Hungarian folk dance is a rich, well researched and luckily, still live layer of our culture. Archive re-cordings of music, songs and dances started in the 1890’s in Hungary’s villages. This gave us, Hungarians a very special opportunity – with the advance of technology, we can truly research and learn how our ancestors danced at the beginning to middle of the 20th century. This rich “database” of culture is really unique, and dancers throughout Hungary try to make sure to appreciate and use this opportunity to its best.
Dances tell stories about people, about their way of life, their traditions, and even history. Learning about our own roots through this form of self-expression brings a lot of excitement to both kids and adults. Our teachers make sure to tell a story, present a whole picture and make members of our community revive the experiences of our ancestors. This helps us better understand who we are, why we are like that, and at the same time, it brings joy to all participants.
We do not only learn though. Wanting to share this rich heritage with as many people as possible, we keep an open eye for special opportunities to share our knowledge and to impress our audiences. Besides the countless festivals and summer events we performed at, you could have spotted us dancing randomly in market places and public squares (flash-mobs) or trying to reformulate folk dance to reflect and answer questions of our everyday life.
We have learnt that the true attention of an audience needs to be earned. Our leaders are constantly looking for new ways of engaging with young and more mature crowds. We have held special classes at pre-schools, engaged in folk-themed role-plays; always keeping the very basic, very earthly core of our heritage in mind.
In 2013 we are deeply engaged in a Swiss-Hungarian partnership project, financed by the Swiss Contribution funds. We are in close cooperation with two communities in Switzerland, one in Bern, the other in Geneva. During the phases of the year-long project, our Vadrózsa Ensemble has an opportunity to share our knowledge and to explain in details the unique Hungarian methodology of teaching folk dance, games and music. We are also keen to share the theories and practice of the táncház-method that is a UNESCO World Heritage.
For the organizing boards of the two main partners we have several smaller events planned for the time between classic workshops. Using cost-effective and modern communication techniques, we will hold conferences. In the same time frame, our groups will have the opportunity to unite again by the means of experimental on-line dance practices.
Artistic directors of a Hungarian dance group – and also contemporary dancers – will help us learn new ways of stage presentation so that we are able to engage larger audiences here in Hungary.