Based on Imre Madách’s play The Tragedy of The Man


Háromszék Dance Ensemble / Sfântu Gheorghe / RO


„Why did I think that we can create a choreography, a dance performance based on Madách’s Tragedy? Is it possible to express the complexity and philosophical drama of the text through the combination of music-dance-movement-scenery-film or with a shortened version of the text, or are we dooming the play to failure like Lucifer’s cold logic, denial and harsh criticism which seeks flaw in everything?

British author, poet and philosopher Aldous Huxley wrote his best-known novel, the dystopia Brave New World in 1931. The novel is set in an imaginary faraway future: a perfectly organized society, a scientific caste system, free will eradicated by methodical education, free sexuality in exchange for a family and slavery made bearable by a perfect drug called ’Soma’. In 1958 – twenty six years after the publication of the novel in 1932 – Huxley wrote the following in a series of essays entitled Return to the Brave New World: »My predictions from 1931 are fulfilling much sooner than I expected.«

Huxley’s study guided me to the work of Imre Madách. Madách had a similar vision of the future 100 years before Huxley, around 1859-60. In Madách’s time London was the most advanced society in Europe and in the world, an enormous industrial and economic power. But Madách did not end his best-known play with the London scene, his own present, but instead he returned to think about the future of Adam and Eve. The phalanstery, the space, the Eskimo scenes are all pessimistic predictions, dystopias of the fall and destruction of mankind. I believe that Madách’s texts – which appear also in this dance-theatre-drama – are still valid and relevant today. »Man has become stronger than God« (Pharaoh). »Now all the earth is a broad homeland« (Lucifer). To which Adam’s earthbound response is: »I have but one regret, the notion of home. It might have lasted, I think, in this new order.« Yes, now the new order, the brave new world is being formed, in which grand promises are being made again and the great slogans, »Equality, brotherhood, liberty!« are being emptied out. Through this brainwashing predicted by Huxley, through these slogans and false promises the masses can be manipulated once again into a new phalanstery.

The Tragedy performance based on Madách’s work is intended to be thought-provoking first of all. Through the art of dance (folk dance, contemporary dance, movement) I ask questions about the relationship between man and woman, between the individual and the masses, about faith, love, freedom, competition and the existence of the phalanstery, and I try to provide some answers as well. Without the past there is no future, says the poet Babits Mihály, and looking at the present I would say, without the future we have no future. »I told you, man: fight, trust and be full of hope!«” (Könczei Árpád)


Könczei Árpád

Composer, choreographer born in Marghita on 16 January 1959. He graduated from the Music College in Cluj Napoca in 1978 with a degree in piano. In 1983 he graduated in composition at the Gheorghe Dima Academy of Music in Cluj Napoca. In addition to his musical studies, at the instigation of his father Ádám Könczei, he also started to study folk music and folk dance and was one of the founders of the Transylvanian dance house movement in Cluj, as a member of the Bodzafa and Ördögszekér ensembles in 1977. He was one of the founders of the Háromszék Dance Ensemble, artistic director until 1995, and then artistic director and choreographer of the Maros Art Ensemble in Târgu Mureș between 2000 and 2005. In March 1995 he moved to Budapest where he worked for many years as an editor for Duna Television. As a composer he has written more than 200 symphonic works as well as music for theatre, dance and film. As a choreographer he has recorded 56 performances. Most important awards and honours: UNITER Special Prize (best theatre music, 2012) and Gyula Harangozó Prize (2019).


Háromszék Dance Ensemble

The Háromszék Dance Ensemble was founded in 1990 in Sfantu Gheorghe. The aim of the Ensemble is to collect, to preserve and to present the traditional folk music and dances from Transylvania through an original theatrical and dramatic language and form. These performances reveal the contemporary values of folklore and break down the audience’s prejudice about this tradition seen as anachronistic. The Ensemble combines together traditional folk dance and music with modern dance-theatre elements and movements, and discovered the great theatrical potentials in different regional rituals, traditions even local historical events.

The Háromszék Dance Company is officially sustained by the Covasna County Council. Manager: Virág Endre, artistic director: Ivácson László.




The Lord – Fazakas Tamás
Angels’ Choir – Iffiú Boróka, Kocsis Tekla, Kocsis Ünige, Kolcsár Zonga, Szilágyi Katalin, Vetró Bodoni Flóra
Adam – Márton Csaba
Eve – Márton Edina-Emőke
Lucifer – Melles Endre
The Earth’s Spirit – Erőss Judit
Catulus – Kiss Adorján
Hippia – Ádám Júlia, Both Eszter
Cluvia – Podholiczky Rebeka Ráhel, Vass Tünde
Gladiators – Portik Norbert, Szvinyuk Sándor
Peter Apostle – Fazakas Levente
Helene – Lukács Réka
Robespierre – Portik Norbert
Saint-Just – Kiss Adorján
The Marquis – Fülöp Zoltán-József
Mother of Eve – Lukács Réka
Scientist/phalanstery – Kocsis Lilla-Tünde
Two eskimos – Pável Hunor-Mihály, Szvinyuk Sándor


Slaves, choir, heretics, friends, revolutioners, citizens, workers, students, phalanstery people – Ádám Júlia, Both Eszter, Fazakas Mónika, Gere Gabriella, Kocsis Lilla-Tünde, Lukács Réka, Podholiczky Rebeka Ráhel, Vass Tünde, Vitályos Dorottya, Bakos Ernő, Balla Gergely, Fülöp Zoltán-József, Gere Csaba, Kiss Adorján, Pável Hunor-Mihály, Portik Norbert, Szvinyuk Sándor


Heveder Band: Fazakas Levente, Fazakas Albert, Szilágyi László, Bajna György


Contributors to the sound recordings: Árendás Péter, Bajna György, Fazakas Albert, Fazakas Levente, Kertész János, ifj. Koszorús Kálmán, Könczei Árpád, Liber Róbert, Papp István Gázsa, Péter János, Réman Zoltán, Szilágyi László
Post-production: Kertész Huba


Dramaturgy: Kozma András
Assistant choreographer: Melles Endre
Assistant choreographer, ballet master: Cseke Ágnes
Costumes assistant: Csüdöm Eszter
Props master: Zayzon Ádám
Cameraman: László Barna
Artistic collaborator, choreographer: ifj. Zsuráfszky Zoltán, Harangozó-prize
Set and costume designer: Balázs Gyöngyi


Music composer, director-choreographer: Könczei Árpád, Harangozó-prize


Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes, without interval

the language of the performance: HU

subtitles: RO, EN
Premiére: 6th December, 2022.