Biography of Gedeon Dienes, Dr.

Magyar nyelvű önéletrajzhoz kattintson ide!

Born in Budapest, 16 December 1914. Lived as a child for a short time in Austria and a little longer in France. Coming back to Hungary with his mother Valeria and younger-brother Zoltan he spent his youth in Budapest. While dancing in his mother’s school of modern dance – called “School of Orchestics” – he graduated in French and Hungarian linguistics and literature (Budapest University,1939). Later he got a degree in law (Pécs University, 1948) too. During the war he served in the Hungarian army on the Russian front-line but lucky enough he survived. During the time of the nazi occupation he worked with the Swedish Red Cross to rescue jews and after the end of the war he was awarded with the Freedom medal (Szabadság érdemérem, bronz 1946). By that time he spoke English, French, German, Swedish, Italian and Russian. So he became a secretary at the Foreign Office and soon was sent with the foreign minister to Paris to the peace conference. Here he bitterly realized that Hungary – as a looser of the war – must accept without reservation all the conditions of the treaty. This he put down in his diary too. He worked in the Foreign Office for a few years but as he didn’t want to join the Communist Party and because he married a nice and young university student (Marianna Németh) whose father was a farmer and a landowner – which was a bad class background during the communist regime – he was sent out (down?) from Foreign Office.

In the 1960’s he worked in the Publishing House of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences as a translator and editor, later at the Institute for International Cultural Relations (head of dept. 1964-1973), Institute for Cultural Research (head of the library, and special scientific advisor, 1973-1991). At this time he joined the work of Unesco. He represented Hungary in various Unesco Projects, incl. “European Cultural Data Bank” between 1977 and 1982 when, commissioned by Unesco, published relevant working documents and final reports with a detailed introduction. He took an active part in the Unesco Project “Framework of Cultural Statistics” for another five years contributing working papers on scores of occasions. During these decades- beside official work – he took part in the reviving cultural life of the country too. With his mother’s background, his studies and practice in dance he was very much interested in ballet and dance generally. He wrote several hundred critiques and got in touch with Russian and English ballet world. During these years he contributed to nine (dance) encyclopaedias (Russian, English, Italian, American, Hungarian, French), author of hundreds of articles and studies. He became member of juries of international ballet competitions (Varna, Houlgate, Osaka, Moscow, Novosibirsk) and juries of video dance competitions (Nîmes, Sète, Stockholm, Paris – 1988-1999). Specialized in dance history and theory, lectured at UCLA, Riverside (USA) in l987, at the Essen Conference on dance scholarship in l988, in Universita della Danza in Turin (l99l) etc. Knowing Swedish too worked and compiled a paper on Isadora Duncan’s performances in Sweden (1989).

Under his influence a company (The Hungarian Art of movement Company earlier named One more Movement Theatre)was founded in 1995 in Budapest, which draws upon the Hungarian modern dance traditions, mingled with a contemporary way of individual thinking. They are the authentic representatives of the almost hundred-year-old modern dance traditions of Hungary (usually referred to as “art of movement”). They revived some plays of this movement from the years of 1920-30s, among them a piece of Valeria Dienes titled “Dawning” (Sometimes translated “Supplication” 2001). Gedeon Dienes, who had danced in the 20th and 30th in several of his mother’s plays appeared with this company on stage in 2004 – which play was choreographed in a modern style especially for his 90th birthday titled “Barefoot”. During his last years he compiled a Hungarian dance encyclopedia giving a detailed picture of Hungarian dance-world from 1975 on. His wife is looking for funds. D.P. Dienes died on 1 October 2005.