English Table of Contents 2009/2
Hungary commemorates Benedek Elek – A great storyteller, journalist, poet, writer (1859-1929 Kisbacon, Romania) on the 150th anniversary of his birth and 80th anniversary of his death. By Szabó Zsolt
New children’s column: This issue starts children’s section with two short pieces from Kóka Rozália: one is a story about a children’s dance house in Szék (long ago) and the other a folk tale solving the question of: who does the moon belong to? – to the animals or the people? In the end it is agreed that the moon belongs to the young folks.
Ifjú Szívek Dance Ensemble, one of the professional folk dance ensembles from Pozsony [Bratislava], artistic director Hégli Dusan, premiered a new program in January - first in Pozsony, then in Budapest at the Hungarian Heritage House. The new program is a review of dances and music from various regions of the Hungarian language area, all meticulously based on and referring directly to locations where Bartók collected folk songs and music in the early 1900’s. This writing walks us through the sources and locations of Bartók ’s research that inspired this new program. By Árendás Péter
Folk Arts Camps and Workshops Summer 2009 in Hungary, Transylvania, Slovakia and more...
Cinkota Folk Museum. The area known as ’Cinkota’ is located in Budapest’s 16th District. The Cinkota museum of local folk tradition opened to the public in the fall of 2008. This museum is the result of years of effort and work by a group of local people and ethnographers who founded the Cinkota Folk Museum Foundation and the museum. See article in Hungarian for contact details, address. By Borka Elly
A salute to Transylvanian singer Kerekes Tóth Erzsébet – this year she celebrates her 80th birthday. Mrs Kerekes was solo singer in the professional folk dance ensemble based in the town of Marosvásárhely from its formation in 1956. She studied at the Academy of Drama in Kolozsvár, was a member of the Székely Theatre, sang in opera, folk theatre and folk performances alike, travelled the villages of Transylvania as well as the countries of the world with the Marosvásárhely Folk Dance Ensemble. She also learned from and sang with peasant singers from all over Transylvania and did collection work in the villages. Today she lives in Budapest. By Kiss Ferenc
In the wake of history Hungarian women’s life stories: Kóka Rozália’s series. Anna was born in 1935 in the village of Barcaújfalu, 18 km from Brashov in Transylvania, Romania. Her story tells about the hardships of the period after WW II when the farming collectives were formed. People had no choice: they had to give their land and livestock over to the collectives. Anna’s husband rebelled against this and was imprisoned for several years. During this period Anna learned to white-wash rooms and houses in order support herself and her two children. Her husband was released from prison after several years. After 1989 they got their land back and returned to farming their own land and running their own farm. She lives today with her son who white-washes rooms and houses in the same village. She has five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. As told to Kóka Rozália.
Part I of Endrődi Péter’s story about Transylvania, Romania, Hungary, the revolutions of 1956 and 1989, the first and second world wars, Hungarians that moved from Transylvania to Hungary and the Hungarian secret police.
National Solo Dance Festival 2009 – Békéscsaba, Hungary. Conversation with jury member, Hortobágyi Gyöngyvér (dance corps assistant: Honvéd Dance Theatre), of this folk dance competition. She mentioned the overall high level of technique in all the competitors, though compared those dancers whose performance was about showing off , with those who were able to execute the dances with personality, humility, skill, musicality, grace and knowledge and respect for the material. By dr. Nagy Zoltán
The Anthology of Children’s Folk Dance is a one day festival of choreographies for children’s performing groups - selected by the Heritage Children’s Folklore Association as the best from 2008. This year, 15 groups performed at Budapest’s Operett Theatre in February and most of the choreographies chosen for the Children’s Anthology were ’dance theatre’ style. Review by Trencsényi László
The primkontra is a stringed instrument used, in Transylvania, by the band from Szászcsávás [Ceuaş]. It is an accompaniment instrument used sometimes along with the Transylvanian 3 stringed viola (kontra in Hungarian) or sometimes by itself to accompany the violin. A primkontra can be made by removing the so-called ’e2’ string from the violin, and then flattening the arch in the bridge. On the basis of conversations with members of the Szászcsávás Band it seems that this instrument saw its heyday in the 1950-1960’s. One musician, Lunka Mózes (b.1932), said in 1999, „…when I was twenty, we got the viola,....after that we didn’t really use the primkontra, because the viola was easier...on the primkontra one nearly has to play the tune like the lead violin and one uses more fingerings (chords?) than on the viola, with nicer ornamentation…I haven’t played it in about 10 years....” Plenty of information on the playing style is also given here. See illustrations in article in Hungarian. By Szánthó Zoltán
In English – Review of the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble’s piece ’Naplegenda’ Sun Legend – first published ’Time Out Budapest’ March 2009. By Sue Foy
Tamburabracs - A story about learning to play this instrument between 1974-76 by a musician who, at the time, was a member of the Deszk Serbian Tambura Band. Deszk is a village in the Southeastern corner of Hungary. His teacher was Nagy Károly, a Szeged musician who was originally from the town of Horgos [Horgoš] across the border in Northern Serbia. This article is chock full of information on tuning, playing chords, strings and stories about playing in tambura bands in the southern border region of Hungary in the 1970’s and before. By Barvich Iván – an active folk musician in Budapest today.