English Table of Contents 2001/1
Conversation with Novák Ferenc "Tata" The famously outspoken and brilliant director of the professional folk dance theatre, the Honvéd Ensemble will celebrate his 70th birthday on March 27th. This personality, who has played in key role in Budapest's amatuer and professional folk dance movements since at least the sixties, muses on himself, his work, his children, his life and his plans for the future. Happy Birthday Tata! By Hollókői Lajos
Kocsán László from the town of Jászberény (approx. 60 km due east of Budapest) gives us a sample of his process of reconstructing the local traditional dances of his area. The subject here is the verbunk. The sources discussed are historical references to the music and soldiers dancing this dance and a film of the dance existing in the archives of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences which, since filming in the field in 1952, frustratingly enough no one yet has been able to view it because of a technical problem.
Kocsis Rózsi: My soul is an open book. Confessions of a mother. Autobiographical writings by a peasant woman from a Transylvanian village. Through the prose and poetry of this woman, the reader can learn everything about what the everyday life in a Transylvanian agrarian village is like - from the social system, the traditional crafts and daily work to the inner emotions of a mother in this society with a retarded son. Published in Hungarian by European Folklore Institute and L'Harmattan Kiadó, Budapest, 2000.
A report on the activities of the "Tiszta Forrás" (Pure Source) Foundation and Kincső Folk Dance Ensemble over the five years since their establishment in the village of Zseliz in Slovakia, 30 km north of Esztergom. The work of these organizations over the past five years has brought together a steady stream of people, events, tours, workshops and gatherings, with great successes and results in boosting Hungarian culture in this region. Please note that maintenence of such Hungarian cultural organizations and activities in Slovakia is always tricky, and these groups admit to feeling a bit tired at the moment, probably from the stress of this, despite their prolific and successful past five years. By Mézes Árpád.
Letter to Borbély Jolán "Joli Néni" from Dreisziger Kálmán in Montreal, Canada. After the success of a staging/ reconstruction of a Sárköz wedding for an event in Montreal in November 2000, Kálmán thanks Joli Néni for the wealth of ideas and information she contributed during a bus ride back to Budapest from a Dunamenti Festival in Hungary about eight years ago, when Kálmán first thought up this plan.
Kiss Ida congratulates the Bokréta Ensemble of Montreal, Életfa Ensemble of New York and Dreisziger Kálmán on the Sárköz wedding event held in Montreal, Canada, which reportedly gave the audience/guests the feeling of excitement and celebration of a real three day wedding. From "Magyar Krónika". Montreal. November 10, 2000.
A new school for the folk arts (traditional music, dance and handcrafts) was established in September 2000 in the village of Üröm on the northwest outskirts of Budapest. With an enrollment of over 150 school age children and a teaching staff including well-known Budapest táncház musicians Csoóri Sándor, Havasréti Pál and Lányi György, the school proudly reports great success of the student concert at the end of the first semester.
Takács András reports on the success of the November 30th, 2000 premiere of the Szőttes Chamber Folk Ensemble's new program. The concert, held in Pozsony (Bratislava), Slovakia, presented the ensemble's new full length program. The new program features dances from other parts of the Carpathian Basin, mainly Transylvania and along the Tisza River - branching out from the usual material of their native Felvidék (the northern Hungarian language area) which this group is heretofore famous for. Choreography by Németh Ildikó/Szabó Szilárd, music by Koncz Gergely/Lakatos Róbert.
Traditional Hungarian Lenten and Easter Cuisine This article by Juhász Katalin tells about foods traditionally eaten during Lent (no meat - vegetables and maybe milk products) and Easter (earlier lamb, now more often ham, eggs, etc), and about related religious and folk beliefs and customs, offering a few recipes as well. References from as early as the 7th Century up to the 20th Century, with regional and religious differences/similarities in the customs.
Conversation with dr. Nagy Olga, journalist, writer, ethnographer, collector of folk tales and mother from Kolozsvár (Cluj) Transylvania who recently celebrated her 80th birthday. "..until the end of the 70s, living folk tales could still be found here...mostly men told each other stories...women told stories at spinning bees...not everything a person said could really be believed ....my Győri Klára was one of those....her stories were sometimes gossip, sometimes fiction, sometimes about something that happened or just jokes...but always reveal the [traditional] peasant scale of values..." Interview by Krekity Olga, printed in a Hungarian newspaper in Northern Serbia
Ojanna - Kanalas Éva's Sound Theatre Many things are said here about this CD such as: "unusual sounds...sometimes reminiscent of jazz...Éva playing, drumming, rattling out feelings which arise while singing...going back to Hungarian tradition....shamanistic singing technique...possible healing powers of singing..." Záhonyi András recommends this recording to all folk music fans ready for musical experiment.
Szék Journal "We lived as man and wife for 25 years, during which time our eight sons were born and 6 cows died", said an 87 year old widow from this Transylvanian village about her husband. This and other tidbits from this village by Soós János. Sue Foy - as usual, all names of people here (except mine), have been written "the Hungarian way", with the family name preceeding the given name.