The Central Europe Dance Theatre is the legal successor of the organisation, which started work in 1978, led by Katalin Györgyfalvay, and was founded by the Hungarian Ministry of Culture. The theatre was formed in the Castle Theatre (Várszínház) as a branch of the Folktheatre (Népszínház). The Folktheatre was just created from the reunion of the 25th Theatre and the Déryné Theatre. The Folktheatre Dance Company represented a specific place in the national danceart. The company’s artistic work was based on folklore, but their endeavour approached the modern. The character of the repertoir was determined by the work ok Katalin Györgyfalvay, but also many invited choreographers worked for the company. (Károly Szigeti, Lajos Molnár, István Orsovszky, József Bognár, György Hidas)
In 1988 Katalin Györgyfalvay retired and the Dance Company of Folktheatre was entered on by Csaba Szögi and István Énekes. They worked together from 1980 with the Vasas Dance Theatre of Dunaújváros, where they worked to create a new form of dancing.
In 1989 the company was renamed by them; it became Central Europe Dance Theatre (CEDT) /Közép-Európa Táncszínház (KET)/, which had been functioning as the faculty of Folktheatre till 1991, then as that of Chamber Theatre (Budapesti Kamaraszínház) till 1996. Since 1997 it has been operating as a co-operative association.
In the last 14 years they performed 41 new productions and 28 contemporary artists could get the opportunity to create artistic pieces. Those who are interested in folk dance and who wanted to realise it in the field of contemporary dance-theatre got a chance to do so.
The beginning of KET (1988-1992) was determined by the art leader IstvánÉnekes, and by the authors of the Workshop of Dunaújváros (József Bognár, József Janek, Elemér Szûcs, Csaba Szögi) and differently thinking folkdance choreographers (István Mosóczi, Gábor Mihályi, István Jóna).
In 1993 the artistic profile was directed by the ensemble’s art council, who invited performers. (Tamás Juronics, Csaba Sebestyén, Miklós Köllõ)
They were followed (1994-1996) by the art leader Miklós Köllõ, who gave the opportunity for creation for talented young people as well. (Yvette Bozsik, Ildikó Mándy, Attila Egerházi)
On December 31 1996 the Ministry of Education separated the Central Europe Dance Theatre from the Chamber Theatre which ended the regular financial support. With this they also lost the venues of the performances.
In 1997 Csaba Szögi with 15 member of the CEDT founded the Central Europe Dance Theatre Association, which is supported by grants and it takes place in the BETHLEN Contemporary Dance Workshop.
Between 1997-1999 Csaba Szögi was both director and art leader, taking into account the essential characteristics of CEDT’s pre-history: experimentation, the search for creative people with ’original’ (dance) theatrical ideas, the help of their progress. (Éva Magyar, Éva Molnár-Ádám Horgas, Zoltán Nagy, Ákos Hargitai, Zoltán Dani, Péter Rogácsi, Miklós Köllõ, István Énekes, Csaba Horváth)
Since 2000 Csaba Horváth has been the art leader of the ensemble. The choreographer, who has been creating a remarkable profile, is both interested in the performance of his own works, as well as the masterpieces of artists with similar interests. (Béla Pintér, István Somogyi, István Énekes)
The Central Europe Dance Theatre is a contemporary theatre based on traditional roots. In our performaces we would like to emphasise the importance of traditions, rituality and to display authentically the depth of folklore. In our works take place archaic motifs as well as contemporary dance effects.
The Central Europe Dance Theatre’s aim is to create contemporary performances on the cultural heritage of Carpathian-basin and also opened for choreographers who are capable to work in the same way. We are searching for artists who concentrate on archaic cultures and create their works in an inventory, courageous and individually expressive way.
Our conception is not just to perform our pieces physically of a high level. Dancing is the ancient art. We believe that dancing is not just to tell a story. It has to give a complex experience for the noble regions of the senses.
The theatre season of 2006-2007 was the beginning of a new era for the company. CEDT still undertakes the task of being open to experiments. This year young and talented choreographers, who have become famous for their suggestive performances in the past few years, were given the opportunity to deepen and intensify their already characteristic voice. Invited choreogpahers: Krisztián Gergye, Éva Duda, József Hámor, MelindaVirág, Gábor Katona, Anna Réti, Klári Pataky and Zsuzsa Jónás.
Since September 2013 Kun Attila is the new artistic director of the company.