English Table of Contents 2009/4
October 6th is the day when Hungary remembers the Arad Martyrs. In 1849 at the end of the Hungarian revolution, thirteen Hungarian offi cers were executed by the Austrians. Printed here are excerpts from military offi cer, writer Count Teleki Sándor’s memoirs on the event, along with some facts about Teleki’s life.
Kóka Rozália’s Children’s Column: Folk Tale Day will be celebrated on September 30th, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Hungarian writer Benedek Elek’s birth (b: September 30th 1859 - d.1929). Printed here are: an excerpt from Benedek Elek’s [My Sweet Motherland] and two of his tales „The Golden Fish” and „The Castle Builder And The Fairy”.
The 16th Csűrdöngölő Folk Dance Festival was held in Csíkszereda [Miercurea Ciuc], Transylvania on May 29th, 2009. 42 dance groups from 26 communities in Hargita County, Romania, some 1300 participants - aged 3 to adult - performed. This festival is held in conjunction with Pentecost and the famous annual pilgrimage to Csíksomlyó just outside of the town of Csíkszereda. The festival plays an important role in upholding Hungarian tradition in the region. This event and the ongoing work in the local dance groups year-round is supported by the András Foundation, the Hargita Székely Folk Ensemble, City of Csíkszereda, Hargita County and the Hungarian Ministry of Education and Culture. By Balázs Réka Blanka
The Angyalföldi Vadrózsa Folk Dance Ensemble performed during the summer at Saint Stephen’s park in Budapest. New directors, Hortobágyi Ivett and Fundák Kristóf, have been able to breathe life into the dancing of the group, while also put together a pleasant line up of choreographies in the program, with music by Gázsa’s band. Report by B. Koltai Gabriella
Nagy Albert 1941-2009. Born in the town of Gyoma, Hungary, Nagy Albert had been the director of the Szeged Folk Dance Ensemble since 1972. Since then, he brought up and inspired generations of folk dancers. Well known all over Hungary, he will be missed. One of his students, Juhász Zsolt wrote a few words in his memory.
Listings of dance houses and folk clubs in the region for the 2009-2010 season – which opens with a one day festival on September 12th at Petőfi Csarnok in Budapest’s city park.
Lajtha László – the folk music researcher: Part 4. Excerpts from the photo and document exhibition in the upper foyer of the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest, curated by Pávai István. Lajtha (b. 1892 - d. 1963) was a composer and folk music researcher who began folk music collection work after 1910 working with Bartók and Kodály. Here are selections commenting on the difference between village Gypsy musicians and city Gypsy musicians: “…The musicians in Gypsy bands in small villages don’t read music and play in villages far from the cities entertaining peasants who not that long ago could hardly read and write. They are very different from the Gypsies that play in the restaurants of the big cities and often can read music…”(Lajtha 1962). There are also Lajtha’s summaries on the nature of Hungarian traditional dance, such as „...the most characteristic attribute of traditional Hungarian folk dance is that there is no strict, final, set order for a program of dances [suite of dances]. Like all living spontaneous folk art, improvisation plays a decisive role… “(Lajtha 1936), and mention (from 1948) of his participation in the International Council on Traditional Music (and Dance) the ICTM.
Katanga Blues – Short story of leaving the village as a young man to work in a nearby city in Romania, his parents disowned him, how he found Magdalena, his first unlucky try at getting hired for black construction work at Budapest’s Moszkva Square, and then hearing about his own funeral. By Széki Soós János
Report on the 2009 Europeade an international folk dance festival held in Klaipėda, Lithuania. This year’s was the 46th annual festival. 4000 participants and 166 groups participated in July. This year Hungary was represented by 6 ethnic German dance groups and one Hungarian group. Next year’s Europeade will take place in Bolzano, Italy. By Mikulai Csaba
Borbély Jolán’s life story – Part II. Jolika, Joli néni is an extraordinary figure and undisputed specialist here in Budapest’s dance house and folkart, folk dance movements. She tells her life story with the same kind of frank, outspokenness that characterizes her whole life. A rare personality. Here she tells about arriving in Budapest in 1947 for university, her university years, Hungary’s tough times, including the cut-throat political atmosphere and poverty after the war, the 1950s, her first marriage and the birth of her son, Éri Péter, and some events leading to her marriage to the renowned dance researcher Martin György. As told to Kóka Rozália
Savanyú Jóska: Conclusion (part 5) Entitled „Characteristics of the Outlaws’ Activities and the Outlaw as a Historical Phenomenon”; conclusive thoughts on the life and work process of Savanyú and other legendary Hungarian outlaws. Also includes comments on: the idea of ’the outlaw’, to whom is the outlaw is an outlaw, and why there is a romanticised and not entirely pejorative connotation to the the word outlaw. Examines also ’the Robin Hood effect’ and cites the 1969 work by Eric J. Hobsbawm examining social bandits in China, Spain, Hungary and the USA. By Vas János „Panyiga”
Talented glass blower Pattantyús Gergely has written a study familiarizing us with various glass forms through history, tracing possible origins and infl uences which formed the Hungarian national glass.
’Édeskeserű’ [Bitter-Sweet], choreographed by Farkas Zoltán „Batyu”, Mihályi Gábor and Orza Câlin. More discussion on the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble’s controversial program which premiered in the spring of this year. This review with more specifi c commentary and description of the actual piece, concludes with thoughts such as: „...Édeskeserű is an exploration in form and style, which in my opinion is ground breaking and may lead to new directions, though perhaps not yet entirely developed, with only partial solutions, rough in some places...„ By Sándor Ildikó