English Table of Contents 2010/4
Two interesting commentaries on the National Dance House Festival and Market held at the Sport Arena in Budapest at the end of March. One is a review of the event from “Dumneazu” ’s blog and the other is Dreisziger Kálmán’s response.
Interview with bagpipe player, researcher, ethnographer Szabó Zoltán. Here Szabó Zoltán talks at length about bagpipes from this part of the world, his music, research work, his newest passion the tárogató, and his recently released record: Tündérek ajándéka II. - Dudaverseny [Fairies’ Gift II. - Bagpipe Contest] Etnofon Records, 2010. By K. Tóth László.
New recording. Tárkány Művek: Arcomba az arcod vésted. Independently produced: TM 2010, Budapest. Hungarian folk based world music. Jazz influenced. Band members: Tárkány-Kovács Bálint cimbalom / leader of the band; Paár Julianna – voice; Kováts Gergő – saxophones, flute; Papp Endre – violas; Bognár András – double bass. See also: tarkanymuvek on myspace and hangveto.hu on the internet.
Dance research in Hungary: A “working committee on Hungarian dance research” was formed in 2009. The committee intends to meet regularly - meetings are to be hosted by the various affiliated universities and institutions and website is in the planning. Report on a symposium on dance research held at the folk dance department of the Hungarian Academy of Dance on June 11-12, 2010, in Budapest. Title of the symposium was: “The Metamorphosis of Traditional Dance Culture”. See reports in Hungarian for names of participating dance researchers /educators. Announcements by Bolvári-Takács Gábor.
Kóka Rozália’s Children’s Column. Two tales for children: one is a story about who gets into heaven, the other is about the fox, the wolf and the cheese.
Traditional singer and dancer Mrs.Holecz István, Kanyó Margit, was born in the village of Rimóc (in the Palóc region of Northern Hungary) on May 4, 1945. She married there and has always lived there. She is a “Master of Folk Arts” – a national recognition of her natural talent as traditional singer and dancer. She has been performing with the Rimóc women’s chorus singing the local folk songs since 1970, has actively collected songs in her village and leads the local tradition preserving dance group there. Here she tells the story of her childhood, growing up in the traditional culture of her village and about how she always loved to sing and dance. As told to Kóka Rozália.
Announcement: National Conference on Folk Tales. To be held on October 1, 2010 at the Hamvas Béla Library in Százhalombatta. Special theme: Croatian folk tales from the Drava region. “We are looking for answers to these questions: Why does traditional story telling have a special power and role today? Can story telling be taught?” Organized by the Hungarian Readers Association.
Report on the 10th Koprivstica festival in Bulgaria. This festival is held every five years. Traditional dance groups from all over Bulgaria arrive to the mountain village of Koprivstica for this three day juried festival. There are seven stages with performances going on simultaneously from morning till night by groups performing authentic dances and music of their own villages and regions of Bulgaria. Report by Nagy Timea.
Conversation with Novák Ferenc “Tata”. The interview begins with Tata’s statement: “Folk dance had an official role in the time of the party-state (under communism): to represent the optimism of the Hungarian workers. But in the meantime socialism foot the bill to bring up a generation that brought folk dance to a contemporary artform.” Tata is brilliant and articulate and has the perspective of at least 60 years working with Hungarian folkdance. Includes abbreviated biographical information and list of works. By Szentei Anna. First published in Magyar Demokrata 2010/24.
The Muharay Folkarts Association (Muharay Népművészeti Szövetség) celebrated its 20th anniversary. This is an organization devoted to preserving and upholding local tradition in Hungary. In practice one of the main functions of the association is nurturing the “local tradition preserving dance groups” (hagyományőrző együttesek) from villages across the nation – each group presents dances and traditions from their particular location: these are groups of people of all ages. There are 159 member communities and 51 individual members. Every year the association organizes, amongst other events (forums, conferences, trainings), at least one showcase performance in Budapest with many of these groups performing their local traditions. This organization has carried on the work and function of the Pearly Bouquet (Gyöngyösbokréta) movement from the period between the two world wars. The performance in spring of 2010, for example, featured an amzing number of different groups from Hungary’s Kalocsa Region. President of association is Héra Éva. Report by Antal László.
Conversation with Richter Pál – head of Liszt Academy of Music’s Folk Music Department. Discussion of the program as the first class of students completed the three year course. One of the questions was: “A basic position of the department is that folk music is a valuable artistic language. Can it remain as such even though it has been taken out of its original medium and put into another sociocultural environment?”. Also includes information on the program; for example ”... they learn how to look for the sources and how to make use of the original recordings...” Interview by Zipernovszky Kornél (fidelio.hu).
Where have all the dancers gone? Commentary, criticism and complaints on the present status of Hungary’s dance house movement, the professional folk dance groups, the choreography, the revival bands. His parting comment however brings us back to the music from the Transylvanian village of Magyarpalatka (Palatca) which over the years has certainly moved many to participate in this movement. By Grecsó Krisztián. First published in Élet és Irodalom LIV /27.