Csárdás Dance Company's Youth Ensemble had the wonderful opportunity to visit the land of their heritage this summer - Hungary! Eleven members of the dance company visited Hungary for two weeks in July.
Their first stop was Budapest and outlying towns and villages. While there, they toured Budapest (both Buda and Pest!), visited with Csárdás' costume designer, Rita Nánási, visited Kalocsa where one of their dances and costumes is from, saw the shop where material for their blue-dyed skirts are from, purchased hand-made leather dance shoes from a village shoe maker, and visited a horse farm where they saw a wonderful equestrian performance.
They witnessed 3 dance performances while in the Budapest area - the famed Bartók Ensemble , a group of 8 ladies from Kalocsa who performed in a beautiful restaurant on the shores of the Danube River, and Csillagszemű (Starry Eyed) Dance Company (whom they would join the next week in a dance camp!). In Kalocsa our dancers had the memorable opportunity to perform a karikazo on stage - the performance truly touched the ladies from Kalocsa to see young American dancers upholding their heritage.
The second week they traveled to the southern shores of Lake Balaton to join nearly 100 dancers from Csillagszemű (Starry Eyed) Dance Company of Budapest. This professional and highly acclaimed dance company of more than 300 youth ages 3 - 22 is directed by Sándor Timár. Master Timár is the former artistic director of the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble.
While at the dance camp, our dancers learned new and vibrant dance techniques and steps to bring back to Cleveland. Our youth ensemble also performed twice at the dance camp - our performances included dances from Sárköz, Moldva, and a modern Transdanubian dance. Our performances were well received with robust rounds of applause and positive remarks from all who viewed.
Our youth ensemble will be in rehearsals this winter with Founder, Richard Graber, and Rehearsal Instuctors, Stuart Meyer and Judith Horvath, to present our new material in 2008.
Csárdás would like to thank all who supported our involvement with the dance camp including the The Cleveland Hungarian Development Panel, William Penn Association, WCPN-Kapossy Radio and individual supporters.
In the meantime, enjoy our photos and our short 6-minute movie from Hungary!