2023. jún 13.

Pieces from Bratislava

írta: Ittvagyoka
Pieces from Bratislava

The 18th Hungarian Dance Festival was officially opened at the Győr National Theatre on Monday. Speeches were held by János Kiss, Festival Director, Dr Elza Pergel  Deputy Mayor of Győr and Balázs Róbert Simon MP.

After the opening ceremony, the festival kicked off with the Slovak National Ballet’s show. As the title “The Pieces” suggests, we were given an idea of their repertory, presenting the company’s different aspects.


The first piece, Murmuration was choreographed by Edwaard Liang. In the dim lights a female figure appears, later, along with the flowing music, the others follow. They are organised in circle, then leave the oneness, moving sometimes together, other times in canon. Throughout the piece the lights remain mysterious, the faces of the dancers are almost invisible, however, the reflecting shadows of their movements create a dance on their bodies. Slowly, white feathers start falling from above. the sight is so simple, touching and it makes me think how easily flitting, how unpredictably beautiful life can be. Suddenly, the soft feminine energy changes to a wilder dance only to find balance again. Murmuration was inspired by the flocks of migratory birds and their flies in different shapes and forms. However, I was transported to a more philosophical plane.


After the first interval, we arrived in the world of fashion as well as the 20th century by two choreographies that were parts of the company’s production called Fashion Ballet ’22. Two by Lukáš Timuľak was inspired by the avant-garde movements in the 20s and the relationship between ballet and fashion. In this powerful duet, a female dancer shows up, wearing a unique black outfit, pursued by a male dancer in white. At first sight, it seems that these two worlds are conflicting, although as the choreography unfolds, the opposites embrace and start interacting. The black dress changes its shape, almost becomes alive, moving together with the dancer. Dance and fashion, inspiring each other, unite and create something new. The refined movements and black and white image were followed by an eccentric work, Extravaganza, by Roman Nowitzký.


We are now watching a fashion show from the 80s and 90s, with the dancers walking the catwalk, wearing colourful, funny, extravagant costumes (the oversized shoulder pads make me laugh…how could I ever wear those thinking that I was looking good?!), and the spirit is heightened by the music of Prince and George Michael. The movements are also defined by the 80s and 90s, offering the opportunity for the dancers to show their sense of humour rather than their technical skills.

Dance techniques to shine and pure movements were to see in Craig Davidson’s Entropy. In the abstract piece, the dancers in their unisex dresses, the scenery and lights all made sure that the audience can only focus on the movements: it is literally about pure dance. The concept, the way the statue-like dancers come to life reminded me of the works of William Forsythe or Wayne McGregor.


The Slovak National Ballet’s varied production, which was presented as a part of the 10th Theatrical Olympics, proved to be a dynamic opening act for the festival.

 Photos by Zoltán Jekli & Zoltán Katona

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