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HomeHungary, Folklore and Modernity

Hungary, Folklore and Modernity

Hongrie, folklore et modernité

FolkFocus

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Published on Friday, June 10, 2022

Abstract

The conference aims to study the hungarian folk movement called “táncházmozgalom” (“dance house movement”). In 2022, this movement celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the first “táncház” (“dance house”, type of traditional dance ball), held in Budapest on the 6th of May 1972. The process of “learning by doing” is a central dynamic to the personal investment of the youngsters in this movement, during the music and dance lessons as well as during the táncházak (dance houses), koncertek (concerts) and táborok (camps). The dance house movement is also very much marked by hungarian ethnography of the XXth century. The practices of dancing and music are anchored in the consulting of numerous works and archives of ethnographic collections from the last century. As such, the “táncházmozgalom” is often called “revival movement” since it brings melodies and steps of rural folk music back up to date in the modern and urban context of Budapest.

Announcement

Argument

The conference aims to study the hungarian folk movement called “táncházmozgalom” (“dance house movement”). In 2022, this movement celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the first “táncház” (“dance house”, type of traditional dance ball), held in Budapest on the 6th of May 1972.

The process of “learning by doing” is a central dynamic to the personal investment of the youngsters in this movement, during the music and dance lessons as well as during the táncházak (dance houses), koncertek (concerts) and táborok (camps). The dance house movement is also very much marked by hungarian ethnography of the 20th century. The practices of dancing and music are anchored in the consulting of numerous works and archives of ethnographic collections from the last century. As such, the “táncházmozgalom” is often called “revival movement” since it brings melodies and steps of rural folk music back up to date in the modern and urban context of Budapest.

In 2020 and 2021 the folkarcok (“folk heads”, members of the movement) live through a pandemic which forces the traditional methods to evolve towards new ways of transmission: through multimedia communication, for instance. Also, these new identity-making processes develop within a general european network of folk events such as summer camps and festivals.

How does the society making between the members of the movement evolve? How does the young generation perceive and interpret codes of social construct that are transmitted in the táncház social environment, and in regard with European policies and hungarian politics of identity? What are their impressions and wishes regarding this cultural movement now, their own place in the modernity and in the near digital future? Which steps is the young generation taking within and out of the táncházmozgalom?

Registration

Registration is free: https://bit.ly/3zn7Uvw

Programm

Lundi 20 juin 2022

9am - 12:30am: Introduction to the dance house movement (@auditoire Studio 13)

9:00: Introduction by Etienne Dalemans

9:30 – 10:45: Agnès Fülemile & Balázs Balogh: “Folk fans and Rock Fans - Youth, cultural alternatives, resilience, and grassroots resistance in socialist Hungary”

Break 10:45 – 11:00

11:00 – 12:30: Soma Salamon: “Embracing tradition, theory, and practice: the first 50 years of the Táncház”

1:30pm - 5:30pm : Workshop with the hungarian moldvai folk band PásztorHóra (@Écuries de la Ferme du Biéreau)

8pm - 11:30pm: Moldvai táncház (folk dance house of Moldva) with PásztorHóra (@La Ferme du Biéreau)

Mardi 21 Juin 2022

9am - 12:30am: Táncház, generations, gender and transmission (@Auditoire Studio 13)

9:00 – 10:30: Colin Quigley: “Extending Choreomusical Intimacy across Generations”

Break 10:30 – 10:45

10:45 – 12:00: Csilla Könczei: “Dancing room in Transylvania in the 1970s and 1980s”

12:00 – 12:30: Máté Vizeli: “The education of folk music in Hungary”

1:30pm - 5:30pm : Workshop with the hungarian folk and world music band Góbé (@Écuries de la Ferme du Biéreau)

7 :30pm : Concert of Góbé (@La Ferme du Biéreau)

9pm - 11:30pm : Táncház (folk dance house) with Góbé (@La Ferme du Biéreau)

Details on scientific interventions

Agnès Fülemile & Balázs Balogh: “Folk fans and Rock Fans - Youth, cultural alternatives, resilience, and grassroots resistance in socialist Hungary”

Ágnes Fülemile is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Ethnology at the Research Center for the Humanities, Budapest and the editor-in-chief of the journal Acta Ethnographica Hungarica. She has MA degrees in ethnography, history and art history, a PhD in European ethnology (ELTE, Budapest) and an MPhil in history of dress (University of London). She was a Fulbright visiting scholar at the Anthropology Department of UC Berkeley, the Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and at Rutgers University. For thirty years she regularly taught courses at study abroad programs of American universities in Budapest. In 2006-2009 she was the Hungarian Chair Professor at Indiana University, Bloomington. While working as the director of the Balassi Institute’s Hungarian Cultural Center in New York (2012-2014), she curated the Hungarian Heritage: Roots to Revival program of the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC. in 2013.

Balázs Balogh is the Director of the Institute of Ethnography and the Director General of the Research Center for the Humanities of the Eötvös Loránd Research Network, Budapest. He has MA degrees in ethnography and Hungarian language and literature and a PhD in European ethnology (ELTE, Budapest). Earlier he worked in the Museum of Ethnography and has been working at the Institute of Ethnography since 1993, of which he has been the director since 2009. He had various short and long-term research grants to Germany, Austria, England, France and the United States. His research interests include: socio-history, rural economy, collectivization period, ethnicity, minority, diaspora and identity issues.

The presentation by the co-authors gives a broad introduction into the topic and contextualizes the waves of folk-art revival movements in Hungary, including the so-called “dance house movement”. It then highlights two poles of the community-organizing phenomena for young people that provided alternatives to ideologized, politicized mandatory youth activities and state-supported cultural life in the last two decades of the Kádár era in Hungary. Parallels are drawn between the grassroots subcultures of the folk revival movement (music, dance and crafts) and the underground and semi-sanctioned rock scene of the 1970s and '80s. These circles of „resilience” and „resistance” played a vital role in the everyday life of young people in Hungary. Cultural policymakers tried to tame the deviant alterations and create a politically acceptable socialist pop culture variant of these trends. The topic is discussed in terms of the social and political context and identity questions of the period.

Soma Salamon: “Embracing tradition, theory, and practice: the first 50 years of the Táncház

Soma Salamon: Kodály Institute, Liszt Academy: https://bit.ly/3LE21gT

The long-time recognized Táncház movement, along with the related UNESCO-labeled method of revival, celebrates the 50th anniversary of its outset in 2022. No doubt, this past half century can be considered as a great success story, regarding the efficient grafting of traditional music and dance into an urban environment as an actualized form of entertainment. In my paper, my aim is to underline the unique academic fundaments of the Hungarian revival and to introduce the international context of the táncház. I also attempt to interpret and evaluate some of its peculiar phenomena, especially regarding the rural-to-urban transmission within the movement.

Colin Quigley: “Extending Choreomusical Intimacy across Generations”

Colin Quigley is a fiddler, 5-string banjo player, and dancer who started this musical life in the American Old-Time Music scene of the 1970s and has been exploring further afield ever since. He is now Course Director for the Ethnomusicology and Ethnochoreology Taught MA programmes at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and is an Emeritus Professor at University of California Los Angeles. He held a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship in Romania during 1997–98 and was Curator for the 1999 Smithsonian Institution Folklife Festival Romania Programme. Since 2015 he has been collaborating with colleagues in Hungary as well investigating the topic of musical ethnicity in the Transylvanian Plain region. His publications include “The Hungarian Dance House Movement and Revival of Transylvanian String Band Music,” (2014); “Confronting Legacies of Ethnic-National Discourse in Scholarship and Practice: Traditional Music and Dance in Central Transylvania” (2016); and co-authored essays (2020), “Peasant Dancers and Gypsy Musicians: Social Hierarchy and Choreomusical Interaction”) and “Choreomusical Interactions, Hierarchical Structures, and Social Relations: A Methodological Account”; “The Anglophone Reception of György Martin’s Work: 1960-1990” (also 2020) appeared in Foundations of Hungarian Ethnochoreology: Selected Papers of György Martin, for which he was co-editor. He has also authored numerous articles and several books on musical and dance life in Newfoundland, Canada.

I have argued elsewhere that it was a specific choreomusical aesthetic ideology that characterized the táncházmozgalom at its founding. Over the subsequent decades, as the scale of Hungarian, external Hungarian minorities, Hungarian diaspora, and international táncház participation grew exponentially perpetuating the musical and movement knowledge that is necessary to achieve the spontaneity of participatory interaction between and among musicians and dancers during live performance has been the central mission of its leaders since that time. At first this growth was numeric, then intercultural, intergenerational, and most recently inter-medial, a situation that has only been exacerbated over the last few years of radically reduced possibilities for physically being together. The power of participatory dancing and musicking lies in the possibilities it affords for being together in ways beyond the mundane that fills our quotidian lives; it is the appeal that motivates many so-called revivals. This quality subverts systems of social hierarchy in a way that problematizes their institutionalization and relations to the institutions, and their ideologies, within the context of which they must sustain themselves. The táncházmozgalom has developed a variety of techniques with which to confront these challenges to its original vision. A summary overview characterizing strategies and techniques taken will inform an inquiry into the specific challenges posed by extending the táncházmozgalom aesthetic ideology into the digital infosphere.

Csilla Könczei: “Dancing room in Transylvania in the 1970s and 1980s”

Könczei Csilla is a cultural researcher, filmmaker and curator. She works as associate professor at the Institute of Hungarian Ethnography and Anthropology of Babeș-Bolyai University (Cluj, Romania). She leads courses in Cultural, Visual and Dance anthropology. Könczei Csilla has published several articles and books in Hungarian, Romanian, Romani and English, in Romania and abroad. Her main fields of interest are the connections between verbal language and dance, ritual, and the links between representation and power. Her field research has been focused on Transylvanian rural dance culture, writing her thesis on the Borica ritual. She is also the founder of Tranzit Foundation, which runs Tranzit House, a contemporary art center in the former synagogue Poalei Tzedek in Cluj, Romania.

In 1977 a form of dancing club called táncház had taken root in Transylvanian towns. Though the inspiring source was a community dance event from Szék, a Transylvanian village, the model to be followed was that of the dancing rooms from the cities of Hungary, leading to a new form of transnational urban culture of the young generation based on traditional dance and music repertoires. In Transylvania the urban táncház had been impregnated with new meanings because of the self-organizing aspirations of the Hungarian minority in the nationalist one-party Romanian dictatorship, as well as because of the proximity of the rural society, which though being in the process of modernization and urbanization had been actively practicing their traditional culture.

The táncház from Cluj/Kolozsvár, functioning between 1977 and 1983 is a unique example to this in many senses. Based on personal memories, written and visual documents and on a survey realized in 1981 it can be demonstrated, that it resisted in a great extent not only to the mainstream of the official representations of folk culture, but also to the mainstream forms of the táncház. While all these considered folk culture as a raw material and the carriers of it as source persons from which the urban people and young intellectuals can take over the authentic traditional values in order to create a national culture, in the táncház from Cluj/Kolozsvár rural and urban youngsters socialized together for years using and transmitting regional traditional dances in an informal way. More than that, distribution of gender roles in the acquisition and sharing of dance knowledge had been fluid, following also the rural models of the time, thus letting room for girls practicing and even teaching solo dances.

The presentation of this special case study will be embedded in a theorizing framework with references to the contemporary contexts.

Máté Vizeli: “The education of folk music in Hungary”

Máté Vizeli is a PhD student of the University of Pécs since 2019 within the Sociology of Education department. He is also lecturer on the folk department of the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy since 2020. He works as a classical violin and folk music teacher in the Tóth Aladár Music School since 2013, after being awarded his MA degree as Violinist and Violin Teacher the same year, under István Kertész and Ádám Banda. The same year he passed into the folk department of the University of ??? and was awarded his TMA degree as a Teacher of Folk Music in 2015, under Zsolt Nagy and Péter Árendás. He is founder and art director of the band "Góbé" which is working since 2007. He is also founder of the Simplicissimus Ensemble which plays early music since 2012. In 2018 he won the first prize on the music composing competition of the Society of Hungarian Music Composers and was awarded the Junior Prima Prize.

The movement of folk music and dance („Táncházmozgalom”) started in 1972 in Hungary and three years later has begun the formal education of the music. In the first few years, only 3-4 instruments were taught, but they became more and more and in 1990 all of them could already be learnt. Then was founded the first independent institute, the Óbuda Folk Music School in Budapest, which is a three R’s education. Only one year later was founded the first folk department in the higher education on the High School of Nyíregyháza. The first folk development in conservatory (secondary school in Hungary) started in 1994 in Székesfehérvár. Since 2007 the folk instruments can be studied on the Liszt Ferenc Academy as well. The interesting point is that the teachers at the institutes adapt the studying of folk music to a formal method, but the original learning of it was absolutely informal in the villages. The way the teachers worked in the covid situation was also strange. The first curriculum of the three R’s education of the folk instruments was written in 1998. Mostly adults and young people (from cca. 16 years old) studied folk music in the music schools at that time. This syllabus hasn’t changed nowadays, however many little children learn folk music since that time. It indicates several problems for the teachers…

Groupes hongrois

Places

  • La Ferme du Biéreau, Avenue du Jardin Botanique
    Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (1348)

Event attendance modalities

Full on-site event


Date(s)

  • Monday, June 20, 2022
  • Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Keywords

  • hongrie, táncház, maison de danse, folklore, tradition, transmission, musique, danse, revival, trianon

Contact(s)

  • Etienne Dalemans
    courriel : etienne [dot] dalemans [at] uclouvain [dot] be

Information source

  • Etienne Dalemans
    courriel : etienne [dot] dalemans [at] uclouvain [dot] be

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Hungary, Folklore and Modernity », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Friday, June 10, 2022, https://doi.org/10.58079/192v

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