North American Tour: October 20 - December 4, 2005

Produced by Kálmán and Judit Magyar, Centrum Management

CSÁRDÁS! THE TANGO OF THE EAST

a Dance and Music Spectacular featuring the

BUDAPEST ENSEMBLE
from Hungary

Directed and Choreographed by Zoltán Zsuráfszki

Photos: Frank Deak and Gabriella Gyorffy


Two hundred years ago, a new dance fashion swept across Central Europe: the Csárdás (char-dash). Into the midst of the courtly dances of the nobility (Waltzes, Quadrilles and Polkas) burst a dance of the people, based on age old traditions and accompanied by the fiery music of virtuosi Gypsy musicians. This new exciting dance, the Csárdás, became  a symbol of revolution against foreign dominance, which frightened the establishment. It is incredible that this dance form not only survived but also flourishes in Hungary today as the core of the repertoire of the Hungarian Táncház (Dance House) Movement. This grassroots revival movement brings thousands of young Hungarians together every week, providing a new context for old traditions.


THE TÁNCHÁZ

The time is the present. The location is a Táncház in any town in Hungary. Two of the most popular dance traditions of the Táncház movement are the dances from Transdanubia  and the Mezőség Region of Transylvania. One of the dancers initiates a series of "play-party" games based on a love story: boy meets girl, she is abducted by outlaws, the young man searches for his Bride-to-be and wins her back, they marry and "live happily ever after." The roles are assigned to the dancers and the game begins.


MAGIC SPELLS

In remote villages it was believed that young virgin girls have the ability to manipulate fate and cast magic spells on unsuspecting young men. The girls collect the morning dew with their skirts while chanting. The "love-potion" is made from the dew and it will cause the young man of her choice to fall in love with her.


MEN'S DANCE COMPETITION

The men's dances of Central and Eastern Europe are technically very demanding and enable young men to demonstrate their strength and agility. The boys, in order to impress the girls, perform the men's dance from Szentbenedek, Transylvania. The Girl chooses the most sympathetic lad and offers him the magic drink.


LOVE DUET

Couple dances in most cultures are essentially duets of courtship and love. Our duet is based on a Transylvanian turning dance.


THE BALL and the ABDUCTION OF THE BRIDE

The courtship of our young couple is celebrated by a dance from the Northeastern Hungarian Szatmár Region. During the dancing the unsuccessful Rival charms the Girl and is successful in abducting her while her lover is self consumed in his solo dance, typical to this dance style.


"HUNGARIAN BLUES"

The Groom is sad about the loss of his Bride and is consoled by his friends and musicians. Hungarian gypsy music is said to personify the Hungarian character, which, though melancholic at times, is always ready to recover and be happy again.


CAPTIVITY

We see the abducted Bride in an unfamiliar surrounding and her hopelessness is suggested by finding herself in the middle of a wild man's dance from Romania, the "Calusari".


SEARCHING

The Groom is searching for his lover and meets a group of girls dancing the challenging "bottle dance."


He also visits a "Csárda" (Hungarian word for Inn or Pub), said to be the root for  word of "Csárdás" and from where the dance apparently originated. In this happy place we enjoy the "csárdás" from different regions of Hungary, but the Groom cannot forget his abducted lover, in spite of all the diversions.

 


GYPSY CAMP

The Boy visits a Gypsy camp in his pursuit and finds a friendly atmosphere. The Roma (Gypsies) migrated from India a thousand years ago and are found in virtually every country of Europe. They made each place richer culturally and contributed greatly to the local dance and musical treasures.

 


THE HOSTAGE BRIDE

The unhappy Bride is forced to dance with her abductors in a Csárdás originating from the Székelyföld Region of Transylvania.


THE DUEL

Finally, the Groom and his Rival meet and a fierce fight ensues. However, in the last moment, the Groom spares his opponent's life. The fight is based on traditional stick dances, which have their origins in sword dances of the Middle Ages. The two rivals then dance a symbolic duel, competing to out-do each other in the virtuosic boot-slapping dance from Méhkerék, Southern Hungary.

At the end of the competition the Bride may choose again which suitor she prefers.


LOVE DUET

Reunited, the couple again expresses their love.


THE WEDDING CELEBRATION

Now that all obstacles have been overcome, the wedding may begin.

The celebration is based on the traditions of the Kalotaszeg Region of Transylvania: the competitive dances of the young men, humorous "mock wedding," and the selection from false brides. We also observe the bride's dance, as well as a cycle of slow and fast Csárdás. After the wedding the "play-party" game ends and all props are reunited to the decorated chest. The musicians play the last song traditional at village weddings.


THE CONTINUATION OF TRADITION

We return the Táncház and the fiery Csárdás, Mezőség Region of Transylvania. This dance style is probably the most exciting form of improvised Csárdás, which is still danced today - a 200 year-old living tradition. Everyone in the audience is welcome to learn it.


CSÁRDÁS! The Tango of the East

SOLOISTS

Girl / Bride: Éva Gömöri
Boy / Groom: Dezső Fitos

Rival: Attila Tompa, False-bride: Flórián Hajdú, False-groom: Gábor Valach, Game master: Csaba Taba, Singer: Nadia Abdulwahab, Band Leader: István Papp, Cimbalom Player: Dániel Szabó

THE COMPANY

Nadia Abdulwahab, Barbara Baranyai, Anna Sára Ednrődi, Erika Fejér, Enikő Kocsis, Anett Orosz, Réka Sík, Gabriella Tóth, Melánia Tóth, Andrea Visnyei

Milán Albunovics, Tamás Babus, András Gelencsér, Tamás Szappanos, Ignác Kádár, István Zámbó

MUSICIANS

Péter Árendás, viola
Dániel Szabó, cimbalom
József Bartók, bass
Péter Makó, winds
Dénes Németh, viloin
István Papp, violin

CREDITS

Choreography: Zoltán Zsuráfszki
Musical Arrangements: Péter Árendás, László Rossa, László Kelemen
Costume Designer: Zsuzsa Vincze
Lighting: Béla Kovács
Sound: Boáz Konta
Publicity Design: László Hajdú-Németh
Program Notes: Kálmán Dresziger

THE BUDAPEST ENSEMBLE

Artistic Director: Zoltán Zsuráfszki
Musical Director: Péter Árendás
Dance Director: Zsuzsa Vincze and Gábor Vallach
Executive Director: Károly Aranyos
Financial Director: Tamás Csapó
Company Manager: Dániel Vincze


Judit Magyar, Coproducer with Zoltán Zsuráfszki, Artistic Director