|English Table of Contents 2009/5
Commentary on Hungary’s network of public arts schools for school children. Amongst other art classes, this is where folk dance, folk music and folk crafts are taught in after school programs. According to this
commentary, there have been incidents where public funding for these arts programs has
been misused. Now the writer urges parents of children in these programs to join together in effort to stop misuse of public funds, so that this important program can continue.
By Darmos István
Five minutes of folk news on Hungarian Radio “MR 1” – Kossuth Radio. Since June of 2009 the Hungarian Heritage House has been creating five minute radio programs aired every Friday morning just before 8 a.m. on Hungarian Radio. These short programs provide news on folk music, dance and culture, usually focusing on upcoming folk events or reports on recent events. Report by Mohácsy Albert
Könczei Csongor brings up the question of ultra-nationalism and a distorted view of Hungarianness that has evolved in certain stratas of the dance house scene. Since
Csongor lives in Transylvania, he writes his impression and reaction to this element when
it shows up there at dance house events, festivals, camps. (He lives in Kolozsvár [Cluj],
where he is active locally in the dance house movement and as a dancer, musician, teacher, ethnographer, and events organizer.)
2nd Fiddlers Contest – Kecskemét, Hungary. This juried event sponsored by the
Hungarian Heritage House and Erdei Ferenc Cultural Center (Kecskemét) was held during
the 22nd Kecskemét Folk Music Festival on September 18th, 2009. Nine fiddlers
competed. First prize went the Soós András. Report by Mohácsy Albert
Report on a 2009 folk arts competition sponsored by the Budapest based Pro Renovanda Cultura Hungariæ Foundation. Works by weavers from Hungarian communities in northern Serbia were chosen by the jury. By Raj Rozália
Verbunk Contest. On August 28 and 29, 2009 a juried verbunk (men’s recruiting dance) competition was held in the village of Halászi in the northwestern corner of Hungary. The competition focused on the verbunk dance of Neuberger Ferenc an excellent dancer from the village of Halászi. Footage of Neuberger’s dancing is housed in the national folk dance archives and was documented in the1950’s by Martin and Pesovár. The event turned into a meeting of dancers from the whole region, including Slovakia. Report by Takács András
Interview with the late Nagy Albert – director of the Szeged Folk Dance Ensemble from 1972 till his death in early June of this year. Main themes covered in the interview: the situation of folk dance ensembles and process for changing directors in Hungary in
the early 1970’s, his dedication to authentic style of teaching and choreography in folk dance material, his and the Szeged group’s work teaching dance in Hungarian communities in regions of Romania near Szeged, folk dances from ethnically mixed
areas, today’s society’s general lack of respect for and understanding of folk arts and one’s own cultural heritage. Interview from May 2009 by Szerdahelyi Mátyás and Zoltán
“Feketetó” (actually Körösfeketetó [Negreni]) is the name of a town in Transylvania along the main road between Nagyvárad [Oradea] and Kolozsvár [Cluj]. Every year in the beginning of October there is a huge market in this town. The market is held from Thursday through Sunday. Like all markets, this is a meeting place where all kinds of business transpires and all kinds of goods are bought and sold. They say the market
has been held here at this time of year “for centuries”. The animal market held afterwards
on Monday is described here by Henics Tamás.
A short history of the Bányász (Miners) Folk Dance Ensemble. The group was founded in 1949 – at the beginning of the 40 year period of communism during which many folk dance groups in Hungary were supported by local trade unions. This group was supported by the miners union in the western Hungarian town of Tatabánya. Now after 60 years, countless performances and awards, the group is still going strong. Present director is Gémesi Zoltán. There are two affiliated groups: Cinege Children’s Group and a group of “old” dancers.
Borbély Jolán’s life story part 3. In parts 1 and 2 we heard about Borbély Jolán’s childhood years and then about her first years in Budapest in university. Part three is about the years when she began working at the Insititute of Culture and Folk Arts. She was still a university student. From 1951 until 1956 she worked in the department of ethnography and in this status went with groups of researchers to collect folk dances, song and music in Hungarian villages. There are great stories here about when she was sent to collect in Slavic communities along the southern border of Hungary. Her diploma project was on the dance of Lakócsa and nearby villages in the same region. After the revolution of 1956, the team of famous dance researchers were all fired from their jobs. Jolán went to teach school. Thanks to the two people who were not fired from the institute at the time, the accumulated documentation was saved. As told to Kóka Rozália
The 24th Kállai Kettős Folk Dance Festival was held in Nagykálló, Hungary on October 9, 10, 11, 2009. The festival was organized by a non-profit Ltd in Nagykálló and the Martin [Folk Dance] Association. At least 14 dance groups were chosen to perform at the festival. The performances were rated by a jury. Twelve of the ensembles and several individuals received awards for their work. Report by Demarcsek György
20th Szolnok National Folk Dance Festival (May 30-June 1, 2009) – conversation with president of the jury dr. Felföldi László. This festival for amateur groups – one of the ’classics’ of the folk dance festivals – was held this year for the first time in 10 years.
Many memorable choreographies were presented here over the years and great intellectual debates on folk dance grew out of the juries’ rating sessions. Felföldi mentions choreographies from this year by Furik Rita, Varga János and Taba Csaba along with the work of the Gödöllő and Jászság dance ensembles as particularly noteworthy. Interview by dr. Nagy Zoltán