Danube Carnival Program, 8 – 17 June

  • 1 Jun 2018 8:59 AM
Danube Carnival Program, 8 – 17 June
Budapest hosts one of the most colourful cultural series of events of the Hungarian summer every June.

From the organisers: 

The Danube Carnival awaits you with a wide range of phenomenal and vivid folk and world music, traditional and contemporary dance shows and concerts in several venues around the capital city.

The “Prime Class” festival promises to provide the audience with long-lasting experience in different styles. For two decades, the prestigious Carnival has been delivering the best performers of many genres aiming to preserve the values and cultural heritage that are significant elements in community building.

The prestigious event series features hundreds of Hungarian and foreign artists among who close to 300 performer will hit the open-air stage in Margitsziget in the Gala concert.

The picturesque folklore heritage of the V4 countries will impress the audiences of the Visegrad Dance Carnival at Heroes’ Square. Spectacular scenes performed by the best Hungarian dance troupes will make the experience unforgettable.

It is Heroes’ Square, too, where Emir Kusturica and The No Smoking Orchestra will await you with a virtuoso and breathtaking concert.

We invite You to join the hundreds of Hungarian and foreign dancers and musicians engaged in tradition and innovation, style and smile."


Detailed program:

June 8-17, 4 – 8 pm 

Ybl Miklós square – Lánchíd Street
1013 Budapest, Lánchíd utca

Open air concerts, folk bands, world music, Hungarian and foreign dance ensembles, children and youth dance groups, ethnic traditional dance and music ensembles.

Dance Houses

Traditional folk art exhibition and fair: potter, ceramist, leatherworker, jeweller, felt-making, book binder, enamel maker, weaving, gingerbread maker

Organised by the Folk Art Association

June 9, Saturday - 4 pm - Hungarikums in Folk Art

Sárköz – Bartina Folkdance Association, Szekszárd

Kalocsa – Kalocsa Bokréta Folk Art Association

Matyóföld – Matyó Folk Art Association, Mezőkövesd

June 10, Sunday - 3 pm - Carnival Parade

In the heart of Budapest hundreds of participants will celebrate the Carnival. Hungarian, ethnic, and foreign participants, dance and music groups, brass bands join the parade marching from Saint Stephen’s Square through Zrínyi Street, Széchenyi Square, and from March 15th Square trough Váci Street, Vörösmarty Square, and the Chain Bridge to the Lánchíd Street, Castle Garden.

June 10, Sunday - 4 pm - Carnival Greeting – Dance Gala

With Hungarian, ethnic and international dance and music groups

Dance House


Castle Garden
1013 Budapest, Ybl Miklós tér 4.

Concerts in the Foundry Courtyard

June 10, Sunday - 8pm - Love of All

CD release

István Pál „Szalonna” and his Band, György Ferenczi and the 1st Rackas from Pest

Stunning fusion of adapted Hungarian folk music, Petőfi’s verses and the tunes of the Woodstock Rock’n Roll revolution. Guest musician will join the unparalleled concert to heighten the exceptional musical experience.

June 12, Tuesday - 8pm - World Carnival 1

Foreign guest ensembles:
EL.KE.LA.M. Dance Ensemble, Athens, Greece
Akragas Folk Dance Ensemble, Agrigento, Italy
Cidam MiPeru Dance Ensemble, Peru
Sakarya University Dance Ensemble, Turkey

Dance House

June 13, Wednesday - 8pm - World Carnival 2

Foreign guest ensembles:
GAYTAN Folk Dance Ensemble, Petrich, Bulgaria
Nikola Vapcarov Folk Dance Ensemble, Skopje, Macedonia
Buduncost Folk Dance Ensemble, Belgrade, Serbia

Dance House

June 14, Thursday - 8pm - Bittersweet

This "Transylvanian Anthology" of the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble aims to point out the relevance and significance of our traditional culture in present-day life. This dramatic dance show interprets folklore in a contemporary manner and mixes it boldly with modern dramatic forms.

The authors wish this lyrical performance to be a brief but rich summary of the immense Transylvanian folk dance and folk music treasury. "Bittersweet" is a drama of contrasts: it counterpoints the tragic and the comic, the joy and the sorrow, life and death, facing the audience with the questions of how to maintain our hereditary values further, in an increasingly globalizing society.

The show seeks an answer to the eternal dilemmas of leaving our homeland and our past behind without entirely losing it; it seeks a means of preserving our native cultural community that would in turn preserve us in the Babel-like multiplicity of 21st century life.

Hungarian State Folk Ensemble

Music editor: László Kelemen
Choreographers: Zoltán Farkas „Batyu", Gábor Mihályi, Orza Calin
Costume designer: Rita Furik
Lights/stage design: Gerzson Péter Kovács
Director - choreographer: Gábor Mihályi


Budafok Wine City, Záborszky Cellar
1222 Budapest, Nagytétényi út 24-26.

June 11, Monday - 3 pm - Wine City Carnival

International Dance and Music spectacles in the Wine Museum with the guest ensembles of the Carnival.

Entrance with registration: info@borvaros.hu


1033 Budapest, Fő tér 1.

June 11, Monday - 8 pm - International dance house in the Kobuci Garden

Enjoy dancing together with the international groups in a carnival atmosphere



Mátyásföld – Erzsébetliget Theatre
1165 Budapest, Hunyadvár utca 43/C

June 14, Thursday - 6 pm -  8th Chain Bridge -  International Folk Dance Competition

Being the noble rivalry of the participating foreign guest ensembles, the primary objective of the competition to enhance the intercultural dialogue and to inspire new productions by presenting the most significant national and regional cultural achievements and trends at the highest artistic level. The competition emphasises the mutual presence of tradition and modernity, creativity and innovation.

Our aim is to make the choreographic views adapting traditional and authentic folk material successfully in the third Millennium and strengthen its acknowledged position on the dance art stages.

International jury evaluates the ensembles and awards the Gold, Silver and Bronze Chain Bridge Prizes and further awards.

The keynote of the evaluation is the equality between the authentic or historic dances, the dance theatre pieces or folk-contemporary adaptations. High priority is given to the productions which suit best the requirements of its own category.  The time limit of the productions is ten minutes.

Golden Chain Bridge
Silver Chain Bridge 
Bronze Chain Bridge 

Special Prizes:

Mária Zórándi Memorial prize for outstanding soloists

In memory of the rector of the Hungarian Dance Academy, the jury member, main patron of the competition

Audience prize

Heroes’ Square
1146 Budapest

June 15, Friday - 8.30 pm - Emir Kusturica and The No Smoking Orchestra

Emir Kusturica’s name, his cult movies  – including the Black Cat, White Cat, and the Time of the Gypsies – ring a bell all over the world recalling the determinate melodies of his soundtracks.

Adding virtuoso musicians to Kusturica’s larger than life personality, the performance reaches unprecedented heights when mixing ethno and punk rock styles.

The incredible concert features the songs of the new CD, the Corps Diplomatique as well.

Opening Bands: István Pál “Szalonna” and his Band, Kolo Band

In honour of Emir Kusturica the joint orchestra is offering an exceptional musical experience. They merge the authentic Hungarian and Southern Slavic folk music in an innovative adaptation.

At the unparalleled concert, as many as almost twenty musicians will evoke some of the treasures of this folk music.

Besides the music, we can enjoy Antal Kricskovics’ stunning choreography presented by the Tököl Dance Ensemble.

June 17, Sunday - 7.30 pm - Visegrad Dance Carnival

International dance theatre co-production

Visegrad Dance Carnival is an original full-night dance theater show involving performers from the V4 countries.  Czech, Polish, Slovakian and Hungarian artists cooperate to present their folklore heritage in honor of the current Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Group.

The show is a great feast of music and dance in a creative adaptation of the authentic traditions. The cultural diversities and regional colours of the four nations are harmonised in an original artistic composition never-seen-before on folk stages.

The exceptional atmosphere of the joint performance in the mass scenes is decorated by virtuosi solos, wondrous national costumes and finely chiselled musical accompaniment. Dynamic, rhythmic and stylistic variations add to the spirit of the heartwarming spectacle.


Duna Art Ensemble, Hungarian State Folk Ensemble
Dance Ensemble of the Marie Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland
Technik Dance Ensemble, Bratislava, Slovakia
Cifra Folk Dance Ensemble, Czech Republic
Bartina, Bem, Bihari Dance Ensembles
Csömör, Maglód, Püspökhatvan Traditional Dance Ensembles
Alba Regia – Pulutyka, Angyalföldi Vadrózsa, Bartina, Bem, Pannónia, Szentendre children and youth dance groups
Host of the night: István Berecz
Choreographers: Zsolt Juhász, Gábor Mihályi
Music leaders: István Pál „Szalonna”, Zoltán Dulai
Director: János Mucsi


 Margaret Island Open-Air Stage 
1700 Budapest, Margitsziget

June 16, Saturday - 8 pm -  Danube Carnival Gala

I. World Carnival

Spectacular carnival of nations with more than two hundred foreign dancers and musicians engaged in tradition and innovation, style and smile.

Invited countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Macedonia, Italy, Peru, Transylvania – Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, Turkey

II. Our Love, Kalotaszeg

The show is an overwhelming feast of Hungarian, Romanian and Gypsy folk traditions from Kalotaszeg, Transylvania, featuring Hungarian dance and music art troupes.

The piece seeks to pass on the living and renewable heritage in a creative adaptation.


Duna Art Ensemble
Hungarian State Folk Ensemble
Hargita National Székely Folk Ensemble, Miercurea Ciuc
Bartina Dance Ensemble, Szekszárd
Bem Dance Ensemble
Bihari Dance Ensemble
Music: Andrea Navratil, Zoltán Dulai, László Kelemen, István Pál „Szalonna”
Dance teachers: Ádám Gyémánt, Lívia Gyémánt-Csontos
Choreographers: Zsolt Juhász, Enikő Kocsis, Dezső Fitos, Gábor Mihályi
Director: Zsolt Juhász
Director of the night: János Mucsi


Tel.: +36 (1) 266 0000  / M-F 9 AM – 8 PM
Libri Bookshops

Further info:  Duna Art Company

Organiser: Duna Art Company - International Multicultural Foundation
Founding President: József Lajtár Major-General
Festival Director: János Mucsi
Host of the Event: István Berecz
Programme Director: Andrea Vincze
Cultural Manager: Niké Tettamanti
Organizers: Péter Barna, Borbála Pribay, Alexandra Deák, Marianna Kolozsvári
Chief Co-organizer: Esztrád Theatre


Fonó Buda Music House, Duna Palace, Heritage House, Erzsébetliget Theatre, Federation of Hungarian Folklore Festivals, Disaster Management Directorate, Budafok Wine City – Palace Catering

Programs and performers are subject to change

Editor-in-chief: János Mucsi
Graphic design: Krisztina Bauko
Photo: Tamás Végh, Gábor Dusa

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