Hungarian National Ballet begins 2021/2022 season with a triple bill featuring Sad Case

The first ballet show of the 2021/22 season is a triple bill entitled Fresh Impulses including Cacti by Alexander Ekman, Whirling by András Lukács, and a new piece in the company repertoire: Sad Case by Paul Lightfoot and Sol León

by Ballet Magazine
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The Hungarian National Ballet, the only classical ballet company in Hungary is ready to go again with their newest modern ballet show that features spectacular classical technique and acrobatic elements. A triple bill entitled Fresh Impulses including Cacti by Alexander EkmanWhirling by András Lukács, and a new piece in the company repertoire: Sad Case by Paul Lightfoot and Sol León

Fresh Impulses can be seen at the Miklós Bánffy Stage at new artistic complex of the Opera, the Eiffel Art Studios on 17, 18, 19 and 22 September 2021. Sad Case by Paul Lightfoot and Sol León premieres on 17 September 2021 at the Eiffel Art Studios.

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Cacti by Alexander Ekman was staged first by Hungarian National Ballet in September 2020, when Hungarian theatres were open for a brief period between lockdowns

In September 2020, when Hungarian theatres were open for a brief period between lockdowns, the Hungarian National Ballet staged Cacti by Alexander Ekman which examines modern dance itself: the work passionately, and often raucously, picks apart the mannerisms of dance. Featuring a string quartet from the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra, the piece presents a play of rhythms between dancers and musicians.

Dance fans can once again enjoy Whirling as well, a dynamic piece by András Lukács made up from fiery duets. Originally a pas de deux set to the music of Philip Glass, in 2010, the Hungarian National Ballet commissioned Lukács to create an expanded version of it for nine pairs. The nearly fluid movement, the infinite harmony among the dancers and the unique style of choreography make the scene both quite exhausting and complicated.

With the closing piece of the show, an old dream of the Opera is realised to make an irresistible and modern piece by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot available for the Hungarian audience. Sad Case, which is undoubtedly one of the pillars of their work, accompanied by Mexican mambo music, is the quest for the tension between the satirical and the serious through a sequence of astonishing movements.


Hungarian National Ballet is the leading ballet company of Hungary, internationally well-known for its strong classical tradition, high technical and artistic standards

Founded in 1884 within the Hungarian Royal Opera House, Hungarian National Ballet of over 110 dancers is the leading ballet company of Hungary, internationally well-known for its strong classical tradition, high technical and artistic standards, and a very special touch of Hungarian legacy which makes this company unique in the world.

The art of the Hungarian National Ballet today is being determined by three main factors: the national traditions building on the oeuvre of two generations of Hungarian choreographers, the influence of the classical Russian school, and the contemporary, modern European and American art.

Classical ballets form a firm basis for the company’s repertory. For over 50 years, combinations of titles such as The Nutcracker, Giselle, Swan Lake, La Bayadére, Don Quixote etc. have featured in the seasons’ programs.

From the 1970s, Hungarian National Ballet started opening to the modern American and European styles which lead to the inclusion of significant works by Balanchine, Béjart, Ahston, van Manen, Ailey, Kylian, North etc. in our repertory.

While classical traditions and world-renowned contemporary authors’ works define most repertoires world-wide, Hungarian National Ballet offers this, and more than that: in Budapest, the audience is additionally presented by those dramatic or entertaining, full-length or one-act, but always spectacular, richly decorated, meaningful and touching pieces which the cream of Hungarian choreographers created. Let it be Gyula Harangozó’s Coppelia or The Miraculous Mandarin; László Seregi’s Spartacus, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew or Sylvia; Lilla Pártay’s Anna Karenina or Gone with the Wind; Gábor Keveházi’s Zorba – strong characters will fill the stage and capture the viewers’ interest.

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