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mag04_1English Table of Contents 2004/1

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Busójárás The mascarade at carnival time in Mohács and how it has changed. According to tradition this custom held in the southern Hungarian town of Mohács began with children's carnival, held on thursday before the Sunday six weeks before Easter Sunday. The children went from house to house dressed up as various characters. On Sunday the adults went out in carved wooden masks, a sheepskin mask covering their entire head, sheepskin clothing, "sokac" trousers, boots, great cow bells hung from sheekskin belt. Nowadays this custom is well-known throughout Hungary and even abroad as a result of television and radio coverage. This fame has given rise to many changes in the tradition. Avar Anna probes the old ways and the changes.

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Muzsikás Ensemble: December 2003 – Releases a new recording / performs at the Academy of Music in Budapest. Their new CD: Muzsikás and Márta Sebestyén Live at Liszt Academy. Guest: Pro Musica Girls Choir Joining the Muzsikás and Sebestyén Márta for the concert in early December were cymbalom player Oláh Dezső from southern Slovakia, Petrás Mária singer from Hungarian Moldavia, Muszka Bene György and Muszka Bene Ilonka dancers from Méra in the Kalotaszeg region of Transylvania. Report by Abkarovits Endre

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Őstánc (ancestral dance) was the name of a concert held at the Pesti Vigadó theatre in Budapest on November 22, 2003. Ökrös Csaba – violin / Kobza Vajk – koboz with members of the Bekecs and Kecskés bands "...Through ancient rhythm and from the heart, the Hungarian spirit charms new growth onto the branches of the Hungarian tree of life (family tree). The ancestral dance is new growth; now after centuries of storms the tree can breathe again." (statement of Kozma Vajk and fellow musicians) Report by Záhonyi András

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The first national meeting of the Hungarian Regional House (Museum) Association was held in the village of Noszvaj (just northeast of the town of Eger). The meeting was attended by those involved in support and maintence of these regional house museums, folk architecture researchers, professionals in the field of preservation of national landmarks and museologists.

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Rece Fice celebrates 10 + birthday Founded in 1992, this band plays Southern Slav music. In honour of this anniversary they had a show at the "FMH" in Budapest on November 28. This band is involved in, and wholeheartedly enjoys playing traditional music in South Slav communities in Hungary, as well as seeking out events where other South Slav musicians play. Report by founding band member Vitányi Iván (Jr.)

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Beltine. A group of Hungarian musicians interested in Irish and Celtic music formed the band named Beltine in 2000. They give concerts, have a person who teaches dance whenever the need arises and have plans for recording a CD sometime soon.

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Announcement on the formation of "Hangvető - distributor of quality music". Three local record companies (Etnofon Records, FolkEuropa and X-Produkció) involved in production of folk music recordings have joined forces to better handle distribution. Contact information in the Hungarian announcment.

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Mohacsy Albert and Nagy Zsolt announce their recording, ("12 bands – Transylvania"). An unusual plan: these two musicians who play accompaniment (bass and viola), decided to get their favorite fiddlers and fellow musicians together to play their favorite music. A gathering of most of the best musicians and singers of the Hungarian dance house movement today.

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Announcement for the 8th International Legényes (a men’s dance) Competition to be held April 24th, 2004 at the Budapest Cultural Center ("BMK"). The legényes material to be performed by competitors: legényes of Jaskó István "Pitti" from Györgyfalva, Transylvania.
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Magyarpolány opens folk arts retreat The village of Magyarpolány is in Veszprém County in Western Hungary. The folk arts retreat house is supported by Veszprém County Institute of Public Education and the Magyarpolány local government. (Further info: see contact info. in article in Hungarian.) Report by Sipos Tekla

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A critical review by Dreisziger Kálmán (of Montreal, Canada) on two choreographies: Román Sándor's "Ezeregy év" dance theatre production ("..this work uses the Hungarian folk dance language for the service of commercial goals bordering on kitsch...") and Mihályi Gábor's "Veszett világ" (" ...the choreography makes first rate folk dancers into third rate modern dancers...") performed by the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble.

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Response to Bolya Mátyás' critical review of Zurgó Ensemble's 10th anniversary event (Dec. 2003 FolkMAGazin). Demeter László of the Zurgó Ensemble and Fanfare Complexa, clearly insulted by previous article, offers defense.

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Lányi Ágoston In 1964 Lányi began teaching in German national folk dance ensembles in Hungary. He continued teaching, collection, research, choreography and publication on the dances of the Hungarian Germans until his death: thus providing a great deal of inspiration, support and material for these dance groups. Article by Dr. Mrs. Kiss Gábor Eötvös Ella – of the Hungarian German Democratic Association.

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Lányi Ágoston 1923-1986 Remembering Lányi's work throughout the 4 decades of his career as traditional dance notator, researcher, choreographer, author of many publications that have become handbooks in the field. His research concentrated on: circle dances, circle verbunk, Hungarian German dances, Finnish folk dances, collection work in Hungary: Bag, Alap, Sárköz, South Transdanubia, Mátyusföld, Fejér County, Vas County, Nyírség. Pesovár Ernő. First published in Táncszók. 1986. December.

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In memory of Lányi Ágoston In the folk dance notation archive at the Institute of Musicology in Budapest, there are 1300 notations of authentic folk dances that were notated by Lányi Ágoston. This tribute to Lányi's work was written by dance notator Fügedi János, once a student of Lányi's. Fügedi is one who knows Lányi's notation work from the inside. "...he developed a characteristic style, once familiar with his movment assements, one can tell immediately from the partitura, that the notator was none other than Lanyi." (Speech heard on April 27, 1996 at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Insitute of Musicology)

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Transformation of Gypsy dance tradition. A short study of two dances found amongst Gypsies in the Hungarian language area: the fox dance (rókatánc) and the "mahala". The fox dance being an old tradition which is very rarely done and seen these days, is most likely in the process of dying out and is probably related to fertility ritual customs. The Mahala on the other hand, is a dance that has come into fashion in the last fifteen years or so, is said to have originated in certain Gypsy settlements around Bucharest in Romania. The writer of the article believes that these dances have not gotten enough attention by dance researchers. By Darmos István

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Periferic Records - Part III. Conversation with Böszörményi Gergely record producer. The first 50 recordings released by this record label were Hungarian progressive music, contemporary symphonic rock and some Jazz. Since then they have also produced two records for the Dűvő Ensemble.  "...the record label’s task; when the owner hears something he likes, then he simply puts all shyness aside and goes to talk to the musicians...."   K.Tóth László

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Szászcsávás Band Interview with Jámbor István "Dumnezu" prímás, and Szánthó Zoltán, band manager. Pávai István made the first recording of this band in 1987, Szánthó was with him. Since then Szánthó has made 4 more recordings and the band has been performing abroad regularly (since Szászcsávás is in Romania, that means Hungary and beyond). There is also information on the members of the band and the character of their Transylvanian village in this article by Abkarovits Endre

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Martin György and the folklore movement. Printed here is Héra Éva’s speech that was published in a volume entitled ("In Memory of Martin György" Hungarian Cultural Institute. Budapest. 1993.). She talks about establishment and development of the Hungarian folk dance movements and the ongoing role, influence and inspiration of Martin’s personality and tireless research work.

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Memories of Martin Interview with Novák Ferenc (Choreographer, longtime director of Honvéd Ensemble) Novák gives us an idea of the alive, intellectual atmosphere there was in the fifties amongst that circle of people that became key figures in Hungarian folk dance research, choreography and education. Novák describes Martin as one of the leading personalities in this group. Also commenting; "He was a wonderful, charismatic dancer, a delight to watch when he got up to dance." Martin became the intellectual leader of the group of dance researchers/dance ethnographers that is referred to  abroad as the Hungarian school. Report by Vasvári Annamária

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Călus Călus is a dance ritual performed only by men, only during Pentecost in villages in the Oltenia and Munténia regions of Romania. Onodi Béla reports on a two week collection trip he and some friends went on to Oltenia at end of May/beg of June, 2003 to research and witness this dance tradition and go to a călus dance festival there, while also providing short summary of the elements and some history on this custom.

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Soós János: Szék Winter stories about the church bell ringer and the field-guard (ranger) in Szék bringing in the New Year. Details about these two individuals and their personal lives both of whom served important functions in the life of this rural Transylvanian community in all of its beauty and hardship. New Year's greeting translated: Another year has passed / In which we had so much sadness / Our sadness brought us / many times to tears // A new time has come / Making us joyful / In our joy we give thanks / To God.

Sue Foy

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