Tag Archive: Julianna Éva Pollák


“Hungarian National Ballet Institute Exam 2023”
Hungarian National Ballet Institute
Eiffel Art Studios
Budapest, Hungary
June 24, 2023 (matinee)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2023 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Spanish dance (advanced 1st group and grade I), “Hungarian National Ballet Institute Exam 2023”, Hungarian National Ballet Institute 2023 © T.Nánási / Hungarian State Opera Everyone seemed in a flurry ahead of the Hungarian National Ballet Institute’s end-of-the-year exam. Groups of last-minute guests queued at the ticket stall, impatient for picking up their tickets. Staff members scanned the computer for bookings which miraculously had disappeared (mine included); one mother nervously waved for someone to deliver a packet of dance tights to her daughter backstage. The show started ten minutes late and – due to a packed program – lasted twenty minutes longer.

No less than thirty-eight pieces were presented in the two-part gala by – if correctly counted at curtain call – sixty-seven students in total. That only nine of them were male, substantiates Balanchine’s famous statement that “Ballet is woman”. (more…)


“The Nutcracker”
Hungarian National Ballet / Hungarian National Ballet Institute
Hungarian State Opera
Budapest, Hungary
December 10, 2022 (matinee + evening performance)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2022 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Ensemble, “The Nutcracker” by W.Eagling and T.Solymosi, Hungarian National Ballet & Hungarian National Ballet Institute 2022 © V.Berecz The Dutch National Ballet has in its repertoire a gorgeous “Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by Wayne Eagling (featuring no less beautiful designs by Toer van Schayk), which premiered in 1996. It seems that from that moment on, Eagling has been spellbound by the “Nutcracker”. The version he created in 2015 – tailored to the Hungarian National Ballet – is his fifth take on the fairy-tale. For Budapest’s “Nutcracker” he collaborated with the company’s artistic director, Tamás Solymosi. I saw a matinee and an evening performance.

From the moment I noticed the cupcakes and Gugelhupf on the Stahlbaum family’s Christmas buffet, I knew that Eagling and Solymosi’s production would be just so: a treat based on a traditional recipe but refined with local additions and updated techniques. The original recipe by Vasili Vainonen is from 1934 – and his “Nutcracker” premiered in Budapest in 1950 to great acclaim. (more…)