Ilona Kovács’s book titled Ernst von Dohnányi in New Perspectives has been published. It is a significant work both in Hungarian musicology and dance history.
In addition to a detailed examination of the significance of Ernő Dohnányi’s work in Hungarian music history, which has long been ignored, the author also examines the relationship between Ernő Dohnányi and dance in a long chapter, and introduces the reader to dance-related works which, despite their obvious importance in dance and music history, have now been forgotten.
Examples include the pantomime “Pierrette’s Veil” (Op. 18) and the dance legend titled “The Holy Torch”, the analyses of which form an important part of this volume of studies. In the latter, thanks to the dedicated work of Elsa Galafrés, wife of actor-choreographer Ernő Dohnányi, “The Holy Torch” is characterised by sophistication, inventiveness and high artistic quality. In this piece, Galafrés not only noted the plot and choreography of the dance legend, but also created a revolutionary, unique dance score.
In addition to these little-known works, the volume also includes a history and analysis of the genesis of one of Dohnányi’s most frequently performed compositions “Variations on a Children’s Song” (Op. 25). Young ballet dancers at the Hungarian Dance University can also use the study, as several classes have already danced László Seregi’s choreography to this Dohnányi composition at their examination concerts. A complete study of the stylized dances composed by the composer gives the reader a comprehensive overview.
The English-language book will help us to enter the international academic arena by putting Ernő Dohnányi’s work in a new perspective and to introduce the values of our dance and music history to the world.
The official launch of the book will take place at 6pm on 3 November, 2023 within the framework of the 9th International Dance Science Conference of the Hungarian Dance University.