Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus and Eurydice

- ballet in 2 parts -

Premiére: 24 April 2015 | National Theatre of Pécs, Chamber Theatre
Budapest Premiére: 1 November 2015 | Palace of Arts

"Classical greek mythology is something that has fascinated me ever since I was a child. I have memories of reading these otherworldly stories over and over and having them open my imagination through its terrifying and wondrous world that I so wanted to believe in. This wild world where gods and monsters battled and manipulated each other for the sake of power and toyed with the lives of heroes and men. Carving out the world and the history of its beginnings that was both beautiful and brutal in equal measure.
Expressed through the earliest exponents of literature and philosophy, mythology has constantly been a source of inspiration for artists over the ages. Myth inhabits the space held by the memories of handed down experience and the half-truths of ancient religion and the romanticism of antiquity. They provide a world that has both a traceable intellectual history, and the indefinable magic of imagination and belief. Timeless narratives at the foundations of western art, that continue to inform and inspire the artistic canon from music, theatre and visual art, to literature and critical theory.

The story of the poet Orpheus and his journey to the underworld is one of the most enduring, and significant in mythology. It is a myth that plays out in our daily lives as a testament to grief, love and loss, and perhaps most significantly it is about the power of art itself; the search for and commitment to inspiration and true artistic expression. It is a myth that gave birth to the ancient Orphic mystical religion, and its truth allows for the most personal of artistic expression to breathe.
With his supernatural gift of music, and the promise of Love (Amor), Orpheus journeys to the underworld after the death of his wife Eurydice, hoping to persuade and open the hearts of the gods to let his beloved return. His attempt is in vain because at the last moment his desire defeats him, he fails to honour the one request of the gods; to not look back at her as he leads her into the light. Orpheus is an artist and this gaze represents both his weakness and fallibility as a man, but also the very source of his inspiration as an artist. Without this moment of failure, the source of his true inspiration would never have been found. His sentence for sitting at the table of the gods and attempting to reverse the laws of nature, is to suffer his loss in solitude and express the vision of his love through is music.

The physical incarnation of myth is the act of passing down, generation after generation. Stories are told, retold, changed, adapted, half remembered, reinterpreted and lost, only to be found again. This smudged handwritten map has given me the context of placing the work in the world of memory. Themes and passages from Christoph Wilibald Gluck’s seminal opera are elevated to the world of myth by being woven into a contemporary sound score by Richárd Riederauer, elements of the archaic and symbolic are reinterpreted into a modern design aesthetic by Zsuzsa Molnár, and the stories and characters embodied by the dancers are a retelling that is as much about how the passage of time effects our personal histories, as it is one of the greatest stories ever told."

Cameron McMillan


The Image Design Team of Orpheus and Eurydice

In collaboration with choreographer Cameron McMillan, 3 innovative Hungarian creatives with a shared vision of fresh and conceptual imagery, were brought together to collaborate on the press and marketing concept for Orpheus and Eurydice.

Mate Moro - Photographer

A young photographic talent from Budapest, working for numerous fashion brands and magazine editorials with a sharp, modern and conceptual vision. www.matemoro.com

Aron Flikey - Graphic Designer

Budapest based Graphic designer working across print, advertising, art direction and set design. www.aronfilkey.com

Ali Toth - Stylist/Concept

Editor in Chief of the award winning Hungarian fashion publication The Room Magazine and freelance stylist and consultant working extensively both in Hungary and internationally.  www.theroom.hu  www.aliandaniko.com 

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