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The Unknown Collective TUC is a group of artists, dancers and musicians brought together during Nicole Cataldo-Davies’s artist residency with the Műhely Alapítvány (Workshop Foundation) at Trafó. Trafó, a thriving home to the contemporary art scene in Budapest, Hungary (http://www.trafo.hu) is home to the Workshop Foundation which actively supports independent, international artists to facilitate the development of the contemporary dance and art scene in Hungary.


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Nicole’s starting point was to investigate how a moment, situation or experience could be sculpted through dance. The cross-fertilisation of information from each participant to be transformed using sculptural and improvisation movement.

….this became a reflective process where transferring and sharing methods became key for a new type of practise to emerge. From a dance background it was sharing the responsibility for choreography and from a sculptors point of view it was using the human body as a material in which to work with. The mains question relating to the research was:

what are the performative aspects of sculpture and the sculptural aspects of performance? 

From this came subsequent questions such as;

Is it possible for sculptors to have a role on stage along with the dancers?

Can the dancers become builders and makers of objects?

What are the processes involved with sculpting and how can these be brought to light through dance?

How does the body move and how can it be manipulated and worked so that it is sculpted rather than instructed?

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By sharing responsibility between artists and dancers Nicole was able to facilitate a new frame work that provided each participant with an inspiring set of interchangeable tools. “Research Into The Unknown” and applying it to the work. What arose was  work that delved into the depths of materiality, bringing to light processes of interpreting, playing and sharing between the different disciplines and how collaboration can grow organically.

With apt funding from the Hungarian Government and support from various contemporary art houses, TUC was able to contribute to the art scene through lectures, presentations and theatre productions.


Research into the Unknow Residency Program-improvisational laboratory is a residency program where artists/creators and the audience can research what improvisation means in the field of contemporary arts. The program offers an intensive researching opportunity for artists/creators and focusing on the creative process. The program run by the Műhely Alapítvány (Workshop Foundation) at Trafó.   is made up of three consecutive steps, in each step the research period is followed by a presentation where audience plays an important role by giving feedback and dialogue with the artists / creators and finalised in a full theatre production at MU SINHAZ.