The story of a legendary philanderer: Don Juan is presented by the Hungarian National Ballet

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The paid stream series of the Hungarian State Opera is to continue with Don Juan, a choreography by a renowned personality of the French dance scene, Thierry Malandain. The production that premieres online on 6 March 2021, at 8:00 p.m. CET is his first collaboration with the Hungarian National Ballet.

The legend of Don Juan, a dangerous and daring philanderer whose joyride was cut short by a statue that grabs him and descends to Hell with his prisoner, has been a beloved topic by artists of different genres for five decades. An unconventional choreography by Gasparo Angiolini, premiered in 1761 in Vienna to music by Christoph Willibald Gluck, with the libretto based on Molière’s 1665 piece. Thierry Malandain was driven by a similar inspiration: to show new aspects of the well-known subject-matter in his unique style, pushing boundaries but remaining in the realm of aesthetics.

Born in 1959, the renowned French choreographer started his career as a ballet dancer. His time spent at the Opera Paris, Mulhouse and Nancy in the 70s and 80s also saw his first attempts to create choreographies. A restless artist who was not in the least interested in conventions established a new company called Compagnie Temps Présent in Paris, which later went from a company to an operatic corps de ballet. In 1997, the city of Biarritz offered to establish a national centre for dance art under his leadership, called the Center Chorégraphique National – Biarritz Ballet. It became Malandain's most important workshop and it was here that Don Juan was created in 2006. His achievements of three and a half decades has been recognized with a number of international awards, his dance pieces are performed by the greatest ballet ensembles all over Europe, Asia and America.

The new Hungarian National Ballet production, whose rehearsal process is overseen by Malandain himself, features Gergely Leblanc, Étoile of the 2016/17 season, grand sujet Ryosuke Morimoto and principal Gergő Ármin Balázsi in the title role, Maksym Kovtun as Commander and Théo Bourg as Death as well as dancers of the Hungarian National Ballet. The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra is conducted by Kornél Thomas.

Photo by János Kummer
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