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New exhibition recalls scenes from former ballet institute

Art

Photo by Olivér Hargitay / DVM group

The Hungarian Dance Academy has joined forces with DVM group, the company responsible for the reconstruction of Dreschler Palace, to evoke the atmosphere of the former Ballet Institute and to pay homage to a building whose name is still eponymous with ballet within the framework of a new cultural project, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

The open-air installation entitled "The Art Around Us – Pictures from the Former Ballet Institute" can be viewed for free until July 5 in front of the Szervita Square Building.

Located on Andrássy út, the 135-year old Dreschler Palace is currently undergoing a full-scale renovation, following the guidelines of monument protection, so that it can soon be reborn as the five-star W Hotel Budapest. The reconstruction works are carried out by DVM group, who teamed up with the Hungarian Dance Academy (MTE) to pay tribute to the former iconic function of the grand palace with a special series of photographs and videos, besides capturing the pre-renovation state of the building.

The group enlisted the help of MTE’s artistic director, the Kossuth- and Franz Liszt Prize-winning dancer Katalin Volf and the academy’s pupils to recall the bygone decades when the building has housed the prominent educational institution of Hungarian performance dance through movements inspired by the milieu of some of the building’s most emblematic spaces, but also, to outline a vision for the future, by showcasing young talents. The pictures were taken by photographer Oliver Hargitay.

"From 1949 until 2002, the Drechsler Palace gave home to the State Ballet Institute, and the history of the building is so intertwined with the institution that it still lives in public consciousness as the ‘ballet institute’," aid Katalin Volf, the artistic director of the Hungarian Dance Academy.

"Some of the most outstanding figures of Hungarian ballet grew up within these walls, and a significant number of the lecturers of the Hungarian Dance Academy have also mastered the professional foundations that they now pass on to future generations in this very building. The series of pictures and videos created in collaboration with DVM group evoke this intimate, historic intertwining between the building and ballet, showing symbolically how the past, present, and future connect, in terms of both architecture and dance," she added.

Tibor Massányi, managing partner of DVM group, noted, "The beauty of the various parts of the Drechsler Palace, even during the demolition and renovation phase, provided the perfect backdrop to visually emphasize the sophistication and precise movements of a new generation of ballet dancers. Thanks to this exceptional collaboration, we have been given a unique opportunity to capture a variety of art forms: the connection between architecture, dance, photography, and film. We deemed it important to pay homage to the building's past in this way, in addition to ensuring its long-term survival through value-preserving renovation."

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