The Miraculous Mandarin by Béla Bartók


At the request of Iván Fischer, the Eva Duda Dance Company launches its 15th season with the staging of the exceptional and emblematic work of Bartók.

The versatile choreographer of Hungary, Eva Duda, works in a variety of genres, creating dance performances, musical theatre productions, movement theatre performances, large-scale operas and popular musicals. In recognition of her outstanding work, she has been bestowed the Gyula Harangozó, Zoltán Imre, Rudolf Lábán and Honthy awards. In addition to working for the major theatres of Hungary, she has been involved in various artistic projects in numerous European countries. She founded her own dance company in Budapest in 2009. In her expressive visual works, she freely uses elements of classical ballet, street dance and folk dance, besides contemporary ballet, expanding her productions with artists and musicians.

One of Bartók’s most beloved works, The Miraculous Mandarin, with its plot of physical and spiritual questions, will be performed this autumn in MÜPA’s Concert Hall and Rome’s Santa Cecilia Concert Hall. In a space surrounded by musicians, the plot unfolds on a raised stage, using a rich movement toolbox, following the score and the composer’s intentions and specifications in detail.

The performance features Ferenc Liszt prize-awarded ballet dancer, Tibor Kováts as the cavalier, Vera Bundschuh, soloist of the Eva Duda Dance Company, as the girl and the charismatic Áron Szabó as the mandarin. The story, which is still fascinating today, and the grandiose musical work are brought to life by the dancers with plastic and dynamic choreography based on nuanced gestures and impressive visuals. Bartók’s musical masterpiece is one of the crown jewels of Hungarian dance, as not only the music but the passion and progressiveness of the theme are the ultimate proclamations of humanism. In a world of decay and devaluation, the art of dance is the best way to express true connection, purification and the overwhelming power of love. Dissonance, used as a means of expression in music, generates wild, rhythmic, pulsating movement sequences in the choreography, while also softly and sensually following the intimate and tender arcs of the music. Based on the contemporary formal language and theatrical effects, the dance work follows the dramaturgy of the precise characters and actions written by the composers with an eye for authenticity while presenting the work’s passionate and erotic visions in a unique and new context. We witness real touches and raw, wild and sensual connections. 

“The world has become more extreme since the ballet was born. The turmoil has become part of our everyday lives in which real values are often hidden from our eyes. Bartók’s work is particularly relevant even today, and, as for all choreographers, it is an honour and a great challenge for me. I would like to get as close as possible to this monumental and symbolic material, to translate into movement the passionate, creative power it contains.”

Duda Eva


Mandarin: Áron Szabó

Girl: Vera Bundschuh

Cavalier: Tibor Kováts, Ferenc Liszt prize-awarded 

Student: Mátyás Kovács

Vagabonds: Dániel Dragos, Dominik Gyugos, Máté Váth

Costume: Edit Szűcs

Lighting designer: József Pető

Set: Róbert Zentai, Éva Duda

Assistant choreographer: Gábor Ivanov

Production Manager: Orsolya Vitárius

Company Manager: Anita Vodál

Choreographer, director: Éva Duda