Thomas Körtvélyessyat NAI
photography © 2005 Thomas Körtvélyessy (left)  © 2005 Cor Kapaan (right)

> info-text
> relative hierarchy
> available tension / con·sens·us
> X
> teaching
> artistic estate of Elaine Summers
> artist statements

> cv

Hessenhuis, Antwerpen (BE) 2007 video-still by Dwight Marica
Thomas Körtvélyessy has been working consistently on re-forming dance for the 21st century from the sensorial experience of movement.

He is interested in empowerment and liveliness in the moment of communication. Cross-overs, overlaying, merging and tilting/multiplying established order(s) are not only his logo ("X"), but also his generally preferred method of working.

To create the best possible expression,
Thomas re-searches and re-connects, to literally make sense. His central medium for communication and understanding is dance, in-formed by a strong awareness of all the senses.

Reàl Dance Company is the name of Körtvélyessy's enterprise, under which he has created solo- and group pieces since 1996, with various collaborators, and in many different contexts. The kinds of works range from very accessible community-dance to highly individual solo-performances.

Productions and projects have been supported with grants by the Rotterdam Arts Council / Programme for Cultural Participation,
Dansateliers Rotterdam, SKVR Dansschool, the Municipality of the Borough of Delfshaven (Rotterdam), Stichting ter Bevordering van Volkskracht, Stichting Elise Mathilde Fonds, European Cultural Foundation, Fleur Groenendijk Foundation, Akasha Foundation, CLOUD at Danslab, Open Dans Festival / Stg. Sanne, Kinetic Awareness® Center, Emily Harvey Foundation, and aisthesis (stg. in oprichting) as well as private sponsors.

> download his full cv

back to top ^

relative hierarchy

relative hierarchy coined and drawing                              ©2003 by Thomas Körtvélyessy

Thomas Körtvélyessy coined the term relative hierarchy in 2003 while he worked towards his Masters in Choreography at DANCE UNLIMITED / Dansacademie Arnhem (ArtEZ):

instead of following a single binary of value systems (good/bad) as absolutes, any element is perceived and understood as moving within a multidimensional interplay of forces and directions.

in such a continuum, any (cultural) achievement can be valuable for its own sake, leading the way to an ecological understanding of the need for a rich filling of niches and diversity.

"beauty" becomes an expression for where one wants to go, and it is possible to get closer or further from that particular state. due to restrictions of time and energy, not every movement is equally successful in such a continuum.

as an example in the illustration:
if one wants to achieve / reach "red", then moving to "green" first may not be directly successful, ... unless there is a wider context, in which this does happen to be the best possible move

in a further development from the multi-dimensional awareness as a result of postmodernism, relative hierarchy describes the conditions and awareness of moving in such a multi-dimensionality. because it is essentially dealing with change in embodiment, dance can be an excellent training for learning how to do this.

back to top ^

available tension / sensitive energy and con·sens·us

the first practice focusses on the moment of in-formation and expression,
(continued practice of available tension leading to sensitive energy)
the second practice researches the inter-relations within such a continuum.

all are used for the living moment of performance.

drawing ©2003 by Thomas Körtvélyessy      all present elements and participants of a situation (performers, audience, stage.environment, music/sounds, visual elements etc.) are considered at any moment in their specific quality
and in their condition of energy.

they are weighed against each other to arrive at the best possible decision in the moment.

as a con-sequence, (pre-)"set" arrangements become a useful option, rather than a habitually demanded condition.

figuratively speaking, hard-edge shapes make way for soft-edged centers, with a stronger core & more dynamic potential.

this open-ended condition is not only reflected in the movement technique, but also in the choreography and the performance of the pieces.

(see also teaching)

back to top ^

cover of program booklet "nord X wald", 1998. art work by Andreas Simon - click for full size

the big X

Thomas Körtvélyessy started using the X symbol around 1998.

it is not only used as a symbol, but also an operator:
the maXimum of what can be gotten, in an X-change & relation, optimum balancing

also: interfacing the (still) un-known

the operator was first used officially in the title of a collaboration with Andreas Simon nord X wald :
the two entities (North and forest) were related to each other - the resulting tensions produced the dance works.

by intentionally tilting the more static + sign, X also signifies movement aXceleration ...
it is therefore programmatic with the will to eXplore new relationships for X-change and understanding
and arrive at a better ability to move on ...

ever since then, the symbol has been part of the logo of Reàl Dance Company

back to top ^


rainbow trajectory


Thomas Körtvélyessy is a Certified Master Teacher of Kinetic Awareness®, a dance technique that he studied with its originator Elaine Summers and at the Kinetic Awareness® Center from 1995-2007 / 2012 and onward.

he has synthesized his own approaches on this base, most recently •bridging technique•, an overall syllabus that builds up the necessary skills for mastering movement vocabulary in a sustainable way, which goes beyond the restrictions of most current approaches. Within that technique he is developing hyper-ballet, a re-formation of Classical European Ballet and its derivatives, from a contemporary perspective of understanding.

next to being on the Board of Directors of the Kinetic Awareness® Center, Thomas Körtvélyessy is an external guide-teacher at ArtEZ Dansacademie (Arnhem, NL) and has taught over the years at ArtEZ, Fontys Dansacademie Tilburg, codarts Rotterdam, CLOUD at Danslab, CIRCLE Rotterdam, SKVR Dansschool, Kinetic Awareness® Center, and at the National University of Arts, Seoul, South Korea, dept. of Choreography.

> more information

back to top ^

Elaine Summers. photographer unknown.

artistic estate of Elaine Summers

starting with the organisation of the memorial Absence & Presence with Juliette Mapp at Judson Memorial Church in 2015, Thomas Körtvélyessy is working for the Artistic Estate of his mentor Elaine Summers

Elaine Summers (1925-2014) was a pioneer of intermedia and postmodern choreography. She explored the creation of performances that merged various disciplines, media and technologies, especially live-dance and (multiple) film-projections as large-scale immersive experiences. Summers was also a filmmaker who created many film-dances within this continuum.

Her widely expansive dance work lead to the development of the somatic dance technique Kinetic Awareness® which centers the individual experience of movement, and the sensorial condition and desires of the individual mover. She was a co-founder of the now legendary first group in 1962 that later became known as Judson Dance Theater, the Elaine Summers Dance & Film Company, the Experimental Intermedia Foundation, an early 501(c)3 not-for-profit organisation in 1968, and the Kinetic Awareness® Center in 1985. 

The aim of the Artistic Estate is to further the instrumental legacy, and guard the artist-interest of Elaine Summers for the present and the future. It has lead to presentations of her works at, among others, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York (2017), Walker Art Center (2016) as well as presentations and workshops at Dock11, Berlin (2017/2018)

The Artistic Estate of Elaine Summers is facilitated by Kinetic Arts & Sciences, Inc. / Kinetic Awareness® Center, with special thanks to the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

back to top ^
click LOGO any time & return to the                  main menu
click logo to return to home-page


photography © 2008 by Konrad Szymanski. used with kind permission artist statements:

performance can create a connecting moment here and now,
with direct human presence -

no need for substitutes, "abstractions",
or mucking about.

my goal as an artist is to help develop and encourage individual sensitivity and expression through the perspective of dance.

this can happen along the entire spectrum of human experience.
all the layers count, each in its own right.

form = function
- any function is manifested in its very own form
- "non-form" simply means the speaker hasn't understood a present form just yet...
- "formlessness" is a good indicator for structures that are in-formation.
I find such a state more reliable than many (former) codes which would simply offer assumptions, instead of presently formed understanding.

engaging in-formation has a chance to be created by response-able individuals or group(s) of individuals over space & time...

tradition is important to me as a collection of comparable and original attempts to make life better.

if actual sensitivity can re-balance historic tradition successfully, then fundamentally more stable and stronger connections and methods will result.

in duet with Elizabetta Consonni - photography © 2008 by Konrad Szymanski. used with kind permissionI want to face the unknown, what is beyond my individual patterns, make us all more acquainted with being in situations where we don't really know what is going to happen next. I believe this can be trained, just like good dancing or any other craft....

consequently it can become easier to deal with chaos and unpredictability through successful realisations of our creative imagination, helping the development of viable alternatives to present-day problems.

I am enamored with movement as change and potential, the fundamental experience we have of our existence.

Utopia, paradise, flying, you name it. I seriously believe that this is possible, that it can be realized and I believe that I am working towards this, together with many others

Love X freedom!
maximum love              
maximum freedom

black & white photography © 2008 by Konrad Szymański used with kind permission
from a workshop Improvisation by Claire O'Neal (Brussels)
organised by Rita VIlhena / Baila Louca Rotterdam, Netherlands 2008

back to top ^