Home Culture Hungary Live Festival in New York

Hungary Live Festival in New York

Hungary Live Festival in New York

The Hungary L!ve Festival will take place for the second time in New York from May 23 to 29 2022 at HERE, bringing theatre performances, concerts, workshops, professional talks, exhibitions, and a film screening to the New York audiences. 


Based on the success of the first festival in 2018, the Hungary Live Art Foundation is excited to return to the culturally inclusive city of New York with our second festival with the goal of bringing contemporary Hungarian performing arts culture to the international stage. The first festival attracted over 1000 attendees.

Now, the primary venue for the 2022 festival is the HERE Arts Center in the heart of the City. This year’s program includes Kristóf Kelemen’s Observers, DollarDaddy’s East, Éva Duda’s Mirror, Krisztián Gergye Company “…and Echo” and László Göndör / Éva Katona’s I’ve Dreamt with my Grandmother. A theatrical adaptation of Pál Závada’s literary prize nominated novel, A Market Day, will be performed as a staged reading in English, directed by János Mohácsi and featuring American actors. Renowned Hungarian film director Gábor Herendi’s new film Toxikoma has already been a great success in Hungary, and now will be screened during the festival, followed by a panel discussion with one of the film’s main actors, Áron Molnár, and producer Gabriella Illés.

In addition to the theatre performances, film screenings and panel discussions, Éva Duda, Krisztián Gergye and Márta Kelemen will be hosting workshops during the week. These workshops as well as the

festival opening reception will take place at the Dorothy B. Williams Theatre (DOT). DJ Bootsie Trio & VJ Kemuri, a trio of musicians from different musical styles, will further add color to the program. The Artisans Minimal – Márton Kovács and Ádám Móser – are preparing a special concert with Jessica Lurie, Nikolett Pankovits, Juancho Herrera and János Vázsonyi, who will play at New York’s Nublu music club. The Festival program will also feature the unique musical formation RANDOM TRIP featuring Zentai Márk (Mörk), Nagy Kristóf (7s), Delov Jávor.

During the festival, current and former students of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design will be featured in an exhibition and will also have their work presented at a short film screening.

All productions are FREE but RSVP is required what interested audiences could do at the HERE website (here.org).

Hungary L!ve Art Foundation goal is to create an art platform that facilitates a dialogue between representatives of Hungarian and foreign cultural life by organizing cultural festivals, professional meetings, and workshops within Hungary and internationally. The Hungary Live Art Foundation was founded by Hungarian theater producers Anna Boros, Esztella Levko and Ádám Boncz.

All performances with the exception of the staged reading are in Hungarian with English subtitles. For more information go to: https://hungarylivefestival.com

This production is a part of SubletSeries@HERE: a curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as a technical liaison.

HERE, 145 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013. (Enter on Dominick, 1 block south of Spring) For Tickets & Information: visit here.org or https://hungarylivefestival.com

Critics are invited to all performances except the stage reading.

Hungary L!ve Festival at HERE (145 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013) 

May 23-29, 2022 

18 events: see individual listings for schedule info

Presented by the Hungary Live Art Foundation

All productions are FREE but RSVP is required

Box office www.here.org or call 212-647-0202

Festival website: https://hungarylivefestival.com

Theater website: here.org

Hungary Live Festival



23 May 2022, 8:00 PM – HERE Mainstage 

Emőke Kiss-Végh and Tamás Ördög are young Hungarian actors and theater-makers, known for their unorthodox shows and projects staged in flats and unusual venues. Dollardaddy’s (Dollár Papa Gyermekei) are one of the youngest Hungarian ensembles, true risk-takers in every sense: experimenting on the boundaries of real life and theater in a minimalistic style. The performance is realized in the frame of Tampere University’s project Reconnect / Re-Collect – Crossing the Divides through Memories of Cold War Childhood, inspired by the collected memories. This international and interdisciplinary research analyzes memories of diverse childhood experiences from post socialist and Cold War countries; and tries to build bridges between academic research and arts through the representations of these personal stories. It aims to establish dialogues among people divided by multiple borders – geopolitical, economic, generational and cultural – and which borders, albeit in a different form, are still there today.


24 May 2022, 7:30 PM – HERE Mainstage

„…and Echo” is a contemporary opera performance that portrays the main character, a woman’s inner stories with a unique bond of two other essential art forms, puppetry and contemporary dance performance. It is a mirror play: the story of an opera singer’s personal drama, which carries the weight and inevitability of Greek tragedies. The contrast between the reality of life and that of stage existence tends towards surreality. Lies and truths blend together. Just as in life, one cannot see clearly, but the performance takes place as life does. The magic of Puppet Theater reveals a private mythology in which the reflection not only looks back, but also responds. It is also a kind of reverse Bluebeard story, in which there is only Judith, without a man, trapped in the castle. Krisztián Gergye, dance-choreographer-director, Viktória Vizin, opera singer, and Péter Zombola, composer, worked on the idea for the production for several years. The final production combines contemporary dance, contemporary opera and contemporary puppet theater to create a truly all-round artistic performance. The premiere was held in the Chamber Hall of the National Theater in Miskolc as part of the Bartók Plus Opera Festival, which has always been about inspiration, support and inclusion of talented and value-creating artists, so the premiere could not have been in a more appropriate venue.


25 May 2022, 7:30 PM – HERE Mainstage 

MIRROR was premiered at the 20th Budapest Dance Festival in March 2020 for the 10th Jubilee of the Company. MIRROR is looking back to the most powerful moments from the first decade of the team’s artistic work, by creating a retrospective show with young and energetic dancers. MIRROR is one of the purest dance shows of the company, with highly skilled dancers who present the best of their qualities. From wild and dynamic sequences of intense choreographies through passionate partnering scenes to almost totally silent parts are followed by each other with the mark of Eva’s unique style on each moment. Eva Duda’s early works are based on highly energetic and dynamic physicality. In MIRROR she turned back to this purely physical approach, which evokes that extraordinary momentum she is known for. Polishing this “language” for more than a decade, spiced up with remarkable dancers, it became one of the most characteristic shows she has ever created.


26 May 2022, 7:30 PM – HERE Mainstage 

Everybody has something to hide. To be successful in operative work, the informant has to ease into and stay credible in different roles. He or she should not raise suspicion in his or her private life, should gain the trust of the subject and show absolute loyalty to his or her handler. This story is set in Hungary in the 1960’s. The secret police has Michael Besenczy under surveillance. Besenczy is Hungarian but has been living in England since his childhood. As a young man, he came back to his home country to study film directing at the University of Theatre and Film Arts. There is a strong suspicion that he is working with British intelligence. Agents placed around him are commissioned to form intimate friendships, erotic relationships with the subject in order to learn as much as possible about him and provide privileged information. But no matter how good they are at their job, they cannot hide from the secret police’s and each other’s observant gaze. In the end, they might find themselves vulnerable upon discovering their deepest fears in the eyes of their subject. Observers is Kelemen’s third production for Trafó and the focus is yet again on the workings of Hungarian society, on an episode of our recent socialist past that many are still familiar with and that today’s youth can also easily relate to.

PÁL ZÁVADA, ISTVÁN MOHÁCSI, JÁNOS MOHÁCSI: A MARKET DAY (staged reading) 27 May 2022, 7:30 PM – HERE Mainstage 

1946, Kunvadas – a fictional Hungarian village near Szolnok. Not many of the Jews came back home who were deported during the Second World War, which had just ended. A teacher in the village, Sándor Hadnagy is accused of war crimes putting him in the crossfire of political battles. In the meanwhile lynching mood increasingly over takes the village. Poverty and hunger are generating histeria making the villagers look for an enemy: they get into mobs and begin to act upon their own jurisdiction. And history repeats itself very quickly. Pál Závada used true events and original documents to write his novel „Egy piaci nap” which became one of the most important contemporary literary works of the past years. The Kossuth prize-winner writer based the story on a brutal, shocking and for many people, unknown series of events of the Hungarian past: the pogroms against the Jews of Kunmadaras. Závada tells a larger story of humanity about our historical traumas and the responsibility of community through questioning the people’s motivations behind the events at Kunmadaras. The Mohácsi brothers created the stage adaptation of the Libri literary prize-nominated novel and the Radnóti Theatre closed its 2017-2018 season with a Hungarian premiere.


28 May 2022, 5:00 PM – HERE Mainstage 

Living the Dream with Grandma is a lyrical, yet humorous one-man-show about processing third-generation trauma. This unique multimedia piece takes place over a month, in the middle of the pandemic lock-down in Budapest, Hungary, when László Göndör, the 35-year-old author suffering from an identity crisis, moves in with his 97-year-old grandmother, a Holocaust survivor. Over 32 days, the grandmother and grandson try to grasp each other’s pain and trauma, as well as their profound mutual love.

By making use of video and audio documentation recorded during their cohabitation, their conversations are reenacted, demonstrating the deep impact that the Holocaust and its related traumas have had on their personalities and relationship.

By presenting the gap between the two generations and the loving relationship between them, the piece facilitates the process of understanding and acceptance – both for those who have been through similar life situations and those for whom the topic is unknown.

The text was written and edited by Zsófia Bódi, Kornél Laboda and László Göndör from the conversations and recollections of László Göndör and his grandmother, Éva Katona.


29 May 2022, 6:30 PM – HERE Mainstage 

Kunvadas is a typical Hungarian village in 1946. Just a few Jews have returned after being deported during the Second World War. Due to poverty and hunger, the villagers begin searching for an enemy whom they soon find in the form of the local Jews. As the desire for lynching becomes increasingly prevalent, the village teacher gets accused of war crimes, sparking a pogrom during the political strife.

Award-winning author Závada Pál’s A Market Day, based on Hungarian historical events, the pogroms against the Jews of Kunmadaras, is a brutal, shocking story that explores the responsibility of the community and questions the motivation of individual people behind the massacres. It became one of

the most prevalent contemporary literary works in recent years. The Libri-nominated novel was adapted to stage by the Mohácsi brothers which premiered in Radnoti Theatre in 2018.


26 May 2022, 11:30 PM NUBLU 151 (151 Avenue C, New York) 

28 May 2022, 8:30 PM – HERE Mainstage 

Advanced hip-hop beats, electronica, scratch, samples from films and folk songs and from jazz…a masterful cutting edge combination of all of the above constituted the tracks of producer-turntablist DJ Bootsie for the past twenty years.Due to his unique sound he managed to stand out of the international hip-hop electronic scene even with his first album (The Silent Partner) already, that was released on Ugar Records in 2004. His subsequent albums were released by the highly respected british BBE Records, with international bigboys like J-Dilla, Pete Rock, DJ Vadim and DJ Jazzy Jeff, or Madlib on their roster.He has produced soundtracks for theater and cinema and his works were included on well-known compilation albums, brand events and fashion shows. (Buddha Bar, DJ Cam-My playlist, Mercedes Benz Mixtape, Marc Cain, Vogue Germany, CSI tv sequel, etc.) The Hungarian State Opera has commissioned him to produce uptodate adaptations of two movements of the most important national historic opera (László Hunyadi by Ferenc Erkel) as well as Richard Wagner’s Twilight of the Gods and Rhinegold. Back in the mid-90’s he was co-founder of the groundbreaking underground hip-hop formation the Against the Current, with which he won the Fila Rap Jam talent show out of 150 competitors.

RANDOM TRIP featuring Zentai Márk (Mörk), Nagy Kristóf (7s), Delov Jávor 

24 May 2022, 9:30 PM 

Gifted young musicians from the leading bands on the Hungarian scene play truly improvised music in all styles, jamming through the night every week. Featuring the crème of local and often international musicians from today’s lively music scene, Random Trip is a real Hungarian specialty of its kind. It is not only a regular jam session in downtown Budapest, but due to the drifting music made up on the spot it has become a true crowd favorite, driving hundreds to the concerts every week. No open mic, but a jam session for professional musicians who take turns weekly at the internationally famous A38 Ship,

creating joy music that spans across various music styles like funk, soul, reggae, disco, hip-hop, drum’n’bass, nu jazz, rock’n’roll etc.


26 May 2022, 10:00 PM – NUBLU 151(151 Avenue C, New York) 

Artisans emerged eleven years ago from the curb of Csiky Gergely Theater, with their instruments, which are far cry from God. After they tripped over a large box, they found themselves on the stage, so they started to play. This happened in the eleventh minute of the play titled Just a Nail, directed by János Mohácsi. Thenceforth they did not let go of the board, which became familiar and it meant the World to them from then on. They plucked up courage and played their favorite songs, melodies, music, and sound. These originated from the Experts, from various folks and their liveliness, and also from Márton Kovács and his violin. Because of them the actors (who were rehearsing) and the audience (who was trying to fall asleep) could not have their peace in Kaposvár (We Have Bombed Kaposvár, Just a Nail, 5606 – A Crazy Soul and Battered Armies) and in the National Theatre of Budapest (Yellow Liliy, The Possessed, We Live Once).

The Festival is kindly supported by: Előadóművészeti Ministry of Human Resources (Hungary), National Cultural Fund of Hungary, Performer’s Rights Protection Association Office, Trust For Mutual Understanding, LOT Polish Airlines, Hangfoglaló Program, 7. Stellatus, Vodafone Hungary

Festival partners are: SubletSeries@HERE, k2 Theatre Foundation, Summa Artium, Nublu, Cache Life, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest, National Film Institute, Hungarian Poster Association, The Jane Hotel New York, OPLA, Trafó – House of Contemporary Arts


Source: Hungary L!ve Festival (Press release) https://hungarylivefestival.com/en/

About Author