CIOFF Council elects Hungarian president Szigetvári József has been elected president of the council of this international organization famous for sponsoring and organizing international folk dance festivals all over the world. The next meeting of this international council will be held in mid March in the town of Szászhalombatta (and will include a visit to the annual dance house festival). In 2004, Hungary will host the next large-scale CIOFF international folk festival in the city of Pécs. Announcement by Szigetvári József
Conversation with Bodza Klára The singer, Bodza Klára, active and well known as both performer and teacher, celebrates her 60th birthday. Amongst many other endeavors in her career, she founded and has been leading the singing group, Tátika, for 15 years. She inherited her love of traditional song from her parents who were from the Hungarian Plain. She says, „devotion, preservation and passing on our inheritance.....my most important task is still teaching, working with the younger generations.” Article by K. Tóth László
Gyimesek vidéke (the Gyimes region) – by Váradi Péter Pál and Lőwey Lilla, is the 8th volume in a series of books on selected areas of Transylvania. This newest volume, like the others, is a book of photographs, familiarizing the reader with the terrain, architecture, people, costume and customs unique to each region. The authors – both from Transylvania – are their own publishers and distributors. Gyimes, an area nestled in the mountains on the eastern edge of Transylvania (east of Csíkszereda), is inhabited by Csángó Hungarians. Review by Abkarovits Endre
Dance in Hungarian art An exhibition of dance in pictures is being organized by the City Gallery – Deák Collection of the city of Székesvár to be exhibited 2002 August 15 – October 27. Curator of the exhibit is dr. Nagy Zoltán, art historian. The exhibition shall draw primarily on materials from museum collections, but the curators are open to consideration of materials appropriate to the exhibit from the collections of private individuals. (see article in Hungarian for telephone numbers)
The Jászság verbunk, part III In these articles, we are witnesses to Kócsán László's academic detective work towards reconstruction the verbunk of his home region, the Jászberény area. Here eight references to the verbunk are cited from historical records from the Jászság area (due east of Budapest) between the years 1778 and 1859. Most references cited involve recruiting endeavors and the verbunk (translated as „recruiting dance").
100th year anniversary of the birth of Muharay Elemér The speech by Vitányi Iván printed here, celebrates the life and work of this important figure in folk dance and folk culture movements in the periods before the dance house movement. In 1944 or so, he had 'hoped to...establish a center within the framework of which a professional folk dance company, archive and organizational body could all function.' At that time he wasn't successful in founding such a center. But he went on to be a tireless supporter of the local tradition preserving groups, and many, many other things. The speech was given on November 30, 2001 at the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest.
The dances of Felsőgyékényes in the Mezőség region of Transylvania. After first seeing a group of people from this village performing improvised dances at a folk festival in the Transylvanian town of Dés (Dej) in 1992, Bodó-Bán János spent some time from June through the end of October 2001, visiting this village, getting support from the local leaders, finding musicians. He was able to organize a time to make video recordings and photographs documenting the dance repertoire from this village – 6 couples were photographed dancing in costume. The organized session then spontaneously turned into a ball, with almost 60 people in attendance, almost all of whom could dance. The documented materials will be in the collection of the Hungarian Heritage House.
The dance house and the hussars This is the story of a rock loving Budapest teenager in the mid 1970's whose friends led him to a dance house and how that eventually led to the founding of something called the Historical Equestrian Association – an association involved in revival and preservation of Hungary's illustrious horseman's past. It is Fülöp Tibor's description of how the táncház movement awakened a lasting pride in a his own culture that has carried into other areas of his life. By Fülöp Tibor Zoltán
About Dobos Károly – fiddler from Szék (in Transylvania) by Soós János This fiddler who died in 1992, the last of the great Szék fiddlers, was Soós János' neighbor. Soós tells the story of how residents of their street in Szék had decided to bring water from a nearby spring directly into all their yards. This entailed digging a series of trenches, and when they all pitched in to help the fiddler dig his section of trench......
Bagpipers of Hungarian Moldavia part II. by Stuber György. A second helping of information on bagpipers of this isolated ethnic group of Csángó Hungarians. Sections of this article discuss: What bagpipes are called in this part of Moldavia Popularity of the bagpipe in this area The repertoire About how bagpipes are made The reeds of the Csángó bagpipe Bagpipe and violin
In a letter to the editors, Juhász Zoltán points out that editorial license and responsibility could have been exercised by the folkMAGazin editorial staff in regards to a certain recent article (in MAG dec. 01). by Stuber György.
The present and future of the táncház in Transylvania – article by András Mihály of Csíkszereda (Miercurea Cuic), director of the Hargita...Folk Ensemble. „Will the dance house inTransylvania survive?” – The answer: „Of course! There always were and always will be (dance houses), as long there is a world."
Hungarian film director, Szomjas György is currently shooting (and may already be in post production) – a film on the táncház. The Title: „VAGABOND” This will not be Szomjas' first film involving music and contemporary urban Hungarian society. After years of research and preparation via countless TV programs and documentary films on traditional musicians... This should be interesting... Report by Benkő András
Letter from Timár Sándor read at an event marking the 30th anniversary of the first táncház held in Budapest. „The dance house is 30 years old” – at Corvin tér in Budapest on May 6th, 2002, featured screening of two classic old films followed by dancing and gossip to music supplied by Halmos–Sebő–Éri nostalgia band. Event was organized by the Dance House Archive.
Tükrös Ensemble's New CD Just returned from tour in Australia and on their way to the USA this summer, Tükrös has released a new CD, including music from Gömör region, Abaújszina (both found in the so-called „Felvidék” area), the upper Tisza region and Magyarpalatka. Announcement by Árendás Péter
Lily in a rock garden CD by Berecz András – „today's Hungarian shaman". Berecz is famous in Hungary for his renditions of traditional folk tales and his singing. Finally a CD with samples of tales. English translation of tales and songs come with the disk. Review by Juhász Katalin
Tátika Ensemble celebrates 15 year anniversary This singing group lead by the reknown Bodza Klára, gave a concert at Corvin tér in Budapest on May 4, 2002. Report by Mrs. Rudas Bajcsay Márta
List of the music, dance and handicraft summer camps in 2002.
Gyimes – The Babba Mária people An exhibition of photographs by Endrődi Péter was at Marcibányi Square Cultural Center in Budapest from March 27th – April 15, 2002. „...seems he has found the key...to this closed, extraordinary group of people....they let him in, with his camera...” Review by Sándor Ildikó
News clips from the VII. dance festival held in Zalaegerszeg, (western) Hungary on May 9–13, 2002. by Záhonyi András
Report by András Mihály on activities of the Hargita National Székely Folk Ensemble (a professional dance group) and its training group of Hargita County – the area around Csíkszereda in Transylvania (Romania).
Khamoro dance association – conversation with Farkas Zsolt and Szitai Mária, leaders of a course on Gypsy dance that started out in February of 2002. After two monthes of work the group has already had their first performance... classes' good atmosphere characterised by live traditional gypsy music and the relaxed style of the teachers. See article by Bander Csilla in Hungarian for time and location, e-mail address, etc.
Part IV – The Jászság verbunk Kocsán László continues his quest of reviving and rediscovering the verbunk of his home area of central Hungary.
Lent and the black sheep Soós János' column on culture of the Transylvanian village of Szék – K. Mari's family of shepherds.
Conversation with Agócs Gergely – folk musician, folklorist, personality from the area known as Palóc – upper Hungary „Felvidék". By Abkarovits Endre
Bagpipers of Hungarian Moldavia part III. by Stuber György
Letter to Juhász Zoltán From Stuber György 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.
A summer afternoon with my father – Soós János from the village of Szék in Transylvania recounts some of his father's stories of his own life.
Kelemen László, executive director of the Hungarian Heritage House – on the last year and a half. From „Népszabadság” 2002 aug 24. Interview by Jávorszky Béla Szilárd. This report on progress, present situation and plans, tells that Mihályi Gábor was recently named director of the State Folk Ensemble, Sebo Ferenc as Professional Director of the Hungarian Heritage House. Lajtha, Martin, Pávai, Kallós archives/collections are now housed here, with more archival technology in development. Negociations continue with the Institute of Ethnomusicology regarding future cooperation. Planning continues for the institution's new location.
Transylvanian folk dance and music camps of summer 2002: Jobbágytelke – IV. annual Marosszéki folk dance camp. Felsôsófalva – VIII. annual Székelyföld dance camp Kalotaszentkirály – organized for the 12th time – Kalotaszeg dance and music. Kommandó – IV. annual Gypsy folklore camp Vajdaszentivány – VI. annual folk dance and folk music camp. Report by Záhonyi András
Volume 1 of the new video series „Hungarian folk costume” – features traditional costume of five regions of Hungary. Available at the Hungarian Heritage House for 4,000. HUF
"Honti igricek” – the name of new program presented by the dance ensemble from Pozsony (Bratislava) called „Ifjú Szivek". The new show presents dance and music traditions of the area known in Hungarian as „Felvidék” – the northern reaches of the Hungarian language area, most of which lies within Slovakia. Announcment by Hégli Dusán – ensemble director
Dunamenti Folklore Festival 2002 – was held between July 16 and 21 in three towns along the Danube in Southern Hungary. A meeting of authentic folk dance and folk music groups from 16 European countries – a CIOFF sponsored festival. Report by Héra Éva
Map the Csángó regions – including Bukovina and Moldavian villages inhabited by the „Csángó” – a Hungarian ethnic group. A detailed map in two languages. Topográf Kft. See Announcement in Hungarian for addresses.
CD – Kádár Ferenc (1891–1983), traditional singer and musician from Nagysárrét in Hungary's Great Plain. This traditional musician and singer was discovered by the Hungarian folk music researchers in the 1950's and 60's. On the CD are a variety of recordings made from 1961 on, and have been compiled by this musician's great grandson as a musical portrait and tribute. Announcement by Sárosi Bálint
Fonó Band Members of the Hegedos Band (the band that accompanies one of Budapest's professional folk dance companies, the Honvéd Ensemble), upon release of their new recording (to be released by Fonó Records), have decided to adopt a new name for the group which will be used for their musical activities independent from their work with the Honvéd. This fall they will be hosting regular dance houses at the Fonó Music Hall in Budapest. Band members: Ágócs Gergely, Gombai Tamás, Herczkó Ágnes, Kürtösi Zsolt, Szabó Gábor. Interview by Jászai Julianna.
A CD of songs from the village of Vágáshuta – in the Zemplén region recorded between 1998 and 2000. Notes from the record cover.
Táncház folk music – 2003 Announcement for recording to be released in April 2003. Professional and amatuer musicians and singers wishing to be included on this recording may submit entries of 10 minutes of music on CD by Nov. 4, 2002. For more info, contact Agócs Gergely at Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest.
Kettös (name of a couple dance from the Gyimes region of Transylvania) A story about teaching a young girl to dance...as told by Zerkula János. From the cover notes of a new CD to be released by Folk Europa Kft. Ábrahám Judit
Táncház listing – an up-todate list of dance houses all over Hungary and Transylvania
New Living Folk Music 2003. Those folk musicians, singers interested in participating in this recording should submit sample CD of music by October 31, 2002. Entries will be juried. Inquire: Havasréti Pál at the Dance House Association.
Conversation with Berecz András – singer, story teller. Berecz' life story is here. About his family, childhood, how he came in contact with the dance house and what became his passion and livelihood: traditional village song and folk tales. Berecz has travelled far and wide, collecting as well as performing his material. He has recently published a new book entitled „Rokonok söre” an anthology of Chuvash folk literture – with his translations (into Hungarian). By Abkarovits Endre
On August 16, 2002 Rákóczi Kovács Gusztáv was awarded the distinguished Master of Folk Arts award. He is a traditional dancer from the town of Nagyecsed in Northeastern Hungary's Szatmár County. His excellent and creative dancing is well known both locally and nationally and has been well documented by the Hungarian dance researchers, with many films of his dancing to be found in the archives. Article by Busai Norbert
Jászság Folk Costume – Exhibition at the Jász Museum in Jászberény. This exhibit shows the development of costume of this area of Hungary from the 13th Century through the present. The opening of the exhibition on July 25, 2002 included presentation of an instructional video on costume of three towns in Hungary and the Jászság region with costume demonstration, as well as performances by local chorus and dance group. Exhibit open until June 30th 2003. Article by Dr. H. Bathó Edit – museum director.
Kocsán Lázsló, in this issue writes on the outlaws of the Jászság region. Escape from being drafted into military service, and the consequent life of an outlaw is often referred to and romanticised in Hungarian folklore. Here Kocsán offers some information specific to his region.
Conversation with Balogh Kálmán. Kálmán, an extraordinary cymbalom player, that has played with just about every Hungarian band of the dance house movement, along with bands and/or music from many other European cultures and styles. He has been classically trained (Liszt Academy of Music) and influenced by his generation and by every music he has come in contact with. In this interview his observations about different styles of music and comments on the role of restaurant Gypsy music in Hungarian culture, go to a deeper layer of understanding and a scope beyond the generally expressed opinions of this genre and generation. Marton László Távolodó – excerpts from his book published by Etnofon, 2001.
Conversation with members of the Téka Ensemble This band, formed 26 years ago, named itself after the small cupboard where the valuables of the peasant household were kept – namely: family documents, money, Bible, salt and the pálinka. Band members tell about formation of the band, the early years, how the present band members came to join and current activities. What does this band do? Dance houses, concerts, tours, makes recordings, organizes camps, studies under various village musicians and teach. K. Tóth László
Kiss Ferenc – musician, composer, director of Etnofon record label, publisher of folk and ethnographical publications, founder of the Héttorony Festival. A prolific mind with a wealth of ideas. Active in encouraging discourse amongst colleagues on tradition preservation. Kiss has now even applied for funding to make documentary films... Interview by K. Tóth László
"The Brashov Train Station” An event staged at the Kelenföld Train Station in Budapest in November of 2002, directed by Diószegi László and Szántó Zoltán. Included 3 bands of traditional musicians from Transylvania and Romania, dancers and musicians from Budapest. Article by Babarczy Eszter (appeared in „Népszabadság” 2002 November 16.)
4th Vienna Dance House Festival. Held on 2002 Nov. 9 at Collegium Hungaricum Report by Henics Tamás Performances by local dance ensembles, Csik Band, Galga Band, Berecz András and a host of dance teachers and musicians including members of Muzsikás Ensemble.
Fall folk dance festivals outside of Hungary Dance house festival in Vajdaság (Voivodina) The 8th festival of southern Hungarian folk dance was held on October 12, 2002, in the town of Csóka. More than 1000 people gathered at the Vajdaság Hungarian Folklore Center for the event. Festivals that were held in Transylvania in November: Sepsiszentgyorgy (Sfintu Gheorghe) Szamosújvár (Gherla) – Mezôség Nagykároly (Carei) in northwestern Transylvania, Szatmar county. Report by Záhonyi András
The András Foundation started a program in 2001 to encourage dancers, musicians and singers from the Hargita National Székely Folk Ensemble of Transylvania, to pass on their knowledge by teaching local youth. On 2002 November 29 – the Friday before (St.) András Day, childrens groups from at least six local villages gathered for performances, followed by dance house. This was the fourth annual such gathering in Transylvania (unfortunately the report doesn't mention exactly where the event was held). The teaching program is supported by 4 Hungarian organizations including the Hungarian Ministry of Education. Report by János Enikő and Bodi Ildikó
The Forrás Folk Dance Ensemble toured in Mexico. Report by Szigetvári József
The Fonó Band: MIXTURA CULTIVALIS – a new CD.
Publication announcement: „A magyarság népzenéje” (Folk music of the Hungarians) The large scale comprehensive work of Vargyas Lajos. Edited and revised by Paksa Katalin. Book includes: more than 1000 examples of music noatation, 10 CDs of 433 melodies. Published by Planétás Kiadó, part of the series entitled „Jelenlévő múlt” . Released on 2002, Nov. Announcement by Dala Sára
Conversation with singer Herczku Ágnes. Upon the release of her solo CD: Arany és kék szavakkal (In gold and blue). Ági started out studying dance, in 1997 went to dance with the Honvéd Ensemble, then came more and more invitations to sing and now the CD (backed up by a lot of good musicians) with songs mainly about life in love. By Sándor Ildikó
2002 Series of Performances by Hungarian amateur folk dance ensembles. These performances were judged by a professional jury, rating the level of expertise of each ensemble According to the system of qualifi cation reorganized in 1996, groups are re-evaluated every two years. This year 71 groups were evaluated at six diff erent events. Summary by Diószegi László – Jury member, choreographer, president of the Martin Folk Dance Association
In the town of Székesfehérvár about 70 km south of Budapest, recently there was an exhibition at the City Gallery showing Hungarian dance history in the pictorial arts from 1686 to 1940. Karácsony Zoltán summarizes the exhibition from – as he puts it – „a dance folklore point of departure". This article gives a certain broad historical picture of Hungarian folk dance.
Méra (Kalotaszeg region of Transylvania) September 22, 2002. An event celebrating the opening of their regional house-museum and 20th anniversary of the foundation of the local tradition preserving [practicing] performing group. This renowned and extraordinary rural community has been frequented by the most famous music and dance researchers, folklorists both Hungarian and foreign, for nearly a century. In celebration there were performances by the group from Méra, 7 other local villages and two groups from Hungary. Borbély Jolán
Szomjas György's newest film is to be premiered at the Hungarian Film Festival in Budapest in February 2003. This is a film about Budapest's dance house scene – the táncház movement – a story told mainly through music and dance. Photography: Grunwalsky Ferenc Musical director: Kiss Ferenc Dance director: Zsuráfszki Zoltán Director: Szomjas György
In celebration of Erdélyi Tibor's 70th birthday. Pesovár Ernő's speech heard on the November 23, 2002 evening presenting works by Erdélyi Tibor, at the Hagyományok Háza (Corvin tér) in Budapest. Érdelyi Tibor hails from northeastern Hungary's Szatmár county. Still active as dancer, choreographer, folk artist, woodcarver, teacher, Érdelyi's many faceted work is well known both in Hungary and abroad.
Report on a festival organized for the 7th time in the village of Vice (in Transylvania). Following the festival, the Hargita National Székely Folk Ensemble gave a series of performances in other scattered communities of Hungarians in the Mezőség region of central Transylvania.
Discussion on preserving Hungarian tradition: During a festival organized on the occaision of the 10th birthday of the Etnofon record label – a group of people who work in this field were invited to participate in a professional theoretical discourse. Pavai: „...In its original environment [tradition] wasn't preserved, it lived. The peasants had no goal of protecting their traditions...; this is an intellectual endeavor...” Printed here are notes from the discussion which indicate: there are varying opinions on just what is the best way to preserve tradition, there is a conscious eff ort to do so and that several types of Hungarian institutions are involved in this activity. Themes discussed were: what the process of globalization will do to folklore, the role of the dance house city revival movement, various Hungarian archives, the merits of the institution newly reorganized in 2001, now called the Hungarian Heritage House: previously two organizations: Hungarian State Folk Ensemble and [Hungarian] Institute of Culture, with the addition of an archive housing Martin György's library and other renowned collections. Opinions were voiced by: Pávai, I.; Kiss, F.; Diószegi, L.; Berán, I.; Fekete, M. ; Éri, P.; P. Vas, J.; Lelkes, L.; Halmos, B.; Fügedi J.
January 10–12, 2003, the 16th solo dance festival (a juried competition) will be held in the town of Békescsaba in eastern Hungary.
Kóka Rozália – Going from House to House. Telling the story of her own family's Bukovina Székely origin and the process of her reconstruction of the Bukovina bethlehem pagent plays. A widespread Christmas custom that varies from region to region, entailing a group of people going from house to house bringing greetings in memory of the birth of Christ and for St Stephen's day. We have come not to make comedy Nor to start some humorous game We just came for a little bit of fun And to show you a little example of Christ Praise God in heaven Peace to those on earth To all people benevolent.
Soós János – Winter Blessing in Szék. Soós regularly writes these short memoirs for FolkMAGazin about his home village in Transylvania, off ering to those of us not from such a village, little tastes of that life. Here, we hear about spinning parties on winter evenings – great gatherings for discussion of local issues, etc over needle work, spinning or other handwork. In such villages, books were rare and treasured items: as a rule only three people in a village owned books at all; the priest, the schoolmaster and the town clerk. Books were brought to spinning parties and stories read aloud. Th is is the story of the first time Soós was asked to read aloud at such a gathering and how he got his first book.
Announcements: Varga Edit becomes vice president of the IGF (an international organization of folklore groups)