Le Mériden Budapest | Trafó Gallery
The Trafó building, once the electrical transformer station for south Pest, was built in 1909 as a work in the industrial turn-of-the-century style. It was put to cultural use by a French anarchist artistic group at the beginning of the 90's, who discovered the building after it had been abandoned for more than forty years. Performances and concerts followed one another for a summer. The Budapest City Council bought the building with leftover funds from the unrealized World Expo so that the legal successor to the legendary Young Artists' Club (FMK), formerly on Andrassy út, could convert it into a suitable, multifunctional, well equipped contemporary arts center appropriate for the current times. The Trafó House of Contemporary Arts opened its gates during the 1998 Budapest Autumn Festival with a piece by Yvette Bozsik.
Trafó's programs pay particular attention to a variety of genres as well as to the demands of quality and internationality. The location for performance art programs is the Performing Hall.
The branch of contemporary art least established in the Hungarian tradition is contemporary dance. In this area our most important tasks are to show aesthetic variety and differing dance languages. In addition to this we give special attention, from the perspective of the most recent dance history, to inviting significant works, companies, and performances. The only criteria in the selection of Hungarian and international programs, other than technical limitations, is quality.
Budapest is a city with a great theatrical tradition. There are roughly 20 theatrical houses, the majority are repertory theaters, and a number of small studio theaters. The Trafó theatrical events are developed with this in mind. In arranging programs, the emphasis is primarily on going beyond the language of classical theater to renew it, to use the theater space and its assets in a refreshing way, to present performances with visuality in the foreground.
Music is also represented in our program on a monthly basis; we arrange 1-2 monthly concerts and some festivals, special program-series each year, such as our contemporary music festival called Making New Waves or the Indian Classical Music concert-series, where we present the most important masters of traditional Indian music.
At Trafó we often add unspecified genres and interdisciplinary programs to our overall repertoire in addition to staging literary-inspired programs and film or multimedia events.
Current trends and phenomena in progressive contemporary arts are shown in the Trafó Gallery.