Szigetvári József reacts to Margittai Gábor’s critical review of the Néptáncantologia (anthology of folk dance choreographies) held in Budapest in January at the Erkel Theatre. Margittai’s review appeared in the newspaper „Magyar Nemzet” on January 27th. The event in question, is a yearly event, a showcase of some of the best amateur folk dance choreographies of the previous year. Szigetvári thinks that Margittai’s review was „neither critique, nor professional opinion. What appeared in the newspaper was concentrated maliciousness and bitterness...” While Szigetvári applauds the writing of... „Maácz László was the last dance reviewer... ....he didn’t hate folk dance, his work was spiced with his wry humour, he wrote about every dance event. It often two articles appeared on one event – one for the „Táncművészet” (the professional dance magazine) and at the same time one for the national newspapers which he changed so that someone who had never seen folk dance before, would run out and buy a ticket to the next performance... The task is different for the outside world...articles must be written that inspire interest, the „beauty value” must be called to the reader’s attention.” Szigetvári says that the professional analysis should be in the „Táncművészet” for the professionals to read while also saying that amateur folk dance should not be criticised, it should be understood, praised and nurtured.
The dance celebration Margittai Gábor’s critique of the Folk Dance Anthology 2002, a scathing review, in general bashing the state of amatuer Hungarian folk dance choreography and performance, with marginal praise deposited on three groups: a group from Kesckemét, a choreography of dances from Tardoskedd, and a choreography performed by the Ilosvai Selymes Péter Folk Dance Group. Printed in „Magyar Nemzet” January 27th, 2002
Semana Santa (Saint week). Easter in Spain’s Andalusian region. In the spring of 2000 ethnographic reseacher Gulyas Anna and photographer Molnár Zoltán were in Seville and also in a village called Setenil de las Bodegas at Easter time for this week long religious celebration which involves many, many religious processions by various groups of brotherhoods all carrying statues of saints and wearing costumes, some of the processions are done silently, some in the dark, some of the people process on their knees. Most inhabitiants participate in some way in these events.
The Hungarian National Cultural Heritage Ministery announces the application process for 2003 Young Master of Folk Arts. The conditions for application in all categories of Hungarian folk arts are detailed here. Applications must be submitted by April 30th, 2003 to the Hungarian Heritage House – Folk Arts Workshop at Corvin tér in Budapest. Applications are evaluated and awards will be presented on August 20th, 2003. This is a state recognized title.
In Memory of Pesovár Ferenc – born April 23rd, 1930 in the town of Herend. He recieved his diploma for museology and ethnography from Eötvös Loránd University in 1955. He danced profressionally in the Hónvéd Ensemble. From 1957 until his death he was head of the department of ethnography and museology at the István Király Museum in Székesfehérvár. Marking the 20th anniversary of the death of Pesovár Ferenc – the Alba Régia Dance Association of Székesfehérvár has published a book entitled (The shepherd looks for his sheep. Folk dances of Fejér County.) A collection of Pesovár’s earlier studies and articles gathered and prepared for this publication by his colleagues and friends. By Lukács László
New Publication: Abkarovits Endre: (Dance house portraits) This book is a collection of interviews with key persons involved in the dance house movement. After 30 years, very few Hungarians have documented the movement in any way – the movement itself has been busy documenting, learning and preserving the rural dance and music traditions. Some of the interviews have appeared in the FolkMAGazin, some in other periodicals. This book makes a significant contribution of written information about the dance house movement. In Hungarian. Published by Hagyománok Háza. Budapest, 2003. Page 14
Kilenc Kiss Ferenc (9 Kiss Ferenc-s) – A portrait film about musician Kiss Ferenc. An Etnofon Folk Music production. Printed here are excerpts from the script of the film under headings: signs of wandering, origins, patience, religion, betrayal, aurochs, equipment for survival, national feeling, ending. Writer/music composition – Kiss Ferenc Director: Kálmár András, Producer: Novák Péter
The Muzsikás Ensemble with Sebestyén Márta and the Pro Musica Women’s Choir from Nyíregyháza will be performing at the Budapest Music Academy on April 5th, 2003. „We have a dream...of having the opportunity to share with our audience what it is that traditional music and Kodály and Bartók’s music means to us.... ....we have started a ten year program at the Music Academy to present various sides of their life works. In 1999 violinist Alexander Balanescu, in 2000 celloist Roel Dieltiens, in 2001 pianist Jandó Jenő, in 2002 the Keller string quartet performed in these concerts and now with the Pro Musicsa Womens Choir.... works of Kodály and Bartók will be performed with Muzsikás performing the traditional tunes that form the basis for those works.”
Conversation with Timár Sándor and Suzuki Jin San. Timár Sándor’s relationship with Japan began in 1978. Since then he has been invited to Japan 44 times to teach Hungarian dance. Suzuki Jin San met Timár in Japan in 1998. Now he has settled in Hungary and dances in the Timár Chamber Ensemble. Also mentioned herein is Timár’s book and video about his dance teaching method; „Néptáncnyelven” (in the language of folk dance), which is now being translated into Japanese. By Hollókői Lajos
Căluş – A Romanian men’s dance ritual done at Pentecost. At the 16th Solo Dance Competition in Békéscsaba the calus dance was danced by competitors as the elective – or freely selected – dance. Ónodi Béla who has been to Romania several times documenting this dance custom in both traditional and stage settings has comments here about how this dance was used at the solo dance festival and preservation of this tradition.
The Solo Dance Competition in Békéscsaba. Attila has two main comments here. First, any band accompanying the dancers should be able to play the music for the compulsory dances at a higher level of proficiency, and that ideally more than one band should be hired. Second, that in the freely chosen dance category, most of the competitors danced little choreographies, even though the rules of the competition call for improvisation. Out of some 45 competitors, only 6 or 7 of them were actually improvised. By Tompa Attila
Listing of awards for the 16th National Solo Dance Competition/Festival. Held in Békéscsaba in Eastern Hungary on January 11, 2003. Jury members were: dr. Felföldi László, Németh Ildikó, Lévai Péter, Szűcs Gábor and Hortobágyi Gyöngyvér
Kárpátia Band. Moldváhon I. Vásár. Moldavian music. A short description of their musical inspirations and directions. „Repetition and imitation – though without a doubt, is the first phase of learning – in and of itself, it doesn’t serve to build up our music. This can be done only through continuously demanding a deeper understanding and professional knowledge. This is the goal of Kárpátia as a city band... ...in the mid 1700’s historian Dimitrie Cantemir said „When considering the size of the province of Moldavia, it is hard to believe that so many peoples different from one another could live as they do there. Next to the Moldavians, are Greeks, Albanians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Poles, Kozaks, Russians, Hungarians, Germans, Armenians, Jews, and many-childrened Gypsies...".„
Gázsa’s New CD (From Budapest to Kommando). Papp István „Gázsa” plays music from many regions, including music from the village of Kürt (Strekov –in Slovakia) and Kommando (a special village in Southeastern Transylvania) with his band and many more of his musician friends. See article in Hungarian for listing music and musicians on the recording.
New CD: Régi Jók Erdelyből (Old dances from Transylvania). A selection of Bodó-Bán János’ field recordings of traditional musicians from six different regions in Transylvania – recorded over a 15 year period.
New CD The Bekecs Ensemble – Music from the Maros region of Transylvania. This band has been collecting tunes in this region for 20 years. See announcement in Hungarian for contact info.
Hungarian Folk Costume video series – Part 2. Costumes of Hosszúhetény, Méra, Rábaköz. Produced by Konkám Studio with the Muharay Elemér Association.
New CD. In memory of the village bands of Gömör-Kishont County. Music of the Gömör region – in the northern part of the Hungarian language area – today located in Southcentral Slovakia. See announcement in Hungarian for listing of musicians on the recording. Released by Vitus Kht, distributed by Fonó records
Recommendation – two CDs by the Szeredás Ensemble „Ten steps” is a selction of Transylvanian music, while „Hungarian Calendar” is a childrens record. By Darmos István
Méta Ensemble is 20 years old. Interview with Salamon Beáta, lead fiddler. Méta is one of Budapest’s revival bands. For many years they had a dance house every Sunday on Somogyi utca in Budapest’s 8th district. Presently members of the band play for the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble. They have released a new CD of new recordings of their all-time favorite tunes. They are planning a concert tour of 19 counties. Members of the band are: Salamon Beáta – lead fiddle, Gera Attila – clarinet and other flutes, Nagy Zsolt – viola, Mohácsy Bertalan – double bass, Porteleki Zoltán – cymbalom. Guest singer: Németh Ferenc. By Abkarovits Endre
"Szentes” Varga Ferenc – traditional dancer born in 1919 in the village of Szany in Western Hungary’s Győr-Moson-Sopron County. Varga Ferenc was awarded the title of Master of Folk Arts in 1980. Dances from this village are: Dús, broom dance, csárdás and verbung. He danced in Budapest the first time in 1931 as part of the Saint Stephen’s day Gyöngyösbokréta (Pearly Bouquet) performances. Films of him dancing are in the film archive of the Hungarian Institute of Musicology – archive numbers are listed in the article in Hungarian. By Busai Norbert
New Publication: Martin György – (The music of the Gypsy stick dance) Published by the Institute of Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Heritage House. Budapest. 2003. 428 pages. Edited by Koválcsik Katalin and Kubínyi Zsuzsa. Accompanying CD has music selected by Kubínyi Zsuzsa and Németh István. Publication includes some English and English version is in the works. Prepared for publication by Martin’s colleagues and students upon the 20th anniversary of his death, this volume contains Martin’s unfinished monographic work from his estate. By Karácsonyi Zoltán
Beszprémy Katalin’s speech to open an exhibition of folk crafts made by craftsmen and students of the Kresz Mária Foundation Potters Center at the Cultural Center in the village of Zsámbék. The exhibition opened on March 4, 2003 and will close on April 6, 2003. The Kresz Mária Foundation is dedicated to preserving and upholding Hungarian traditional crafts.
Toy museum – Kecskemét, Hungary. The Szórakaténusz Hungarian Traditional Toy Museum and Workshop was founded in 1981 and today has a collection of over 15,000 objects. This is an announcement for the museum’s new permanent exhibition. See article in Hungarian for contact information.
A dream realized – Halmos Béla talks about the formation and present status of the Dance House Archive Located in at the Hungarian Heritage House at Corvin tér in Budapest, the idea for the Dance House Archive idea came about in the process of organizing an exhibition of dance house documentation for an event in 1997 celebrating 25 years since the first dance house was held in Budapest. Now working as a part of the Lajtha László Workshop (within the Hungarian Heritage House), the Dance House Archive has set up the necessary database and are in the process of organizing the materials collected to date. Audio and video materials have been handed over to the public collection and audio-video services department of the Lajtha Workshop. K. Tóth László
"Mátyáskám". Kóka Rózália has orgnaized a new and improved second printing of her collection of folk tales about the Hungarian King Mátyás – the 560th anniversary of his birth was on February 23, 2003. The new volume includes the tale of the „magic dove".
Hegedűs Péter, one of the managers of the Budavári Fortuna Restaurant. discusses Hungarian gastronomy and globalization and what needs to be done in order for Hungarian gastronomy to regain its former glory. After 50 years of communism which caused a decline in Hungarian food culture, now historical research needs to be done to figure out what people were eating before and rediscover the Hungarian kitchen, while also paying careful attention to quality of ingredients, Hungarian wines and considering the tastes of people in today’s world. K. Tóth László
Listing of the results and a few comments on the 6th National Molnár István Choreography Forum held on March 9, 2003 at „FMH” in Budapest. Both traditional and thematic choreographies danced by both adult and children’s ensembles were presented. Names of the choreographers were kept secret from both the members of the jury and audience until awards were presented. 1st prize: Szávai József: Dravamenti wedding. 2nd prize: Nagy Myrtill – Konkoly László: Tardoskedd dances. 3rd prize – Furik Rita’s choreography danced by the Mecsek Dance Ensemble. The Molnár Choreography forum is organized by the Budapest Cultural Center (’BMK’).
Should distribution of traditional music be limited? This is a discussion of whether or not original field recordings of traditional singers or musicians done for research purposes, should be distributed to a wider public. Németh says, amongst other things, that the performer should be asked whether or not they agree to this. He also makes the point that anyone interested in original recordings should first of all familiarize themselves with the existing recordings. Any center or institution should invest in those recordings already existing and develop a system for accessing the information and music on them. The 11 basic recordings and series already available to the public are listed in the article in Hungarian. By Németh István of the Hungarian Institute of Musicology
Use of the notion of the „étude” in teaching folk dance. In this article the author discusses a method of teaching dance that makes use of „the étude – a movement piece written for technique development". It is important that the étude should not be boring. Its function is for practice and for teaching the material – not for performance. The étude is a short combination of movement that can be repeated and that can be made into a longer movement progression. In dance learning and teaching the étude aids practice of the movments themselves, while also promoting evaluation of movements and groups of movements. Sziláygi Zsolt and Nagy István are quoted in this article by Kovács Henrik.
Photo exhibition – opened December 2002. On the life, activities and performances of the Hargita National Székely Folk Ensemble of Csíkszereda (Miercurea Cuic) in Transylvania, Romania. Sponsors of this professional Hungarian ensemble and realization of the photo exhibition are: City of Csíkszereda, Hungarian National Cultural Fund Program, Hungarian Collegium, RI Design, András Foundation. Report by András Mihály
Reports on three events: 4th Dance House Festival at the ’Tanulok Háza’ in Temesvár (in Romania) on December 7th, 2002. Szentendre Dance Ensemble’s performance on December 22nd; choreographers: Fitos Dezső and Kocsis Enikő. Pipacsok Folk Dance Ensemble’s performance at the Budai Vigadó on December 19th. The ensemble is from the town of Székelykeresztúr. Reports by Záhonyi András
The Alliance of Folk Crafts Associations „NESZ” celebrated its 20th birthday at an event on February 1st, 2003 at „FMH” in Budapest. There was a potluck of traditional foods prepared by members, exhibition of photographs and crafts, with dance house provided through cooperation with the Martin György Folk Dance Association and the Dance House Association. „NESZ” organizes many folk crafts events and workshops, as well as two main events every year: The Folk Crafts Festival and Market held every year in the Castle Hill area of Budapest on August 20th and the Whitsuntide Festival held every year since 1996 at the village museum in Szentendre.
Szék Days. A dance camp in the village of Szék (in Transylvania) organized by local people. In 2002 the 3rd Szék Folk dance camp was held and organized by the Szék City Public Association. Participants may choose to stay in their own tents or with a family in Szék. Food for the camp is local cuisine prepared by cooks that usually cook for weddings. Dance in 2002 was taught by Szabó Szilárd and Németh Ildikó and Gémesi Zoltán and Sóskuti Edit. Folk costume demonstrations and other events are part of the camp program. The concept for the week long camp is for participants to become acquainted with local customs and traditions while learning the local dances. Next camp: 2003 August 17–24. Report by Kovács Flóra
Listing of 2003’s summer camps and workshops
Report on 7th Csángó Festival held on February 22, 2003 in Budapest at the Petőfi Csarnók organized by the Pro Minoritate Foundation. This event always totally packs the venue. There is a performance by both traditional and revival performers followed by dance house until morning. Traditional dancers, singers and musicians from various Csángó Hungarian villages in Moldavia and Gyimes are brought to Budapest for the event. By Abkarovits Endre
Report on Csángó Carnival at the Fonó Music Hall in Budapest. A series of balls were held at the Fonó this year starting with the Folk Dancers Ball in January, on February 1 there was the Balkan Ball, the Csángó Carnival was on February 8th and then on February 13th was the so-called „Klezmér Carnival". At least four revival bands played along with singer from Moldávia, Petrás Mária, at Csángó Carnival. By Csáfordi Magdolna
Apparantly at this year’s dance house festival (táncháztalálkozó) there was an open meeting with Hungarian journalist, Margittiai Gábor, who writes reviews on folk dance that are published in local newspapers. Szigetvári János has written a heated open letter to Margittai saying, amongst many other things, that he thinks the amateur public folk dance movement should be judged on different terms than professional folk dance in critical reviews. „I believe that whoever directs a professional group, should shoulder the weight, whether sweet or bitter. If he is brave enough to put his dances on stage, then he should be brave enough to bear the criticism published...” Szigetvári also thinks that Margittai lacks experience and insight and that his criticism does not aid the amateur folk dance movement.
"Vagabond” – a film about the life of the Budapest dance houses. Conversation with Szomjas György director of the film. Szomjas is a film director who has been involved in the dance house movement from the beginning. He has made other films about related subjects and for years directed an ongoing television series that documented the dance houses and festivals. With Halmos Béla, he made a series of documentary films on the traditional village musicians that served as the master teachers for the revival musicians. So Szomjas knew his subject matter for this film. This is a feature film that in some ways is also documentary – it was mainly filmed in real dance house situations with real personalities from the Budapest dance houses. „It was a special challenge – how to present the dance house as an existing phenomenon within a story framework.... I wanted to emphasize the fact that there is a passage, not an abyss between tradition and moderenity...” The film has been very well recieved at film festivals abroad and will premiere in Budapest in the fall. By K. Tóth László
"The Fonó” opened its doors in 1995 and has since then become one of Budapest’s most well-known venues for traditional music. Fonó Records is the related record label they established (locally at least – famous for releasing the „Final Hour” series on traditional Transylvanian village musicians and countless Hungarian folk and jazz recordings). The problem is that the Fonó finds itself on the brink of bankruptcy with many, many debts and unpaid bills. They would need 25 million forints to pull themselves out of the mess. There had been hope that ongoing support funding would be forthcoming from the State. In June, the Fonó recieved 14 million forints in emergency support funds from National Cultural Heritage Ministry and the Pro Cultura Urbis foundation. The questions are: Will the Fonó be able to pull itself out of the financial mess and continue its activities or not? Is there any hope that ongoing support funding will come through? Articles by K. Tóth László and Kiss Eszter Veronika (which was printed in Magyar Nemzet 2003 June 14.)
Listings of summer camps, workshops and festivals
Conference held at the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest on May 20th, 2003. Theme of the conference: „The role of folk tradition in 21st Century society” Conference host: Héra Éva. Conference organizers: Hungarian Heritage House, European Folkore Institute, CIOFF Hungary. In addition to many distinguished Hungarian folklorists, ethnographers, sociologists, there were guests and speakers in attendance from Israel, Norway, Finland, Great Britian, Canada. Report by H. Bathó Edit
Report on the 22nd National Dance House Festival and Folk Arts Market, held in Budapest on 2003 March 29–30 in the SAP Events Hall. Difficult to sum up this 2 day event in few words; Magdolna's report is three and half pages long. This year's Táncháztalálkozó was, as it always is, amazingly well attended and packed full of music, dance, folk crafts and party and people – both children and adults – already interested in, or curious about, the dance house movement and Hungarian folk tradition. By Csáfordi Magdolna
Three day folk festival in the town of Eger in March. Concerts and dance houses with some of the best dance house bands in Hungary. This festival was held for the first time in 2000. Report by Abkarovits Endre
A book of Gypsy folk tales has recently been published by the European Folklore Institute and L'Harmattan Kiadó. Title: A három muzsikus cigány (the three gypsy musicians). A selection of tales collected from Babos István, gypsy from the village of Babocsa in Somogy County, Hungary. Collected by Szuhay Péter. Publication edited by Fazekas Zsuzsa, 2003, Budapest. These tales were not children's tales, they are erotic folk tales told by adults to adults while in the military service or while doing communal work. They are printed here in Hungarian, in their uncensored form, striving to preserve the dialect. Report by Dala Sára.
Summerfest International Folklore Festival and Folk Arts Market August 12–21, 2003 in the towns of Szászhalombatta, Ráckéve, Tököl, HUNGARY (approximately 30–35 km south of Budapest). Participating countries: Australia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Phillippines, Indonesia, Yugoslavia, South-Korea, Poland, Mexiko, Germany, Turkey, Slovakia, Slovenia, Udmurtia, Vietnam, Hungary. For information call: Szigetvári József 36-23-358-973 See ad in Hungarian for email addresses.
Folkloriada 2004 to be held August 12–22, 2004. Hungary has been chosen to host this grand CIOFF international festival. The III. World Folkloriada. The main locations of the festival will be Pécs and Budapest, with events planned in many other Hungarian cities as well. 8 Hungarian organizations will be cosponsoring this huge event with 2500 offi cial guests. Two international conferences shall be held in conjunction with the festival. There were many reasons that the CIOFF international committee chose Hungary to host this festival – amongst the reasons were: Hungary's internationally recognized traditional music, dance and folklore researchers, the interesting interplay of many ethnic influences in the folk tradition of the Carpathian Basin and the role of the dance house movement in preserving and keeping this community culture alive.
8th National Children’s Solo Dance Competition – Szárvas. Held every two years, 500 children entered this year’s competition, 200 of which made it to the finals in Szarvas. The compulsory dance material to be performed were dances of the Bodrogköz region. The winners of the competition are listed, along with dance teaching awards. Report by organizers of the competition and Darmos István
Egerszeg Festival May 8–12, 2003 Zalaegerszeg (in Western Hungary) and Marosvasárhely (in Transylvania) are sister cities. Traditonal dancers and musicians from the region aound the Transylvanian city of Marosvásárhely are invited each year to this folk festival held in for the 8th time this year in Zalaegerszeg. Report by Záhonyi András
Dance festival in Nagyvárad (Oradea) on May 17, 2003 Th ere were also festivals in Érmihályfalva (Valea lui Mihai) and Szatmárnémeti (Satu Mare) on this weekend. All western Transylvanian towns along the Hungarian border – an area known as „Partium". Report by Záhonyi András
I remember Martin György By Falvay Károly In this long article Falvay, the dancer, choreographer, researcher recalls his friendship with Martin György, the well known Hungarian dance researcher, as well as his own active career. Here is an enormous amount of personal history and information about the world inside of professional and amateur folk dance and choreography and folk dance research in Hungary from 1947 to 1983.
New CD: Potta Géza – a Gypsy fiddler ("prímás") born in 1933 in the village of Abaújszina (Sena) located in Eastern Slovakia. He has been playing music since he was 5 years old and learned to play from the older generation of Gypsy fiddlers. The recording presents a representative sampling of his repertoire – including both traditional old and new style Hungarian folk tunes and composed tunes (Hungarian Nóta) as well as two Slovak tunes from the region and modern popular tunes. The recording has been produced and released by Ifjú Szívek Dance Ensemble and FolkEurópa. Recommendation by Árendás Péter
Takács András remembers the foundation of the „Népes” (Czechoslovakian Hungarian Folk Ensemble) in 1953. Takács was named the first dance director and choreographer of this prefessional dance group. They used material from areas of present day Slovakia inhabited by Hungarians. In this article Takács off ers history of the formation of the group and its activities until 1957.
The Sültü Band is a revival band that plays Hungarian Moldavian and Gyimes Csángó music. The band was formed at the beginning of the 1990’s. All members of the band are award winning amateur folk musicians. They perform often, have been working on establishing a „club” night where they will be able to play regularly and would like to record their own CD. Report by K. Tóth László
Soós János: – Serf 's journal – two stories about buffalo herders in Szék.
Conversation with Papp István Gázsa – director of the Budapest Dance Ensemble's band, leader of the Gázsa Band. Gázsa is from Transylvania, he got involved in the dance house movement in Kolozsvár (Cluj) in 1977. He now lives in Hungary. Interview by Rostás-Péter Emese
Kürti László's tribute to the life and work of Szomjas-Schiff ert György the 93 year old Hungarian ethnomusicologist. Szomjas– Schiffert's active and prolific career has included amongst many other things, extensive collection of folk music and folklore of the Kiskunság region and the area between the Tisza and Danube rivers. Recently Szomjas-Schiffert has completed a three part historical drama, which „is not only a drama, but a postmodern passion play".
The Hajdu Dance Ensemble Debrecen celebrates its 50th anniversary. Article by Krakkó Ákos
Folk Dance festival for pre-school aged children – the Pintyőke Festival – held in Nagykanizsa in Southwestern Hungary. At the last festival about ten groups arrived from all over Hungary and Slovenia to take part. In addition to performances by the groups, there were traditional handcrafts workshops available as well as an exhibition of handcrafts done by children from 7 different pre-schools. Report by Keppel Julianna
Csáfordi Magdolna 'he didn't belong to us. A gift. „God giveth, God taketh away, Praise be to God."
Kodoba Márton, April 1941– August 2003. Kodoba Márton was a traditional fiddler from the village of Magyarpalatka (Palatca) in the Mezőség region of Transylvania (in Romania). His father was a fiddler, most men in his family were and are musicians. He was a member of the reknowned „Palataka band” which played and plays regularly in villages all over the Mezőség area. Since the revolution of 1989, the Palatka band has also played regularly all over Hungary and has travelled to play in Slovakia, Austria, Germany and Holland. Countless recordings have been made of this band. This band has been one of the main examples for the dance house movement. He died after a tragic accident during a summer folk dance and music camp in Válaszút, Transylvania. „He was a wise person. Kindness and humanity radiated from him.... We have lost an irreplaceable man. There is no one whose playing could show us the strong, rugged Palaka music more beautifully” By Árendás Péter, Virágvölgyi Márta, Maruzsenszki Endre
In memory of Kodoba Márton – prímás fiddler of the reknowned Palatka Band. Soós János We all mourn the recent death of another member of this incomparable, irreplaceable band from the village of Magyarpalatka in the Mezoség region of Transylvania. (Kodoba died in Transylvania, Aug 2003) S.F.
Hauptmann Tamás supplies us with some impressions on Diószegi László's choreography called Balt-Orient which was performed this summer in Szeged. Th ere were 150 folk dancers along with at least three bands, various singers. This report indicates that there was, amongst other things, an element of parody on the Michael Flatley type show worked into the theme. The choreography seems to be a continuation of Diószegi's previous work called the Brashov Train Station as well as other work.
Interview with Diószegi László during rehearsals of his new choreography entitled „Balt-Orient” that was performed at the summer open air festival this year in Szeged. The chances for surviva of Hungarian culture, village society and peasant culture have been themes in Diószegi's work for some time. Other themes touched upon in the interview are whether or not this choreography could be considered as being „against the EU” and commentary on the „American entertainment industry recipe” of the big financing – big show style of the Michael Flatley Irish dance productions. By Hauptmann Tamás
Report on August 20th – Saint Steven's day celebration of folk music, dance and crafts at Millenáris Park in Budapest. By Záhonyi Ándrás
Könczei Árpád – dancer, choreographer, program producer at Duna TV in Budapest, composer from Transylvania (living in Budapest now for the last 10 years or so) on June 11, 2003 presented a program of his modern music compositions for classical instruments in Budapest's castle district. Könczei's wife Plugor Judit, dancer, teacher, mother of four children, began painting five years ago. This report indicates that this event probably also included an exhibition of her art work. Report by Záhonyi Ándrás
Eger – Folk Dance Festival. Held between August 21 and 24 this year with participation of 12 dance groups – 6 from Hungary and 6 from abroad. Report by Abkarovits Endre
A summer folk music camp for Hungarian children was held in Tótfalu, south of the Hungarian border in the area of Northern Serbia known as Vajdaság. 53 children from 13 villages in the area attended the camp to learn traditional Hungarian violin, zither and singing. The camp was organized by the Vass Lajos Folk Music Association and the Vajdaság Hungarian Educators Association. Report by Szabó Gabriella, organizer.
The „Szoboszló Folk Weekend” was held for the 8th time in the town of Hajduszoboszló – a town famous for its thermal bath resort on the Hungarian plain. This year a long list of bands, dance groups and master craftsmen were invited to participate in this five day event. In 2004, this event will be held from July 28 – Aug 1st. Report by Bálint Csilla
The Söndörgo Ensemble was founded 8 years ago with its goal as preservation, reviving, restating and presenting Hungarian southern Slav music in concert form. The Vujcsics Ensemble has been a huge influence on this group, both in terms of family ties and inspiring a love of folk music. They have recently formed the Söndörgo Association which helped to provide them with framework for organizing the 2nd Söndörgo Festival on August 17, 18, 2003 in the square next to the Preobrazsenszka Church in Szentendre. Report by Eredics Dávid
The 4th Hurdy-Gurdy and Bagpipe Camp was held from Aug. 21–25 at the youth camp on Csepel Island near Budapest. This year amongst the 43 participants was Pál István, traditional bagpiper from the village of Tereske in northern Hungary, who taught bagpipe, singing and shared many tales and stories. Announcement by Rónai Lajos
New Publication – Kocsán László: (Traditions of the Jászság Region) The region known as „the Jászság” is located some 60 km due east of Budapest. Kócsán László, a native of the region, has put together this book of information on traditions of the region; selected studies from many different publications. A good handbook. In Hungarian. Recommendation by Pálfy Gyula
Gácsi Miklós 1958–2003 Cultural manager at Almássy tér in the 90's, present and active often behind the scenes in the dance house movement, a friendly and well-known figure, died in August. Vitányi Iván Jr. of the Rece-Fice Ensemble writes a few words in honor of Gácsi's life and work.
Gácsi Miklós is dead. A few thoughts in his memory by musician Perger László.
Review of Herczku Ágnes' CD By Mohácsy Albert
Photo Gallery – Gypsies in Romania. Photographs by Molnár Zoltán, who recently had the opportunity to spend half a year in Romania with support from a photographic arts grant from the (Hungarian) National Cultural Foundation Program. This is not the first time his photos have been featured in FolkMAGazin.
New CD – Magony Ensemble. Kovács Ferenc – Magony strings „...our aim is to express the ancient, Hungarian emotions within us – in Hungarian..... forging together our classical, Gypsy and folk music traditions". Band members are: Kovács Ferenc, Budai Sándor, Olah Kálmán, Salamon Beáta, Novák Csaba, Németh Ferenc. Recommendations by H. Magyar Kornél (first published in „Gramophon". VIII. 2. 2003. Summer) and choreographer Kovács Gerzson Péter.
On August 20th every year, coinciding with the Hungarian national holiday – Saint Stephen’s day, the Tree of Life award, Master of Folk Arts and Young Master of Folk Arts awards are presented to outstanding Hungarian folk artists. Listed here are the 2003 award recipients. These are nationally recognized awards.
Periferic Records. Conversation with founder and owner Böszörményi Gergely – Part I. In dance house circles this record label is known for releasing recordings of traditional folk music by revival performers such as Sebestyén Márta, Dűvő Ensemble, Hungarian Hurdy-Gurdy Band, Kerekes Ensemble, Vándor Vokál, and the Bokros Ensemble; but this record company’s main focus has been world music, jazz, symphonic rock and other „progressive music". The owner of the company was born in the early 1950’s, son of a long line of Calvinist clergymen. He grew up in Hódmezővásárhely, learned English as a child, studied piano and french horn, went over from classical music to rock in around 1966, played in rock bands, became a DJ and worked at clubs all over Hungary for 12 years. He opened a record store in Budapest’s 9th district in 1983, eventually began importing rock records from Western Europe, opened another store in Budapest and also began producing records and organizing concerts. K.Tóth László
It has been 20 years since the death of Martin György, the brilliant Hungarian folk dance researcher and author of more than 150 publications, articles on folk dance. Tributes have been written here by his some of his students, colleagues; people who learned from him, worked with him and respected him greatly. A common theme, alongside of the great quantity of work he achieved, is Martin's amazing human awareness, kindness, capacity for connecting with people and his humbleness. Each person offers their own personal story of meeting and working with Martin, giving those of us not fortunate enough to have known him, a great deal of information on his work and insights into his personality. Felföldi László – director Dance Department, Institute of Musicology, Hungarian Academy of Science ; Karácsony Zoltán – archivist, folk dance researcher. Hungarian Heritage House; Szokéné Károlyi Annamária – archivist, documentalist. Dance Department, Institute of Musiciology at the Hungarian Academy of Science since 1970; Pálfy Gyula – folk dance researcher – Dance Department Institute of Musiciology, Hungarian Academy of Science; Takács András of Pozsony (Bratislava) Slovakia, remembers the fall of 1956 when he got to know Martin and how the time he spent with Martin during those 42 days in Budapest inspired and aff ected the rest of his career. Takács went on to become a key figure in folk dance research in Slovakia, particulary with reference to Hungarian communities there. Over the years, he corresponded with and often worked closely with Martin doing fi eld collection work in Slovakia (i.e „Mátyusföldi népi táncok").
When I met Martin György Takács András of Pozsony (Bratislava) Slovakia, remembers the fall of 1956 when he got to know Martin and how the time he spent with Martin during those 42 days in Budapest inspired and affected the rest of his career. Takács went on to become a key figure in folk dance research in Slovakia, particulary with reference to Hungarian communities there. Over the years, he corresponded with and often worked closely with Martin doing field collection work in Slovakia (i.e „Mátyusföldi népi táncok").
"Neti Sanyi” Fodor Sándor, traditional Kalotaszeg prímás (fiddler) is now over 80 years old. He lives in the village of Kisbács near the city of Kolozsvár (Cluj) in the Kalotaszeg region of Transylvania. He has spent his entire life playing fiddle, learned to play from relatives, has played on countless recordings, taught locally and abroad, been invited to play in a host of countries abroad, recipient of Hungarian national awards as outstanding upholder of folk tradition and is still actively playing his music. By Abkarovits Endre
Short portrait of Fekete János „Poncsa” – a traditional dancer born in 1927 in the village of Bogártelke (Bagara) in the Kalotaszeg region of Transylvania, where he lived his throughout his life. He spent his life doing the hard physical work necessary to survive in rural Transylvania. His grandfather and father were also excellent dancers. He lived down the road from the Gypsies (musicians), and so there were occaisions when he ended up at their place and even „stole” (dance) figures from them. His dignifi ed, energy filled legényes and csárdás dancing was documented both in his village and in Budapest many times by the Hungarian dance researchers. See list in the Hungarian article of fi lms in the archive at the Hungarian Academy of Science, Institute of Musicology. Fekete János „Poncsa” died on July 25, 2001. Article by Busai Norbert
List of Dance houses for 2003 – 2004 season. Please refer to list in Hungarian for dance houses to be held all over Hungary this season.
Soós János remembers Christmas, 2002. Soós is from Szék (Sic) in Transylvania. Now he now lives in Budapest. From thoughts on the 8 years his godfather spent in a Soviet prison camp to the traditional Bethlehem pagent plays – still alive in Szék– and celebrating St. Stephen's name day, Soós brings alive for us some of the most interesting customs along with some of the most difficult hardships that comprise the reality of life in Szék.
Report on the 2nd „Héttorony” Folk Music Festival held on November 14–16, in Budapest at the Marczibányi Square cultural center. Festival organized by Kiss Ferenc (musician, composer and director of the Etnofon record label). Events included performances by many bands, Ruthenian dance house, childrens activities, wine, books, CD market, round table discussion on problems in distribution of folk music recordings. Report by Szederkényi Éva
"Szalamás” dance house, folk music club – Budapest 9th district Mátyás utca 7. Musicians: Csoóri Sanyi (the very youngest), Porteleki Áron, Both Zoli, Budai Gergő and friends. Worth checking out: Thursday evenings 8:00pm
Csángó weekend – Buda, Eger Abkarovits Endre reports on events which occurred simultaneously on November 7,8, 2003. Along with music and dance provided both by groups from Hungary as well as traditional performers invited from Hungarian villages in Moldavia, the events included exhibits, lectures, solo performances of singers, story tellers, celebration of 190th anniversary of the birth of Petrás Incze János, a priest who was the first to collect folk songs and ballads amongst the Csángós of Moldavia. Petrás studied at the seminary in Eger.
Zurgó Ensemble is 10 years old. Conversation with Nagy Bercel – director of the group (a revival band specializing in traditional Moldavian Csángó music). Subjects discussed were: organization of the recent birthday celebration (in early November 2003), the yearly Csángó Ball, Zurgó’s present dance house at the so-called ’MOM’ cultural center in Budapest, some history on the group, the fact the band members all have full time jobs and other professions, the summer camps in Hungarian Moldavian villages, doing collection work amongst the Hungarians in Moldavia. Also includes discussion on Moldavian music and whether it is possible to tell the difference between Hungarian Moldavian tunes and Romanian Moldavian tunes. Interview by Abkarovits Endre
Zurgó Ensemble's 10th birthday Zurgó is a Budapest band that plays Moldávian Csángó music. The location and date of the event were not mentioned in the article, but the band organized a showcase of the Moldavian Csángó revival movement, having invited traditional performers from Moldavia as well as revival performers. This article provided frank comment on a general lack of life and quality in revival performers. Critique by Bolya Mátyás.
Spectaculum festival – Sepsiszengyörgy (Sfintu Gheorghe), Transylvania. 2003 October 13–18. Organized by the Lajtha László Foundation, Háromszék Dance Ensemble, Gyula Photographers Association Festival included dance performances, music from Budapest, Sárpatak, Elek, Mezopanit, Kalatoszeg, Hidegség, Gyimes, Sepsiszentgyörgy, photo exhibition, etc. Report by Imreh István
Commentary on a contemporary folk dance performance at the Pest Hungarian Theatre (Pesti Magyar Színház) on November 9, 2003. Choreographies performed by 6 ensembles. By Szávai József
Szöttes Folk Dance Ensemble – performance in Budapest on October 10th, 2003. Szöttes is a professional Hungarian dance ensemble from Poszony (Bratislava), Slovakia. Their specialty is the dances of their native northern Hungarian language area – much of which today lies within the political borders of Slovakia. The ensemble’s choreographers are Nagy Myrtil and Konkoly László; the directors, Németh Ildikó and Szabó Szilárd. Musicians were the Cseh brothers band with the addition of Halmos Attila. They performed a traditional wedding making use of a mixture of dances from the region. Report by Záhonyi András
Traditional South American – Hungarian Folk Dance Festival Event to be held in Montevideo, Uruguay 2004 January 3–10. Hungarian dance ensembles from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay will perform, there will be dance teaching by professional Hungarian teachers and „symposium". Announcement by Bonapartian Edi – director: Regös Folk Dance Ensemble
Report on the „Mezoség International Folk Dance and Music Camp” at Válaszút August 10–17, 2003. By Bodi Ildikó of the Hargita National Székely Ensemble
Hollókői Lajos’ thoughts on the overuse of the Hungarian expression for „informant” in these dance house circles. He suggests that the term „informant” is in some ways pejorative and that other expressions should be put into use. His article culminates in a few words about the Transylvanian musician Bóné Sándor who died on November 23, 2003, for whom the expression „informant” is definitley not sufficient.
A short article with some history on the Almássy Square Recreation Center in Budapest’s 7th district. This venue, which has been home to many, many dance house events and scores of other festivals and events, now celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Report on an excursion to Hungarian communities in the Ukraine The aim of the trip: to meet with local weavers and embroiderers, talk to them, see their work, while also sightseeing at various cultural points of interest along the way. September 26–29, 2003. Under the direction and organization of Borbély Jolán, Gyulay Mária and support from the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest. By Gömbös Katalin
Periferic Records . Conversation with founder and owner Böszörményi Gergely – Part II. Here Böszörményi tells about free concerts of Hungarian rock, jazz, classical and folk music that they organized back in the beginning of the 90’s and also about his trip to „Progfest” a progressive music festival in Los Angeles with the Hungarian group called Solaris. K. Tóth László
Annnouncement for children’s folk arts camps in Hungary. In the summer of 2003, so-called „Heritage” (Örökség) children’s camps accomodating more than 600 children were held in 8 different locations in Hungary. Plans are already in motion for camps in the summer of 2004. Those organizing these camps strive to provide children with more meaningful summer experiences with all areas of their folk arts heritage. Report by Darmos István
Darmos István' short summary of Gypsy dance research done in Hungary, cites early mention in history from 1793, through research done in the 20th Century. Darmos says: „traditional Gypsy dance is alive...it is continuously developing, with some forms disappearing, but new ones developing in their place. The work of science and stage performance...is to make sure that the Gypsy stick and couple dances and their vocabulary of motifs are not forgotten...” From speech heard on October 13, 2003 at the opening of an exhibit at Budapest's Hungarian Heritage House entitled: „The discovery of Gypsy dance and music folklore in the Carpathian basin".
Leather craft on CD rom. Beszprémy Katalin announces this CD-rom, part of a series on traditional handcrafts. Announcement includes this quote: „Culture cannot be inherited. The culture of our ancestors will evaporate from one day to the next, unless over and over again each generation is able to earn it for themselves.” (Kodály Zoltán)
Five generations of traditional women’s costume from the village of Gombos, a village south of the present Hungarian border in the western „Bácska” region on the „left bank” of the Danube. Today the village has 700 Hungarian residents. By Hózsa-Gál Gizella
"Vagabond” – Szomjas György’s film about Budapest’s dance houses. Reaction to Margittai Gábor’s critical review (which was printed in the Magyar Nemzet 2003 November 8) and thoughts on Szomjas’ film which has been the subject of lively debate amongst those who, for example, grew up in the dance house movement. „....I feel like there were expectations from this film....like when someone makes a film of our favorite book......It is very important that the film was made in the actual locations, with the actual people (of the dance houses). What comes out of it is something like a child’s drawing: a memory of ourselves and our desires. If the film had been more polished, then it would have been too concrete...too interpreted.....” By Redő Juli
Interview with Kostyák Alpár – folk musician, music teacher, producer at local TV in Kolozsvár (Cluj) in Transylvania – during the 11th Mezoség folk music and dance camp in Válaszút, summer of 2003, where he was music instructor. By Fuchs Lehel. Published in „Szellemkép". 2003/2.
Csáfordi Magdolna offers thoughts on the importance of the role of handcrafts in education. Article also published in „Tani-tani". no. 25–26.
Report on traditional musicians in the town of Tura (approx. 70 km east of Budapest). The traditional Gypsy band of the area had 6–7 members including violin, 2nd violin, „terces” violin, clarinet, cymbalom, viola and double bass. Such a band served the weddings, balls and other traditional music needs in the surrounding area. Now there is an active program of traditional music instruction at the cultural center in Tura. Several elementary school age music students have already formed the Galabos, Zagyva and Emse bands. The hope is to inspire and train young musicians that will someday carry on the work of the traditional local band mentioned above. Report by Unger Balázs
Short history of the Bukovina Székely people. The story begins with events in 1763 that led to settlement of 2687 people, many of whom were Székely Hungarians, in the Bukovina region (today lying partially in Ukraine, partially in Romania) in northeastern Transylvania. In 1941, on the basis of the 2nd Vienna decision, 13,198 Bukovina Székely people left Bukovina to resettle in Hungary. Ethnographer, Kóka Rozália, was born into one of these families that finally ended up in the town of Érd (just south of Budapest). Her work has focused on this ethnic group.
Traditional dancer Botás Pál from the village of Elek in Hungary’s Békés County was born October 9th, 1927. He was awarded the title of Master of Folk Arts in 1999 as one of the most celebrated representatives of the Hungarian Romanian dance tradition of his village. Direct quotes are provided from interviews with Botás Pál about how and who he learned to dance from, the Elek dance occaisions and traditions, the music, the dances themselves, his feelings about dancing. „One has to love to dance, and to love music...this has been everything in my life..." Busai Norbert
My father, Lányi Ágoston Mrs. Erdoháti Lányi Mária writes on the life and work of her father. Lányi, the well known dance researcher and dance notation expert lived from 1923–1986. In 1947 he began his career in dance, after finishing his military service as an officer during W.W.II (including military academy, being wounded, prisoner, finally retirement in 1947). The rest of his life was dedicated to dance notation, research, choreography, teaching. He travelled to Finland the first time in 1965 to teach dance and dance notation. The visit developed into a lasting professional relationship with Finland. He was researcher at the folk music research group at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences from 1965 until his death. His name is familiar as author and co-author of countless articles and publications on traditional Hungarian dance.
Remembering Martin György „Martin György emerged first of all with his wonderful dance knowledge and later as the dance researcher and scholar who did so much to preserve our folk customs. His amazingly organized folk dance and folk music archive and the many, many analytic studies and books he left to us....if he were still with us, what incredible treasures we would have been able to receive from him.” This article begins with the statement above, then goes on with some stories mainly about the period from 1949–1973. By Timár Sándor