English Table of Contents 2004/2
"Out of the dew one day spring blooms.... The Szék person from nature could read the signals for restraint and moderation..... In Szék everything is like a spring treatise: an open secret...." The writer Soós János, native of the village of Szék in Transylvania has a few words on spring in Budapest where he now lives and spring, courtship, Easter and "sprinkling" on Easter Monday in Szék.
Part I. of Kóka Rozália's account of her trip to Hungarian villages in Moldávia in 1969 to collect information for the Ethnographic Atlas of Hungarians. She tells of her preliminary work here in Hungary talking with the well known expert Domokos Pál Péter and visiting Moldavian Csángó Hungarians living in Southern Hungary and then continues with the first two weeks of her trip, which were spent in the village of Magyarfalu in Moldavia.
New CD: Békés Banda: Zsok – Joc Romanian music from Eastern Hungary (Etnofon Records ER-CD 073, 2004) On this CD are Romanian dance cycles – from the villages of Elek, Mehkerék and Kétegyháza. This recording is the fruit of the band members' more than 20 year relationships with traditional musicians from those villages.
New Egyszólam CD: for release in March 2004: Dancing in the Forest Traditional Hungarian music for shepherd's long flute and other instruments. On outlaws, shepherds and prisoners. (Berecz András, Fabián Éva, Juhász Zoltán, Sáringer Kalmán)
Announcing 2 new CDs from the Folk Europa record label: Zerkula János fiddler from the Gyimes valley of Transylvania plays with Százcsávás Band, Vizeli Balázs and Balogh Kálmán. Magyarpalatka band plays at a wedding in Mezőkeszü – Fekete Antal "Puma’s" original field recording.
New dance history publication A translation of the title: "Historical layers of our dance tradition – The history of Hungarian folk dance" by Pesovár Ernő. The book (in Hungarian) was published in 2003. Also available are accompanying video cassette and CD-ROM. Hungarian title is: "Tánchagyományunk történeti rétegei". Article by Pálfy Gyula.
Announcing an exhibition of Vígh Éva's sculptural work. Kelenföld Public Library in Budapest. (see cover) By Benkő András.
The Székely Műhely (Székely Workshop) released their 2nd CD before Christmas 2003. Poetry by famous Hungarian poets is set to original music composed by the group - who describes their own music as world music based on the music of Hungarian and neighboring ethnic groups, with the addition of latin, rock, jazz, etc
8th Csángó Ball was held at Petőfi Csárnók in Budapest. This year the performance (directed by Diószegi László and Nagy Bercel) was organized so that the Csángó performers were on stage throughout, but danced alternately with revival groups from Budapest and other parts of Hungary. This event usually happens in late January or early February and the venue is always totally packed. The performance is followed by dance house. Review by Abkarovits Endre
Darmos István was inspired by a choreography he saw during this year's Folk Dance Anthology, one of the choreographies included the csobántánc – a dance from the christmas custom of Bethlehem plays of the Bukovina Székely people – one of his thoughts; "an example of how our ancient rituals were preserved within catholicism." The Néptáncantológia – or Folk Dance Anthology is an annual 2 day showcase of some of the best folk dance choreographies performed by amateur folkdance ensembles during the previous year. It is presently held during the month of January in Budapest's Erkel Theatre
A carnival ball was held in the town of Pomáz (just outside of Budapest more or less in the direction of Szentendre). A community event with guests Berecz András and the Téka Ensemble and dance teaching by Bakonyi Ernő (aka: Savanyú). Report by Záhonyi András
Listings of Hungarian summer folk dance and music camps
Photographs by Endrődi Péter: Gyimes (Transylvania). From February 2-21, 2004 there was an exhibition at the French Institiute in Budapest. This issue of FolkMAGazin presents selected pictures from the exhibit and Sándor Ildikó's speech that opened the exhibit.
Kovács Tivadar – fiddler from the village of Méhkerék. Halmos Béla remembers the first time he met and subsequent visits to visit and learn from this excellent fiddler (and teacher) in the Romanian village of Méhkerék in Eastern Hungary. This story underscores the difference between reading written music as a (classically) trained violin player and going to the source (in this case Kovács in Méhkerék) for first-hand experience in what traditional music is about and how it is really played. By K. Tóth László.
From East to West This is the name of the Hargita National Székely Folk Ensemble's new choreography as well as the name of Ádám Gyula's exhibition of dance photos that opened on February 11. The new choreography, containing exclusively Transylvanian men's dances, was created by Péter László and Udvari Róbert. Though the report does not mention the location of these events, we can assume that they occured somewhere in Hargita County in Transylvania. By Nyulas Ferenc
Announcement for 7th Verbunk Competition – to be held in Zalaegerszeg on May 15, 2004. Competitors must dance a total of 4 minutes of Bíró Ágoston "Zsukás" verbunk from the village of Csíkszentdomokos in Eastern Transylvania. Announcement by the Zalai Dance Ensemble Association
Muzsikás Ensemble: On February 13th, 2004 the Muzsikás Ensemble, Sebestyén Márta and the Takács String Quartet shared a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City. "The string quartet didn’t play anything with a concretely recognizable folk melody, thus it couldn’t really be said that the traditional music acted simply as an illustration.....the genres strengthened one another....." Conversation with Hamár Dániel – Muzsikás’ bass player. By K. Tóth László
Competition for title of Young Master of Folk Arts. Listed here are the National Cultural Heritage Ministry’s conditions and requirements for those students applying to win this state recognized title. Categories: Performing artists (folk story tellers, musicians, singers, dancers) and various traditional handcrafts. Announcement by Hungarian Heritage House - Folk Arts Workshop.
Kozák József: A bagpipe from the Hungarian plain. From this article we get information on how the bagpipes of the plains area differ from other Hungarian bagpipes. In the plains, the bagpipe players were not shepherds (as in Northern Hungary for example), but rather middle class merchants, tradesmen who played bagpipe in their spare time.
Vasil Imre – traditional dancer from the village of Magyarböd (Bidovce) in Southeastern Slovakia near the town of Kassa [Kosice]. Born in 1940, his mother was Slovak, his father Hungarian, he considers himself to be Hungarian. The story here well illustrates the situation of someone from this part of the Hungarian language region: during his schooling he was switched back and forth between Slovak and Hungarian schools. At one time a totally Hungarian village; presently the village has 1700 people – 80 people speak Hungarian, 320 people are Gypsy and the rest Slovak. Also included here is a quote of Vasil Imre’s thoughts on dancing. This gentleman is (or has been?) nominated for the Master of Folk Arts award. By Busai Norbert
Dűvő Ensemble is 25 years old One of the most popular, well-known and active bands in dance house movement, this band has its home in Northern Hungary in the town of Salgotarján. They are present at every festival, usually accompanying not one but several dance groups, they have travelled abroad to perfom, the youngest member of the band was a student of members of the band. Interview with the band by Paluch Norbert.
The argument continues... Responding to Demeter László's article in February 2004 issue of "MAG", Bolya Mátyás reiterates many of his critical comments on the Zurgó Ensemble.
Periferic Records. A record label on the perifery – final (4th) part of conversation with Böszörményi Gergely. Periferic Records produces contemporary popular and alternative Hungarian music, Hungarian folk music, jazz, etc. Their recordings are sold to specialty record distributors and stores all over Europe, North and South America and in Japan. They also import recordings from 44 foreign companies. They are interested, for example, also in making recordings that at one time - under the government prior to 1990 - were not allowed to be released. Böszörményi is also active in local radio, organizing concert events and festivals in Budapest and collaboration with film and television. By K. Tóth László
Ethnographer Vargyas Lajos is 90 years old. Vargyas's work has concentrated on Hungarian folk ballads, folk music, verse, rhythm in Hungarian verse. Six volumes of his work on these subjects have been published. Article by Varga Lajos Márton – first published in Népszabadság on January 31, 2004.
"Hungarian Heritage" is a yearly English language journal published each spring by the European Folklore Institute (a UNESCO supported institution) in Budapest. "A journal for those who do not know Hungarian but would like to become more acquainted with Hungarian traditional culture." Can be purchased at the Ethnographical Museum in Budapest – or for more information, check the websites listed in the article in Hungarian. Review by Abkarovits Endre