H. van Manen / / E. Satie / J. Inger / A. Pärt / M. Ravel / J. Kylián / S. Reich / A. Ekman / M. Karlsson / A. Brun

1st Steps

contemporary ballet 16 premiere

Ballet evening in three parts

A breathtaking dance piece that confronts our own desires and fears: eight women’s stories of female existence and, in the end, a whirling piece on the nature of beauty. Created to Maurice Ravel’s Bolero and the music of Steve Reich, Erik Satie and others, the choreographies of the 1st Steps show address facets of life that affect us all in the irresistibly thrilling language of dance of Hans van Manen, Johan Inger, Jiří Kylián and Alexander Ekman. This September will see the premieres of previous years, Trois Gnossiennes, Falling Angels and Walking Mad, joined by the new production Episode 31, and it is with these masterpieces that the Hungarian National Ballet will be taking its own “first steps” in this season of 2019/2020.


“Walking Mad is an uneasy rethinking of Ravel’s Bolero made all the more surreal by its sultry eroticism. (…) The premiere of this psychologically charged piece performed by Tamás Solymosi’s company exceeded its own limits by a very large measure.' (Krisztina Horeczky, Népszabadság online)

“I got the chance to see two different female versions of Falling Angels – and both evenings were marvellously successful.” (Graham Watts, Bachtrack)


Alexander Ekman and Mikael Karlsson are represented by Stepping Grounds Arts/CultureManagement.   www.steppinggrounds.com

Hans van Manen / Erik Satie

Trois Gnossiennes

Built around the magically beautiful music of Erik Satie, Hans van Manen’s Trois Gnossiennes draws a picture of a unique relationship. This double portrait painted with sensitive brushstrokes flashes with images of trust, submission and dominance, and relativity and interdependence. Masterfully alternating between lyrical and grotesque elements and weaving together memorable human traits, van Manen depicts monologues and dialogue, as well as symbolic moments of a relationship rich in intimate profundities. The bravura elevation of simple poses to the level of acrobatics and the enigmatic and fantastic play with a living body that goes limp make this short but dense work an unforgettable one.

“The whole effect was spellbinding. The interest of the piece also comes from the fact that Satie’s achingly beautiful music strikes a chord with van Manen’s clarity of structure."
(Jade Larine, Bachtrack)

Johan Inger / Maurice Ravel / Arvo Pärt

Walking Mad

A wall, 3 female and 6 male dancers, and Ravel's Bolero. This is the base of Swedish choreographer Johan Inger's one-act ballet, which he originally created for the Netherlands Dans Theatre in 2001.
The minimalist space takes newer and newer shapes for the ever intensifying music, and newer and newer characters appear in it, in more and more mad situations and states. 

"The famous Bolero from Ravel with its sexual, almost kitschy history was the trigger point to make my own version. I quickly decided that it was going to be about relationships in different forms and circumstances. I came up with the idea of a wall that could transform the space during this minimalistic music and create small pockets of space and situations. Walking Mad is a journey in which we encounter our fears, our longings and the lightness of being.
»Our biggest blessings come to us by way of madness« - said Socrates."

Johan Inger

Jiří Kylián / Steve Reich

Falling Angels

Falling Angels, which was first premiered in 1989, is one of the pieces from Czech choreographer Jiří Kylián's five-ballet series, Black and White. The choreography presents eight female dancers moving to the first movement of Steve Reich’s 1971 percussion work, Drumming.
“This is a work about our profession,” Kylián says. The ballet portrays the dancers’ efforts to attain perfection, in which various attributes of the female psyche and female existence – such as pregnancy, birth and motherhood – also appear. During this creative period, Kylián was deeply influenced by surrealism and minimalism, which can be particularly sensed in this choreography. As the edgy rhythmic music plays, the suggestive female figures build up into an intense sequences of motions, both  classical and contorted.

“I saw two different groups of eight women in Falling Angels; … was a delight on both evenings.” (Graham Watts, Bachtrack)

Alexander Ekman / Mikael Karlsson / Eric Satie / Ane Brun

Episode 31

“Episode 31 was created in 2011 for the graduating senior class at the Juilliard School in New York City. It is a large group piece consisting of a number of fast-paced scenes created by the dancers. From an upbeat drumming sequence to a quiet comment on beauty by Eric Satie, this piece is a showcase for the young enthusiastic energy of these very athletic dancers.” This is how Alexander Ekman explains the origins of a choreography that, after its New York premiere, was also shown in Edinburgh and also made it into the repertoires of the Finnish National Ballet and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. In September 2019, it becomes a colourful part of the Hungarian National Ballet’s modern repertoire.


"From youthful enthusiasm to quiet meditation: this is all dance."


Alexander Ekman and Mikael Karlsson are represented by Stepping Grounds Arts/CultureManagement.   www.steppinggrounds.com

Events

Erkel Theatre
Erkel Theatre
Erkel Theatre
Erkel Theatre
Erkel Theatre

Reviews

Walking Mad is an uneasy rethinking of Ravel’s Bolero made all the more surreal by its sultry eroticism. (…) The premiere of this psychologically charged piece performed by Tamás Solymosi’s company exceeded its own limits by a very large measure." (Krisztina Horeczky, Népszabadság online)

I got the chance to see two different female versions of Falling Angels – and both evenings were marvellously successful.” (Graham Watts, Bachtrack)