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New National Dance Theatre opens for Budapest Dance Festival


  • Petra Berende

25/01/2019 5.22pm

Save the last dance for February – next month, the Hungarian capital hosts two weeks of ballet and contemporary productions as part of the annual Budapest Dance Festival. Local and international troupes include Canadian repertory company Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, who present Dance Me, a creative show inspired by Leonard Cohen. Some performances will be staged at the National Dance Theatre, whose opening at Millenáris Park coincides with the event.

Between 15 February and 2 March, the Millenáris Park and Müpa cultural centres stage two dozen performances by critically acclaimed companies, some premiering at the Budapest Dance Festival. The event marks the opening of the new National Dance Theatre at Millenáris Park, in a former industrial building now redesigned to host productions.

Besides the Montréal-based BJM, highlights include Vacuum by the Swiss Philippe Saire, whose moving piece demonstrates an interplay of bodies appearing and vanishing between bright lights and black holes. Hocus Pocus, a 45-minute show also brought by Saire, is based on a unique set design that allows for magical acts on stage.

Company Wang Ramirez fuse hip-hop with modern dance in their show Everyness. Local ensembles also feature from major towns around Hungary, while the Hungarian National Ballet present Turning Point, a gala show introducing the ensemble’s classical repertoire. Guests can also book tickets for a folk production, enacted by the Hungarian National Dance Ensemble.

The remodelled wing of the Millenáris Park contains two halls for dance performances. In total, these new venues can accommodate nearly 500 people at any one time. Designed by the ZDA – Zoboki Studio, the building features unique architectural solutions, where the smaller hall appears as if it was levitating in the air.

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