English Table of Contents 2001/3
Ifj. Vitányi Iván has a few words of practical advice on performance contracts for folk musicians.
Conversation with Kelemen László, director of the Hungarian Heritage House. Here Kelemen stresses the Carpathian Basin (which means the entire Hungarian language area as opposed to just the political borders of Hungary itself) as a direction in plans for the work of this institution. Currently he has cut back on his other activities so that he can concentrate on the challenges of his post which officially began on July 1. The Hungarian Heritage House is located at Corvin tér in Buda, though in two years, construction of a new building is planned for completion. Kelemen tells of many plans here, including development of a network of archives, dance houses, training programs thoughout the Hungarian language area. By K. Tóth László
Pesovár Erno is 75 years old. Mr. Pesovár is the author of four books considered to be amongst the handbooks on Hungarian folk dance, he has been awarded the highest state honours for someone in his field, he is an ethnographer, choreographer, professor, academician. Among many other things of interest here in this interview, I liked his overview of the trends in Hungarian folk dance choreography through the decades of the fifties, sixties and seventies. Interview by Varga Lajos Márton, which appeared in Nép szabadság, 2001. September 5.
On June 20, 2001 a group called "Ordasok" performed at the "Budai Vigadó" at Corvin tér in Budapest. The group and a new choreography are both the brain child of Sára Ferenc. The name of the new choreography can be translated as ..."men's dances and laments from Kalotaszeg", which is what is was. Sára's well-picked group of five men who all sing as well as they dance, along with musicians who were able to do justice to this music – carried off this choreography brilliantly. The result – a lot of men's dance, a lot of singing, a lot of music and the kind of performance that Sára is able to get out of people - energy, with a feeling of raw talent that isn't affected. It worked. Záhonyi András offers his commentary on the event.
Thoughts after attending the fourth annual camp for dance and music in Hungarian Moldavia. On the far side of the Carpathian mountains, lie the villages of the Moldavian Csangó people – an isolated group of Hungarians living in the depths of Romania. This group of people have an extremely rich culture and traditional life amidst economic poverty. In addition to local music and dance, the participants experienced the local people, crafts, tales and much more during the camp. By Benko András
On Sundays since the July 6th opening ceremonies of a place called "Millenáris Park", in Budapest, a series of events called "The Regions" has presented local dances, music and customs from various regions inhabited by Hungarians. Záhonyi András' observations and comments on some groups arriving from Transylvania.
Takács András (Hungarian dance researcher from Slovakia) congratulates a new professional Hungarian dance group in Bratislava, the "Ifjú Szívek", on their debut performance last spring. This group of talented performers have inherited a tradition begun in 1956 by an ensemble of college students in the same city. The Ifjú Szívek perform Hungarian dance on a high level of expertise and artistry. Their performances feature dances of their native "Felvidék" (Hungarian Slovakia), Hungary and Transylvania.
Announcement of publication of a book cataloging the traditional village dancers that have been awarded the title of "Masters of Folk Art" – a title bestowed on extraordinary folk artists by the Hungarian state since 1953. The book has been published in 2001 in cooperation between the Hungarian Heritage House, Center for European Folklore and Insitute of Musicology. It gives biographical information on each dance personality and provides a listing of the written, audio and visual materials existing in the Hungarian archives on each person. The volume was edited by Felföldi László and Gombos András (and will also be published in English).
Announcement for a book by Farkas Zoltán, a.k.a. "Batyu" soon to be released by Panétás Kiadó (Press). This will be Batyu's newest offering on methodology for teaching Hungarian dance and a summary of his 25 years of experience performing, choreographing and teaching Hungarian ethnic dance. "..the essence of this playfulness lies in always breaking the movements down to the basic elements and then practicing them using space and rhythm creatively..." Fügedi János – leading dance notation expert
Music journalist, Marton László Távolodó on: What is world music? Amongst others quoted here with a variety of answers...Frank London of the Klezmatics said the following, "...I think world music is a marketing question....but the way I look at it, all music is world music. Bartók and Beethoven too. And if we listen to rock music or techno, they are a kind of folk music or world music....".
Hungarian Jazz Conversation with Dresch Dudás Mihály "I never wanted to deny that I was born and live here (in Hungary): I see this as my fate - which I live out at times happily, and other times with despair". Dresch is an extraordinary jazz saxophonist who has spent the past perhaps 15 years allowing Hungarian village music to find its way into his own brand of what is probably best described as free jazz. Inspirations and influences he mentions here...Johnny Griffin, John Coltrane, Szabados György, music at village celebrations from his youth. Interview by Marton László Távolodó
Interview with Csík János - leader and fiddler of the Csík Band, from the town of Kecskemét in the Hungarian plain. As the band prepares a new record for release and in the wave of performances representing Hungary at the Olympics in Sydney, Csík talks about repertorie, his band and dance houses in Hungary's countryside. By Abkarovits Endre
The Barozda Ensemble celebrates its 25th anniversary. Barozda formed in the fall of 1976 to become first táncház band in the Székelyföld area of Transylvania. The anniversary celebration will be a two day event in the town of Csíkszereda in Romania on October 26-27, with concerts, performances and dance house with former band members and friends.
Molnár Miklós fiddler with the Ökrös Band strikes out in response to some stereotypical public opinions about folk musicians, and the existence of a certain wall between upper class society and the folk musician. He begins with a quote "why do they always have to go to the west to play, can't they play at home?" and then ends his commentary with, "But when the newspaper prints an article about the ragged little peasant band from home performing with the Philidelphia Orchestra, those talking from their high horse immediately begin clearing their throats."