English Table of Contents 2001/4
Káplár Tamás: discusses some of his opinions about Budapest táncház behavior, etiquette, repertoire.
Conversation with Kallós Zoltán. In celebration of Kallós' 75th birthday, Abkarovits Endre went to Transylvania to seek him out for an interview. They finally met in Kallós' Kolozsvár home. At 75, Kallós has spent his life collecting traditional music in Transylvania, providing a wealth of guiding information and inspiration to generations of researchers, musicians, dancers, ethnographers. He is now deeply involved in organizing camps and workshops in Transylvania, setting up a foundation and museum, gradually arranging for release of one recording at a time from the huge amount of musical material he has collected throughout the years, all over Transylvania. This is a process of making his extensive collections of folk objects and music available to others while organizing opportunities for the youth of Transylvania to relearn and/or appreciate their own traditional music and culture. An amazing person.
III. Hungarian Dance House Festival in Vienna. 2001 November 10. The festival featured performances by the Csík Band, Gajdos and Galga ensembles, Haránt Esther, Lukács Laci, Gémesi Zoli, Sóskuti Edit, the Szőttes Dance Ensemble (Bratislava, Slovakia), Muszka György and Ilonka, Neti Sanyi, his son, and band from Transylvania, the Napraforgók Dance Ensemble (Vienna, Austria) and many others, followed by táncház afterwards. Report by Henics Tamás
Pesovár Ernő The list of activities, projects, publications, collaborations, positions, posts, awards and ongoing work that include the name of this key figure in Hungarian dance ethnography, history and research is awe-inspiring. Felföldi László has compiled a summary thereof, in greeting Mr. Pesovár at his 75th birthday.
Lévai Péter comments on folk dance as a part of school curriculum in Hungary. The article starts by asking: is it possible to live without dance? ...(or music for that matter...). The answer: Yes. But what's the point?
Announcemnt of a new choreography of the Hargita National Székely Folk Ensmeble, a dance company in Transylvania. Theme of the new work is the ancient magic stag myth of origin related to the winter solstice. Premiere of the new piece was in early November, 2001. By Orza Călin - choreographer
An inventory of the Final Hour project. This December marks the end of a project documenting traditional village music to be found today in areas inhabited by Hungarians. The project began in 1997. During this time the repertoires of 47 bands from Transylvania, 25 Bands from Slovakia and 40 bands from Ukraine, Western Romania, Yugoslavia and Hungary have been documented in the studios of the Fonó Music Hall in Budapest. Each week a different band was brought from a different village. A total of 1250 CDs worth of material has been recorded for archival purposes and 15 CDs of selections from specific areas of Transylvania have been prepared for commercial release. More CDs of the material collected, are planned for commercial release under the Új Pátria series title. A complete listing of the villages (accompanied by the old county names used by the Hungarian researchers, but not by contemporary map-makers) covered within this program can be found in the Hungarian article. Report by Árendás Péter
Book release - Etnofon Kiadó 2001. Moldavian Instrumental Tunes. The Óbuda Folkmusic School Series Accompanied by CD of examples. Review by Sándor Ildikó
On October 26th and 27th, 2001, an event was held in the town of Csíkszereda in Transylvania. The occaision was the 25th anniversary of the formation of a band called Barozda. This band is no longer in existence, but it was one of the first bands of dance house movement in Transylvania. Most of its members have left Transylvania: they are living now in places like Sweden, Germany and Hungary. The event was a reunion and a chance to perform together again. Many people whose names are well known today in these circles and beyond as researchers, musicians, teachers and singers were connected with this band or joined in this celebration as friends and contemporaries of the band. Allegedly 700-800 people attended and the party lasted until the next day. In this issue, the event is covered by the conversation with Györfi Erzsébet (singer). By Abkarovits Endre.
Soós János, though he now lives in Budapest, is from the Transylvanian village of Szék, where he worked as a teacher in the Hungarian language elementary school there from 1981-1988. Here is a sample of what it was like to live in 99 % ethnically Hungarian Szék during the time of the Ceasescu dictatorship (a regime not fond of ethnic Hungarians), the hardships imposed upon the citizens, and the nasty traps devised by the secret police (even the wall had ears then) to "catch" the Szék residents in the act of thinking of themselves as Hungarian'. Those caught in such traps were often times fined, sometimes even put in prison. To illustrate, is the story of a group of teachers, parents and students tired of unheated classrooms during the tough winter of 1985, who finally took it upon themselves to get some firewood...
Dance personalities: Szappanos Lukács of Kunszentmiklós (1886-1973). A short portrait of the life of this traditional dancer. He was a great dancer, local personality and organizer of local dance groups and events. His dancing (the local verbunk variants in particular) has been studied, documented, placed in the archives and awarded by the state. List of references in Hungarian article. Felföldi László, Gombos András.
Kocsán László – on the verbunk of the Jászság area (part II). In Kocsán's continuing quest of reconstructing the nearly lost dances of the Jászság area, here he makes use of historical accounts of cavalry and soldiers from the area from the period of the early 1700's til the 1850's. Dance historians have stated that a method used for recruiting soldiers for the armies during that period was the men's dance: the verbunk. Therefore historical background supports the probable existence of verbunk in the Jászság area. Furthermore there is film footage from 1952 of man from the region dancing a verbunk, which has recently, with the help of modern technology, become usable for reseach. A summary of the results of this reseach has been presented in the form of a dance performed at a festival in northeastern Hungary in October 2001.
K. Tóth László reports on the rising value of folk art items at the Budapest antique market auctions.
Part I - Moldavian Csángó bagpipe players. Dr. Stuber György has been going to the Hungarian villages of Romanian Moldavia since the early 1970's collecting information on bagpipes - an instrument that is very nearly extinct in that area. Over the years he has amassed an enormous amount of information on the musicians, their instrument, the repertoire – some of which he shares with us here. In this article dr. Stuber György also discusses at some length his complaints against Tobak Ferenc a Hungarian bagpipe player and maker who presently resides in California. Stuber's charges against Tobak include plagerism (misuse of Stuber's manuscript), poor handling of informant rapport (paying off informants so that they won't allow others to make documentary recordings of them), and more. (There must be a more graceful way of sharing field work results amongst colleagues. SF)
Abkarovits Endre writes on the village of Torockó in the Kalotaszeg area of Transylvania. Some historical, ethnographical, touristic information on this village that has through help from experts of Budapest's fifth district and financial assistance for historical momuments have done enough restoration to win the Europa Nostra award in 1999 and set up village tourism there. All of this however has apparantly given the village a rather museum-like atmosphere.
Announcing: 21st National Dance House Festival and Market 2002. March, 16 and 17. Budapest: SAP Events Hall and Körcsarnok (at the "Népstadion" metro stop)