Gergye Krisztián Társulata és Gloria Benedikt

Music: Gustav Mahler , Richard Wagner , Arnold Schönberg, Max Richter,

 Igor Stravinsky, Sofia Gubaidulina, Alfred Schnittke

Performers: Krisztián Gergye , Gloria Benedikt, Anita Barabás

Choreography: Krisztián Gergye, Gloria Benedikt

Dramaturg: Melánia Miklós
Costume: Móni Béres / Puppet Design: Károly Hoffer
Ligth Design: Máté Vajda / Video: Gábor Karcsis
Production assistant: Réka Judit Kiss
Creative producer: Sylvia Huszár / Production manager: Anna Gáspár

Visual Design, Directed by Krisztián Gergye

Opening Night: 13/9/2015., Palace of Art, Festival Theatre, Budapest
Length of the performance: 70 min

“... life is nothing more than a pile of tangled threads. We are not able to see the most part of the skein and we are unable to trace the points where they meet. But everything is connected to everything and these threads relate every event to each other.”  (Translation from Afonso Cruz: The Doll of Kokoschka)


It's not the first time that Gloria Benedikt and Krisztián Gergye have worked together. In 2013, they presented their highly successful co-production, “egoegoego”, a performance inside the Egon Schiele exhibition at the Fine Arts Museum in Budapest. Their new performance provides a window to the time of Gustav Mahler, and takes you on the journey of a legendary love story through the early 20th century. The Austrian ballerina known to push dance beyond its traditional boundaries to connect with science and policy, and the Hungarian enfant terrible of contemporary dance take their topic once more from the legendary era of the turn of the century. They bridge today's contemporary art with the progressive spirit of pre-World War Europe.


The performance borrows its title from the Portuguese author Afonso Cruz’s book, The Doll of Kokoschka. However, where Afonso Cruz's iconic novel weaves fiction into the extravagant story of Oskar Kokoschka's life-sized doll of Alma Mahler, the dance production draws inspiration from the story itself.  Translation of the publisher's cover notes: "The painter Oskar Kokoschka was so smitten with his lover Alma Mahler that, when their relationship came to an end, he ordered a lifesized doll that captured every small detail of her. In an attachment to the letter he wrote to the puppet maker he provided a precise illustrated description, indicating even which wrinkles of the skin were absolutely essential. Kokoschka, who did not wish to hide his passion, took walks around the town with the doll and even took her to the opera. Then one day, he got bored of her, he threw a bottle of red wine at her head and tossed her in the trash.”


The production uses lifelike puppets, multiplying Kokoschka's gesture, and invites three emblematic figures of the 20th century onto the stage: the musical genius Mahler, the monumental painter Kokoschka and the Muse, the Femme Fatale, Alma Mahler. Written in the present, the story of the dancing dolls evokes the memory of a time in which the fictional world still had an influence on reality. Perhaps we are reminded of the last moments of the 20th century, when the concepts of romanticism, expressionism and love were still valid - and muses were still able to kiss.


2017 Hungarian National Dance Festival (Győr), Sarajevo Winter Festival (BIH)
2016 - HU Contemporary Dance Berlin (Germany), Thealter Festival, Szeged Old Synagoga, Köszeg Summer Fesztival



“It is not the first time that a dancer dances with an inanimate man-sized puppet. However, the way Gergye presents it in a "duette" in the second half of the performance is simply brilliant. I have never seen that an inanimate object would be in such a harmony with a human being, that it would be animated in such a credible way.”  Csaba Kútszegi (


„Gergye and Gloria Benedikt make for a heart-warming pair, Benedikt seems especially suitable for this performance – with her huge blue eyes and blond locks she resembles a doll with hair. The two of them are the real-life representations of the famous affair and in some scenes they look as if they were indeed conceived by the puppet characters. They dance lifelessly around the motionless puppets as if the dancers were the products of the puppets' imaginations and not the other way round. Here the living seem unreal, while the inanimate become parts of the material world.” Emese Tóth ( 

“The most intensive scene and at the same time the climax of the whole performance is when Krisztián Gergye  first resuscitates and after kills the puppet applying his masterful command of dancing skills. And comes the moment - as in the case of the best puppet performances it usually does - when the puppet comes to life and we can see two dancing people on the scene, fighting each other, causing pain and damage each to the other and in the end one of them destroys the other.” Lilla Turbuly (


„The performance also tells us why it is impossible to keep someone that we morbidly cling onto. This morbid clinging has nothing to do with the free and rampant feeling of love, the feeling that allows the other person to be themselves in the relationship. If possessiveness wins over true emotions, then nothing will ever be the same, then what we are left with is the mere caricature and duplication of our emotions. Kokoschka portrayed this indeed with a duplicate – this furthermore deepens the sense of hopelessness regarding the upcoming events. Krisztián Gergye also saw a certain beauty in this sickly love, the beauty of being so insanely in love that you end up not knowing how and why it all happened. Was it love or was it insanity? How does the mind and body reach to a state where it feels the need to obsessively guard and nurse such an ideal? The performance does not decipher Oskar Kokoschka – rather it decides to sit next to him, and to listen and accompany him into this peculiar world of ghosts.” Emese Tóth (

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