories” that take place in a typical environment of our urban life: the bureau office.
Each scene illustrates a different issue by using creative, story-telling costumes modelled by 31 singers of a choir. The music of the choir goes back to the roots of Hungarian culture and revitalises folk songs by mixing original lyrics with new texts written by Hungarian poet Ádám Fekete and accompanied by Márk Bartha’s electronic instrumentation. Yet, The Issue is not an authentic folk performance: it brings archetypal elements to tackle modern topics that concern every one of us in today’s society. I haven’t used one single element from the traditional Hungarian folk-costumes for my designs. It was very important for me to make a contrast between the music and the visuals.
During the creation of the performance, my costume ideas influenced the music and the story, but occasionally a good topic was the starting point of some costume designs. This type of working gave me complete freedom to design and create strong, meaningful and sometimes quite experimental costumes. I used some unusual techniques, for example built in ventilators, which can create new shapes to my costumes during performing, while giving them a complete new meaning, too.
In my presentation about The Issue, I would like to introduce the type of working method I use when creating this new genre we call: Catwalk Concert.
Link to my exhibition page
Fruzsina Nagy is a Hungarian costume designer based in Budapest and is presently working in theatre in Hungary and other European countries. She began her studies in London and completed her MA in Textile Design in Budapest. She got her DLA diploma at the University of Theater and Film Arts, Budapest in 2014, which focuses on the teaching methods in relation to theatrical masks and make-up. She is interested in the relationship of the human body and its surrounding world in every aspect: costumes, masks, make-up, fashion or visuals.
Over the past decade she directed or co-directed seven Costume shows, where she used costumes as the “main characters” of the stage. These costumes were either experimental or unusual, always reflecting on something she was interested at the time. Presently, she teaches at the University of Fine Arts in Budapest.
She won the best costume prize at the POSzT Theater festival in 2009, 2012 and 2018. She won the Critics prize for costume design in 2008, 2009, 2017 and 2019. In 2016, she won the Costume Designer of the Year prize from the Hungarian Visual Design Association, and in 2017, the Audience Award. In 2018, she also won 2 prizes in Beijing at an iSTAN competition.
The Issue telephone scene
The Issue Yellowbill scene