English Table of Contents 2003/2
Apparantly at this year’s dance house festival (táncháztalálkozó) there was an open meeting with Hungarian journalist, Margittiai Gábor, who writes reviews on folk dance that are published in local newspapers. Szigetvári János has written a heated open letter to Margittai saying, amongst many other things, that he thinks the amateur public folk dance movement should be judged on different terms than professional folk dance in critical reviews. "I believe that whoever directs a professional group, should shoulder the weight, whether sweet or bitter. If he is brave enough to put his dances on stage, then he should be brave enough to bear the criticism published..." Szigetvári also thinks that Margittai lacks experience and insight and that his criticism does not aid the amateur folk dance movement.
"Vagabond" – a film about the life of the Budapest dance houses. Conversation with Szomjas György director of the film. Szomjas is a film director who has been involved in the dance house movement from the beginning. He has made other films about related subjects and for years directed an ongoing television series that documented the dance houses and festivals. With Halmos Béla, he made a series of documentary films on the traditional village musicians that served as the master teachers for the revival musicians. So Szomjas knew his subject matter for this film. This is a feature film that in some ways is also documentary – it was mainly filmed in real dance house situations with real personalities from the Budapest dance houses. "It was a special challenge – how to present the dance house as an existing phenomenon within a story framework.... I wanted to emphasize the fact that there is a passage, not an abyss between tradition and moderenity..." The film has been very well recieved at film festivals abroad and will premiere in Budapest in the fall. By K. Tóth László
"The Fonó" opened its doors in 1995 and has since then become one of Budapest’s most well-known venues for traditional music. Fonó Records is the related record label they established (locally at least - famous for releasing the "Final Hour" series on traditional Transylvanian village musicians and countless Hungarian folk and jazz recordings). The problem is that the Fonó finds itself on the brink of bankruptcy with many, many debts and unpaid bills. They would need 25 million forints to pull themselves out of the mess. There had been hope that ongoing support funding would be forthcoming from the State. In June, the Fonó recieved 14 million forints in emergency support funds from National Cultural Heritage Ministry and the Pro Cultura Urbis foundation. The questions are: Will the Fonó be able to pull itself out of the financial mess and continue its activities or not? Is there any hope that ongoing support funding will come through? Articles by K. Tóth László and Kiss Eszter Veronika (which was printed in Magyar Nemzet 2003 June 14.)
Listings of summer camps, workshops and festivals
Conference held at the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest on May 20th, 2003. Theme of the conference: "The role of folk tradition in 21st Century society" Conference host: Héra Éva. Conference organizers: Hungarian Heritage House, European Folkore Institute, CIOFF Hungary. In addition to many distinguished Hungarian folklorists, ethnographers, sociologists, there were guests and speakers in attendance from Israel, Norway, Finland, Great Britian, Canada. Report by H. Bathó Edit
Report on the 22nd National Dance House Festival and Folk Arts Market, held in Budapest on 2003 March 29-30 in the SAP Events Hall. Difficult to sum up this 2 day event in few words; Magdolna's report is three and half pages long. This year's Táncháztalálkozó was, as it always is, amazingly well attended and packed full of music, dance, folk crafts and party and people - both children and adults - already interested in, or curious about, the dance house movement and Hungarian folk tradition. By Csáfordi Magdolna
Three day folk festival in the town of Eger in March. Concerts and dance houses with some of the best dance house bands in Hungary. This festival was held for the first time in 2000. Report by Abkarovits Endre
A book of Gypsy folk tales has recently been published by the European Folklore Institute and L'Harmattan Kiadó. Title: A három muzsikus cigány (the three gypsy musicians). A selection of tales collected from Babos István, gypsy from the village of Babocsa in Somogy County, Hungary. Collected by Szuhay Péter. Publication edited by Fazekas Zsuzsa, 2003, Budapest. These tales were not children's tales, they are erotic folk tales told by adults to adults while in the military service or while doing communal work. They are printed here in Hungarian, in their uncensored form, striving to preserve the dialect. Report by Dala Sára.
Summerfest International Folklore Festival and Folk Arts Market August 12-21, 2003 in the towns of Szászhalombatta, Ráckéve, Tököl, HUNGARY (approximately 30-35 km south of Budapest). Participating countries: Australia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Phillippines, Indonesia, Yugoslavia, South-Korea, Poland, Mexiko, Germany, Turkey, Slovakia, Slovenia, Udmurtia, Vietnam, Hungary. For information call: Szigetvári József 36-23-358-973 See ad in Hungarian for email addresses.
Folkloriada 2004 to be held August 12-22, 2004. Hungary has been chosen to host this grand CIOFF international festival. The III. World Folkloriada. The main locations of the festival will be Pécs and Budapest, with events planned in many other Hungarian cities as well. 8 Hungarian organizations will be cosponsoring this huge event with 2500 offi cial guests. Two international conferences shall be held in conjunction with the festival. There were many reasons that the CIOFF international committee chose Hungary to host this festival - amongst the reasons were: Hungary's internationally recognized traditional music, dance and folklore researchers, the interesting interplay of many ethnic influences in the folk tradition of the Carpathian Basin and the role of the dance house movement in preserving and keeping this community culture alive.
8th National Children’s Solo Dance Competition – Szárvas. Held every two years, 500 children entered this year’s competition, 200 of which made it to the finals in Szarvas. The compulsory dance material to be performed were dances of the Bodrogköz region. The winners of the competition are listed, along with dance teaching awards. Report by organizers of the competition and Darmos István
Egerszeg Festival May 8-12, 2003 Zalaegerszeg (in Western Hungary) and Marosvasárhely (in Transylvania) are sister cities. Traditonal dancers and musicians from the region aound the Transylvanian city of Marosvásárhely are invited each year to this folk festival held in for the 8th time this year in Zalaegerszeg. Report by Záhonyi András
Dance festival in Nagyvárad (Oradea) on May 17, 2003 Th ere were also festivals in Érmihályfalva (Valea lui Mihai) and Szatmárnémeti (Satu Mare) on this weekend. All western Transylvanian towns along the Hungarian border - an area known as "Partium". Report by Záhonyi András
I remember Martin György By Falvay Károly In this long article Falvay, the dancer, choreographer, researcher recalls his friendship with Martin György, the well known Hungarian dance researcher, as well as his own active career. Here is an enormous amount of personal history and information about the world inside of professional and amateur folk dance and choreography and folk dance research in Hungary from 1947 to 1983.
New CD: Potta Géza – a Gypsy fiddler ("prímás") born in 1933 in the village of Abaújszina (Sena) located in Eastern Slovakia. He has been playing music since he was 5 years old and learned to play from the older generation of Gypsy fiddlers. The recording presents a representative sampling of his repertoire – including both traditional old and new style Hungarian folk tunes and composed tunes (Hungarian Nóta) as well as two Slovak tunes from the region and modern popular tunes. The recording has been produced and released by Ifjú Szívek Dance Ensemble and FolkEurópa. Recommendation by Árendás Péter
Takács András remembers the foundation of the "Népes" (Czechoslovakian Hungarian Folk Ensemble) in 1953. Takács was named the first dance director and choreographer of this prefessional dance group. They used material from areas of present day Slovakia inhabited by Hungarians. In this article Takács off ers history of the formation of the group and its activities until 1957.
The Sültü Band is a revival band that plays Hungarian Moldavian and Gyimes Csángó music. The band was formed at the beginning of the 1990’s. All members of the band are award winning amateur folk musicians. They perform often, have been working on establishing a "club" night where they will be able to play regularly and would like to record their own CD. Report by K. Tóth László
Soós János: - Serf 's journal - two stories about buffalo herders in Szék.
Conversation with Papp István Gázsa - director of the Budapest Dance Ensemble's band, leader of the Gázsa Band. Gázsa is from Transylvania, he got involved in the dance house movement in Kolozsvár (Cluj) in 1977. He now lives in Hungary. Interview by Rostás-Péter Emese
Kürti László's tribute to the life and work of Szomjas-Schiff ert György the 93 year old Hungarian ethnomusicologist. Szomjas- Schiffert's active and prolific career has included amongst many other things, extensive collection of folk music and folklore of the Kiskunság region and the area between the Tisza and Danube rivers. Recently Szomjas-Schiffert has completed a three part historical drama, which "is not only a drama, but a postmodern passion play".
The Hajdu Dance Ensemble Debrecen celebrates its 50th anniversary. Article by Krakkó Ákos
Folk Dance festival for pre-school aged children – the Pintyőke Festival - held in Nagykanizsa in Southwestern Hungary. At the last festival about ten groups arrived from all over Hungary and Slovenia to take part. In addition to performances by the groups, there were traditional handcrafts workshops available as well as an exhibition of handcrafts done by children from 7 different pre-schools. Report by Keppel Julianna