Dömötör Tekla: Two wizards of the Dráva River region. The Hungarian ethnographer, Dömötör Tekla died in 1987, some 25 years ago. To this day her writings are classics and used as handbooks of Hungarian folklore and ethnography. Her main areas of research included folk theatre (passion plays), folk holiday customs, and Hungarian folk beliefs. Printed in this issue are excerpts from a later work on shamans. She describes two wizards from the Drava River region (Southern Hungary), their work (mainly making sure the crops of the region would be fruitful), and stories of how they got their powers. One of the wizards’ powers came from the Croatian tradition, while the others’ from Hungary’s Tolna County. From Dömötör Tekla: Táltosok Pest-Budán és környékén. [Shamans of Pest, Buda and the area]. Szépirodalmi Kiadó, Budapest 1987. pp. 203–216.
Recent release: Anthology of Hungarian Folk Music [Magyar Népzenei Antológia] a multimedia DVD offering the results of a quarter century of scientific work. Includes original recordings, transcriptions, photographs, film documentation, and MP3 files. 2012 Folk Európa. DVD. 9789630832854
Interview with Ertl Péter – new director of the National Dance Theatre. Ertl is a professional dancer (finished at the State Ballet Academy in 1987 with a specialization in folk dance), choreographer, and teacher. He has worked in many different dance genres, but also studied arts management at Pécs University. He has been working at the National Dance Theatre since 2006, and as of January 1st, 2013, is now the director of this institution which recently gained official ranking as a ‘national institution of the arts’. “...The National Dance Theatre’s task is to secure performance opportunities for Hungarian professional dance companies and to manage their performances...” The National Dance Theatre produces performances in two Budapest venues: the National Dance Theatre on Castle Hill in Buda, and the Palace of the Arts (“MÜPA”) in Pest. Ertl talks about status of funding, professional dance in Hungary and future plans for the Hungarian National Dance Theatre. Interview by Fehér Anna Magda appeared in Fidelio – December 19, 2012.
Kóka Rozália’s new series: Portraits of Hungarians from outside Hungary’s borders that have spent their lives keeping Hungarian tradition alive. In this issue: Part I. Jókai Mária – born in 1937 in the village of Felsőaha, since incorporated into the town of Verebély [Vrable] in Western Slovakia. Mária taught school in the town of Gímes/Ghymes [Jelenec] from 1962 until retirement and lived in nearby Lédec [Ladice]. She has spent her life teaching, directing/organizing the local women’s chorus, collecting information on traditions, writing books and keeping local Hungarian tradition alive. From a Hungarian family, she learned to speak Slovakian in elementary school when a Slovak teacher was appointed to their village after the war. When her father refused to join the local cooperative, he ended up in prison, then – after attempting suicide – in the hospital. A specific example of the kinds of things that happened to families after W.W.II. in this part of Europe.
Conversation with singer Fábián Éva. Éva grew up in the village of Györe in Hungary’s Tolna County. Her family and many other families in the area were Székely people from Bukovina, and her childhood was heavily influenced by, and immersed in that traditional culture. The community recognized her singing talent early on and she began performing with the local tradition preserving groups as a child. She studied music and education and became a pre-school teacher, always falling back on Bukovina traditional culture for inspiration in her work. Soon after finishing school she met the group of musicians that soon became the Kalamajka Band and began singing with them, then later (from 1985) also with Egyszólam Ensemble. She led the Kalamajka children’s dance houses for ecades, and often accepted invitations as a story-teller. Today she teaches music to pre-school children at the folk music school in Óbuda and often travels as a story teller. After decades of working with children and people, she observes that: “If a teacher is able to open the channels of love in children, they start to be capable of give-and-take play, and the instinctual selfi shness falls away. The ‘because I deserve it’ mentality ceases and children can be raised/taught to be empathetic.” Interview by Grozsdits Károly.
Eurasian Connections to Hungarian Folk Music. By Juhász Zoltán of the Research Institute of Technical, Physical and Material Sciences. A presentation given at the 2011 conference on Tradition, Heritage and Public Culture (The role and future of Hungarian Folk Arts in the Carpathian Basin). This is a description of a project that used Kodály and Bartók’s earlier work (1930s) as a point of departure, towards comparing the structure of Hungarian traditional melodies with melodies of other peoples of the world. This project began in about 1991, making computerized examinations of digitalized melodies of 23 ethnic groups from Europe, Asia, and North America. Some 36000 melodies were compared.
Phototography exhibition: Herdsmen – „Pásztorok” – Photos by Kása Béla (famous for his photos of Transylvanian village folk, Gypsies and Rajasthan, India) can be seen from January 21 – February 17, 2013 at the Öreghegyi Community Center, Fiskális út 93., Székesfehervár, Hungary. Kossuth award winning painter/graphics artist Somogyi Győző spoke at the opening and there was music by the Igriczek Ensemble, Kiss Ferenc and Szokolay Dongó Balázs.