Béla Ónodi DLA, the distinguished folk dancer and teacher, the Head of the Folk Dance Department at the Hungarian Dance University was asked to reflect upon the summer of the teachers and students specialising in folk dance education and art. The associate professor also spoke about the plans and tasks for the academic year that is about to begin, which showed that there will be plenty to do.
Lában Kinetography is a subject as well as a dance mark making taught at the university’s Folk Dance Teacher and Art Specialisation. The ICKL, an international organisation which cares for and develops the system of movement notation and continues the spirit of Rudolf Lábán, a world-famous modern dance artist and theoretician of Hungarian origin, organises its conferences every two years.
This year, the 33rd international conference was held in Seoul at Sejong University between 17 and July, where two lecturers from our university, Dr Henrik Kovács and Nóra Oláh, gave a lecture and workshop on the transcription of the rotary dances of the Vajdaszentivány in Transylvania.
“A basic knowledge of the science of dance mark making is definitely an additional knowledge for students specialising in folk dance education and art”, said Béla Ónodi. “It is a great pride for the Folk Dance Department that the lecturers of the course are internationally recognized experts, meanwhile Dr János Fügedi is the president of the organization.”
Béla Ónodi also said a few words about the Valley of Arts Festival (Művészetek Völgye) held in Hungary every summer.
“Around December last year, we had a discussion with Mátyás Bolya, the Head of the Folk Music Department at the Academy of Music, about the possibilities of the two departments working together. The first milestone of this was the project we implemented this summer at the Festival of Arts Valley, which took place from 21 to 30 July. For the first time in the history of the festival, the university stage was created as a joint venture of the Folk Music and Jazz Department of the Liszt Academy and the students specialising in modern dance and folk dance education. Our students represented our institution here with their own productions, dance lessons, joint creations with musicians, round-table discussions. Two lecturers from the university, Dr Katalin Lőrinc and Szilvia Nemes, put together the students’ completely independent productions. Szilvia Nemes assisted the students and the organisers throughout the festival. As a result of this joint effort, this has been the first but not the last opportunity during the year.”
The Head of the Folk Dance Department also mentioned the summer activities of the students and teachers of the Folk Dance Department, such as the rock opera “Stephen the King” which was performed on 19 August in the Papp László Sports Arena, directed by Péter Novák. The 40th anniversary performance was choreographed for 120 dancers by János Appelshoffer and Tünde Rémi, the masters of this year’s graduating class of folk dance.
For the folk dancers, however, this was just one of the prides. The four weeks of preparation, often 10-12 hours a day, was voluntarily undertaken by the entire second grade folk dance class during their summer break.