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UMS Concert Program, March 17, 1987: Hungarian State Folk Ensemble --

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Season: 108th
Concert: Thirty-fifth
Power Center For The Performing Arts Ann Arbor, Michigan

_iteifiatipnal Presentations
Hungarian State Folk Ensemble
from Budapest
SANDOR TIMAR Artistic Director
Tamas Daroci Bardos, Orchestra Leader Laszlo Berki, Leading Primas
Pal Kakuk, Dance Leader Margit Kascsak, Costume Designer Sandor Serfozo, General Director
Tuesday Evening, March 17, 1987, at 8:00
Power Center for the Performing Arts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
A message from Sandor Timdr. . .
"I believe in the art of the nations of people and the independent expressive power of folk dance and folk music. This form of art that you see is very near to the folk culture of other nations living within the Carpathian mountains, where Hungary is also situated, and where, during the centuries, the transformation of history unified us in this respect. With this heritage I am able to express all thought that I feel. I believe that there is no choice but to use the original, authentic character of our Hungarian culture of dance, song, and music, and I hope that this will result in adding a modest contribution to the culture of dance in the world."
The Musical Society gratefully acknowledges the generosity of Ford Motor Company Fund for underwriting the costs of this house program.
Cameras and recording devices are not allowed in the auditorium. Thirty-fifth Concert of the 108th Season Sixteenth Annual Choice Series
All choreography is by Sandor Timar unless otherwise noted.
Dances of Kalocsa (Music: Tamas Daroci Bardos)
Kalocsa is situated in the middle of the Great Hungarian Plain, next to the Danube. It is famous for its national costume, for its embroidery, and its paprika. Its folklore is performed today extensively in various celebrations.
Wandering (Bela Bartok) Songs of Karad (Zoltan Kodaly) With the Patkos (Lajos Bardos)
The Chorus
Dances of Kalotzszeg
TheTransylvanian Kalotaszegi, a region with more than 50 small rivers, is famous not only for its richly decorated costumes, but for its male dancers. In the Lads' Dance, the boys compete with each other for the title of best dancer.
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (Franz Liszt)
The Orchestra
Couple Dance of Vajdakamaras
Among the many different dances of the Transylvanian Mezoseg, we see "Heavy Hungarian," the slow couple dance, followed by the quick, twirling dance "Forgatos."
Dances of Sovidek
A part of the Szekely-land (Transylvania) between Kis-Kiikullo and Korund is called Sovidek (Salt-land), well known for its salt mines. The people continue to this day to perform their traditional dances, such as the Szekcly Vcrbunk (Recruiting Dance), the Czardas, and Forgatos (Twirling Dance).
Dances of Csongrad
Csongrad is in the southern part of the Great Hungarian Plain. This dance is often performed during a wedding ceremony and is often accompanied by the hurdy-gurdy.
Dances of Madocsa (Miklos Graboc)
The Orchestra
Bottle Dance of Tolna
In many of the Transdanubian villages, women carry burdens on their heads. In keeping with this custom, the girls do this dance with bottles of wine on their heads, which requires great skill and balance.
Clapping Dance
This dance for the men, using their spurs, comes from Mehkerek in Bekcs County.
Szekely Spinning Room Suite (Zoltan Kodaly)
The Chorus
Herdsmen's Dances from Hortobagy Region (Music: Aladar Budai, Choreography: Andras Beres)
For centuries Hortobagy has been a desolate desert unfit for human habitation except by the Hungarian outlaws. In more recent times it has been made fit for animal husbandry. The lifestyle of the herdsmen was nomadic and demanded a strong-willed individual to be able to defend the animals. A strict hierarchy prevailed among the herdsmen. The highest rank was that of the Csikos (horse herdsmen), whose tool was the whip. Next was the Gulyas (cattle herdsmen), whose tool was the shepherd's staff. Next was thejuhasz, who tended the sheep and used a hooked stick to keep the herd together. The lowest rank was the Kanasz, who tended the swine and whose tool was the small axe. These tools were used in tending the animals, in defense of predators, and in their dances, which are traced back to the weapon dances of the middle ages and which have survived in Hungarian culture only among these herdsmen. Their songs reflect the hard life they lead, for example:
"The mud and the water of the lake is dried up
And the poor beasts look at the shepherds all in vain.
May God please give us a little rain
And good meadows for the sheep to graze."
Girls' Circle Dance from Zemplen (Music: Tamas Daroci Bardos)
This is one of the most archaic forms in Hungarian dance culture. The girls perform in a circle to the accompaniment of their own singing. Their songs are mostly about love and young men and often contain spicy and naughty comments.
Dances from Szatmar (Music: Laszlo Berki)
In the Szatmar region in northeastern Hungary are found the most beautiful examples of the new style Hungarian dancing. Here the widely performed Verbunk (Recruiting Dance) and Czardas are perfected with great virtuosity. An important aspect also is the art of improvisa?tion, here shown with the dancers often creating their own steps in their own way. The infectious exuberance of the dance, with intricate slappings and fast tempos, brings the program to an exciting and memorable finale.
About the Artists
The 1984 American tour of the "new" Hungarian State Folk Ensemble met with such success that the ensemble again is making a twelve-week, coast-to-coast tour of North Amer?ica, with Ann Arbor engagements included in both tours. In 1966 the former Hungarian State Folk Ensemble also toured America, but since the death of then-director Miklos Rabai the company has been completely reorganized under the artistic direction of Sandor Timar. The present company, whose members are hand-picked from Hungary's best folk performers, has been chosen by its government to be its official representative abroad.
The folk music that inspired Bcla Bartok, Zoltan Kodaly, and Franz Liszt provides the foundation for Hungarian State Folk Ensemble's panorama of dancing, costumes, choral singing, and the Hungarian folk and Gypsy melodies. Hungarian folk music is often related to
that of the Hungarian Gypsy, and most of this type of music was written in the last centuty and made famous by the many Gypsy orchestras. Yet, Hungarians m isolated villages have also introduced their own exciting and rich folk music into today's culture. Many of the dances originated for special functions in the life of Hungarians -courtships, weddings, and various other celebrations.
Sandor Timar, a world-renowned exponent of Hungarian folk art and among the most highly respected in his field, was born in Szolnok, in Eastern Hungary, in 1930. He started dancing at a young age and devoted his energies to learning everything possible about his art. In 1951 he became a professional dancer in the Trade Union Folk Ensemble and later organized his own company, The Bartok Ensemble, which gained wide fame not only in Hungary but in many other countries. Further education at the College of Dramatic and Cinematic Art gave him the foundation for his choreographic talent, considered foremost in Hungary.
Since 1971 Sandor Timar has been director of the State Ballet Institute in the area of folk dance, and in 1981 he was appointed artistic director of the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble. As artistic director of the ensemble, he is responsible for selecting the best dancers, singers, and folk musicians from the many hundreds who apply for acceptance in the company. The esteemed director has won numerous prizes and awards at competitions and festivals in Hungary and abroad, and he has been decorated with the highly valued "Erkel Prize" in recognition of his choreographic work.
Remaining Concerts
New York City Opera National Company............... Thurs. Mar. 19
Puccini's Madama Butterfly
Faculty Artists Concert (free admission).................... Sun. Mar. 22
James Galway, Flutist......................................... Fri. Mar. 27
The Cambridge Buskers.................................... Sun. Mar. 29
Chamber Orchestra of Europe............................... Fri. Apr. 3
Lorin Maazel, Conductor; Frank Peter Zimmermann, Violinist
Beethoven: Overture to Egmont; Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5, K. 219;
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6
Gary Karr, Double Bass Eliot Fisk, Guitar.................... Sun. Apr. 5
Jean Guillou, Organist...................................... Sun. Apr. 12
1987 Ann Arbor May Festival -April 28-May 1
The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Kurt Masur, Music Director and Conductor
The Festival Chorus, Donald Bryant, Director
Pinchas Zukerman, Violinist Peter Rosel, Pianist
Marilyn Horne, Mezzo-Soprano
Arleen Auger, Soprano Vinson Cole, Tenor
Susanne Mentzer, Mezzo-Soprano Paul Plishka, Bass
Tuesday Beethoven: Violin Concerto (Zukerman); Dvorak: Symphony No. 9
("From the New World")
Wednesday Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Rosel); Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 Thursday Mahler: "Kindertotenlieder" (Horne); Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 ("Romantic") Friday Beethoven: Choral Fantasy (Rosel), Symphony No. 9, with Final Chorus on Schiller's
"Ode to Joy" (Auger, Mentzer, Cole, Plishka)
Single tickets now on sale. Watch for new 1987-88 season announcement in April.
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1270 Telephone: (313) 764-2538

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