English Table of Contents 2003/4
Soós János remembers Christmas, 2002. Soós is from Szék (Sic) in Transylvania. Now he now lives in Budapest. From thoughts on the 8 years his godfather spent in a Soviet prison camp to the traditional Bethlehem pagent plays - still alive in Szék- and celebrating St. Stephen's name day, Soós brings alive for us some of the most interesting customs along with some of the most difficult hardships that comprise the reality of life in Szék.
Report on the 2nd "Héttorony" Folk Music Festival held on November 14-16, in Budapest at the Marczibányi Square cultural center. Festival organized by Kiss Ferenc (musician, composer and director of the Etnofon record label). Events included performances by many bands, Ruthenian dance house, childrens activities, wine, books, CD market, round table discussion on problems in distribution of folk music recordings. Report by Szederkényi Éva
"Szalamás" dance house, folk music club – Budapest 9th district Mátyás utca 7. Musicians: Csoóri Sanyi (the very youngest), Porteleki Áron, Both Zoli, Budai Gergő and friends. Worth checking out: Thursday evenings 8:00pm
Csángó weekend – Buda, Eger Abkarovits Endre reports on events which occurred simultaneously on November 7,8, 2003. Along with music and dance provided both by groups from Hungary as well as traditional performers invited from Hungarian villages in Moldavia, the events included exhibits, lectures, solo performances of singers, story tellers, celebration of 190th anniversary of the birth of Petrás Incze János, a priest who was the first to collect folk songs and ballads amongst the Csángós of Moldavia. Petrás studied at the seminary in Eger.
Zurgó Ensemble is 10 years old. Conversation with Nagy Bercel – director of the group (a revival band specializing in traditional Moldavian Csángó music). Subjects discussed were: organization of the recent birthday celebration (in early November 2003), the yearly Csángó Ball, Zurgó’s present dance house at the so-called ’MOM’ cultural center in Budapest, some history on the group, the fact the band members all have full time jobs and other professions, the summer camps in Hungarian Moldavian villages, doing collection work amongst the Hungarians in Moldavia. Also includes discussion on Moldavian music and whether it is possible to tell the difference between Hungarian Moldavian tunes and Romanian Moldavian tunes. Interview by Abkarovits Endre
Zurgó Ensemble's 10th birthday Zurgó is a Budapest band that plays Moldávian Csángó music. The location and date of the event were not mentioned in the article, but the band organized a showcase of the Moldavian Csángó revival movement, having invited traditional performers from Moldavia as well as revival performers. This article provided frank comment on a general lack of life and quality in revival performers. Critique by Bolya Mátyás.
Spectaculum festival – Sepsiszengyörgy (Sfintu Gheorghe), Transylvania. 2003 October 13-18. Organized by the Lajtha László Foundation, Háromszék Dance Ensemble, Gyula Photographers Association Festival included dance performances, music from Budapest, Sárpatak, Elek, Mezopanit, Kalatoszeg, Hidegség, Gyimes, Sepsiszentgyörgy, photo exhibition, etc. Report by Imreh István
Commentary on a contemporary folk dance performance at the Pest Hungarian Theatre (Pesti Magyar Színház) on November 9, 2003. Choreographies performed by 6 ensembles. By Szávai József
Szöttes Folk Dance Ensemble – performance in Budapest on October 10th, 2003. Szöttes is a professional Hungarian dance ensemble from Poszony (Bratislava), Slovakia. Their specialty is the dances of their native northern Hungarian language area – much of which today lies within the political borders of Slovakia. The ensemble’s choreographers are Nagy Myrtil and Konkoly László; the directors, Németh Ildikó and Szabó Szilárd. Musicians were the Cseh brothers band with the addition of Halmos Attila. They performed a traditional wedding making use of a mixture of dances from the region. Report by Záhonyi András
Traditional South American – Hungarian Folk Dance Festival Event to be held in Montevideo, Uruguay 2004 January 3-10. Hungarian dance ensembles from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay will perform, there will be dance teaching by professional Hungarian teachers and "symposium". Announcement by Bonapartian Edi – director: Regös Folk Dance Ensemble
Report on the "Mezoség International Folk Dance and Music Camp" at Válaszút August 10-17, 2003. By Bodi Ildikó of the Hargita National Székely Ensemble
Hollókői Lajos’ thoughts on the overuse of the Hungarian expression for "informant" in these dance house circles. He suggests that the term "informant" is in some ways pejorative and that other expressions should be put into use. His article culminates in a few words about the Transylvanian musician Bóné Sándor who died on November 23, 2003, for whom the expression "informant" is definitley not sufficient.
A short article with some history on the Almássy Square Recreation Center in Budapest’s 7th district. This venue, which has been home to many, many dance house events and scores of other festivals and events, now celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Report on an excursion to Hungarian communities in the Ukraine The aim of the trip: to meet with local weavers and embroiderers, talk to them, see their work, while also sightseeing at various cultural points of interest along the way. September 26-29, 2003. Under the direction and organization of Borbély Jolán, Gyulay Mária and support from the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest. By Gömbös Katalin
Periferic Records . Conversation with founder and owner Böszörményi Gergely – Part II. Here Böszörményi tells about free concerts of Hungarian rock, jazz, classical and folk music that they organized back in the beginning of the 90’s and also about his trip to "Progfest" a progressive music festival in Los Angeles with the Hungarian group called Solaris. K. Tóth László
Annnouncement for children’s folk arts camps in Hungary. In the summer of 2003, so-called "Heritage" (Örökség) children’s camps accomodating more than 600 children were held in 8 different locations in Hungary. Plans are already in motion for camps in the summer of 2004. Those organizing these camps strive to provide children with more meaningful summer experiences with all areas of their folk arts heritage. Report by Darmos István
Darmos István' short summary of Gypsy dance research done in Hungary, cites early mention in history from 1793, through research done in the 20th Century. Darmos says: "traditional Gypsy dance is alive...it is continuously developing, with some forms disappearing, but new ones developing in their place. The work of science and stage performance...is to make sure that the Gypsy stick and couple dances and their vocabulary of motifs are not forgotten..." From speech heard on October 13, 2003 at the opening of an exhibit at Budapest's Hungarian Heritage House entitled: "The discovery of Gypsy dance and music folklore in the Carpathian basin".
Leather craft on CD rom. Beszprémy Katalin announces this CD-rom, part of a series on traditional handcrafts. Announcement includes this quote: "Culture cannot be inherited. The culture of our ancestors will evaporate from one day to the next, unless over and over again each generation is able to earn it for themselves." (Kodály Zoltán)
Five generations of traditional women’s costume from the village of Gombos, a village south of the present Hungarian border in the western "Bácska" region on the "left bank" of the Danube. Today the village has 700 Hungarian residents. By Hózsa-Gál Gizella
"Vagabond" – Szomjas György’s film about Budapest’s dance houses. Reaction to Margittai Gábor’s critical review (which was printed in the Magyar Nemzet 2003 November 8) and thoughts on Szomjas’ film which has been the subject of lively debate amongst those who, for example, grew up in the dance house movement. "....I feel like there were expectations from this film....like when someone makes a film of our favorite book......It is very important that the film was made in the actual locations, with the actual people (of the dance houses). What comes out of it is something like a child’s drawing: a memory of ourselves and our desires. If the film had been more polished, then it would have been too concrete...too interpreted....." By Redő Juli
Interview with Kostyák Alpár - folk musician, music teacher, producer at local TV in Kolozsvár (Cluj) in Transylvania - during the 11th Mezoség folk music and dance camp in Válaszút, summer of 2003, where he was music instructor. By Fuchs Lehel. Published in "Szellemkép". 2003/2.
Csáfordi Magdolna offers thoughts on the importance of the role of handcrafts in education. Article also published in "Tani-tani". no. 25-26.
Report on traditional musicians in the town of Tura (approx. 70 km east of Budapest). The traditional Gypsy band of the area had 6-7 members including violin, 2nd violin, "terces" violin, clarinet, cymbalom, viola and double bass. Such a band served the weddings, balls and other traditional music needs in the surrounding area. Now there is an active program of traditional music instruction at the cultural center in Tura. Several elementary school age music students have already formed the Galabos, Zagyva and Emse bands. The hope is to inspire and train young musicians that will someday carry on the work of the traditional local band mentioned above. Report by Unger Balázs
Short history of the Bukovina Székely people. The story begins with events in 1763 that led to settlement of 2687 people, many of whom were Székely Hungarians, in the Bukovina region (today lying partially in Ukraine, partially in Romania) in northeastern Transylvania. In 1941, on the basis of the 2nd Vienna decision, 13,198 Bukovina Székely people left Bukovina to resettle in Hungary. Ethnographer, Kóka Rozália, was born into one of these families that finally ended up in the town of Érd (just south of Budapest). Her work has focused on this ethnic group.
Traditional dancer Botás Pál from the village of Elek in Hungary’s Békés County was born October 9th, 1927. He was awarded the title of Master of Folk Arts in 1999 as one of the most celebrated representatives of the Hungarian Romanian dance tradition of his village. Direct quotes are provided from interviews with Botás Pál about how and who he learned to dance from, the Elek dance occaisions and traditions, the music, the dances themselves, his feelings about dancing. "One has to love to dance, and to love music...this has been everything in my life..." Busai Norbert
My father, Lányi Ágoston Mrs. Erdoháti Lányi Mária writes on the life and work of her father. Lányi, the well known dance researcher and dance notation expert lived from 1923-1986. In 1947 he began his career in dance, after finishing his military service as an officer during W.W.II (including military academy, being wounded, prisoner, finally retirement in 1947). The rest of his life was dedicated to dance notation, research, choreography, teaching. He travelled to Finland the first time in 1965 to teach dance and dance notation. The visit developed into a lasting professional relationship with Finland. He was researcher at the folk music research group at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences from 1965 until his death. His name is familiar as author and co-author of countless articles and publications on traditional Hungarian dance.
Remembering Martin György "Martin György emerged first of all with his wonderful dance knowledge and later as the dance researcher and scholar who did so much to preserve our folk customs. His amazingly organized folk dance and folk music archive and the many, many analytic studies and books he left to us....if he were still with us, what incredible treasures we would have been able to receive from him." This article begins with the statement above, then goes on with some stories mainly about the period from 1949-1973. By Timár Sándor