The Doll of Kokoschka
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The Doll of Kokoschka

Krisztián Gergye Company and Gloria Benedikt

a world-famous love story

This is not the first time Gloria Benedikt and Krisztián Gergye are working together. In 2013, their highly successful co-production “egoegoego” was premièred at the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts as an affiliate program of the museum’s Egon Schiele exhibition.

The Austrian ballerina, who, in her art, aims to bring dance closer to science and politics, pushing the art form’s traditional boundaries, and Hungary’s enfant terrible of contemporary dance reach back once more to the legendary era of the turn of the 20th century, in order to connect the contemporary art of today to the progressive spirit of the times before the world wars.

Their performance recalls Gustav Mahler’s times and invites their audiences on a journey which spans across 20th century history, parallel with a legendary love story.

This dance production borrows its title from Afonso Cruz’s iconic novel, but the inspiration the dance performance draws from the literary masterpiece is to the same extent as the book’s recalling the extravagant story of Oskar Kokoschka’s life-sized doll of Alma Mahler as a metaphor.

Publisher’s cover notes:
“The painter Oskar Kokoschka was so crazy about Alma Mahler that, when their relationship came to an end, he had a life-sized doll made of her that captured every minute detail of his love. In the letter he wrote the puppet maker and copied to his sweetheart, he provided a precise illustrated description, also indicating which wrinkles of the skin he absolutely could not do without.
Kokoschka, who did not wish to hide his passion from the world, had walks through the town with his doll, and even took her to the opera. One day, he had enough of her, he smashed a bottle of red wine on the doll’s head, and the doll ended up on the rubbish heap. “

Through lifelike puppets, multiplying Kokoschka’s gesture, the performance invites three emblematic figures of the 20th century onto the stage: Mahler, the genius composer; Kokoschka, the great painter; and the femme fatale Alma Mahler, the Muse.
This story of the dancing puppets written in the present day, but it recalls the time when the world of fiction may still have been able to have an impact on reality.
We are remembering to what were, perhaps, the last moments of the 20th century when the notions of romance, expressionism and love were still alive, and when Muses were still able to bestow their kisses.

“... life is nothing but a pile of thoroughly entangled threads. We cannot even see the best part of this ball, the points where its threads connect remain undiscovered by us. But everything is connected, and these threads link all events together.” (Afonso Cruz: The Doll of Kokoschka)

Choreography: Krisztián Gergye, Gloria Benedikt
Music: Gustav Mahler, Richard Wagner, Arnold Schönberg, Max Richter, Igor Stravinsky’s, Sofia Gubaidulina, Alfred Schnittke
Performers: Krisztián Gergye, Gloria Benedikt, Anita Barabás
Puppet design: Károly Hoffer / Costume: Móni Béres
Lighting design: Máté Vajda  / Projection: Gábor Karcis
Paintings used in projections: Erzsébet Vojnich, Miklós Szüts
Dramaturg: Melánia Miklós
Production Manager: Anna Gáspár
Production assistant: Zenkő Bogdán
Scenery, direction: Krisztián Gergye

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