Ensemble to Bring Centuries-Old Dances to Center for the Arts

Posted: February 23, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

With striking choreography based on authentic dances that date back centuries, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble’s rich and colorful repertoire has preserved authentic Hungarian folk music, dances and costumes for generations.

In a highly anticipated performance, this established company of virtuosic performers brings its high-energy show to Mason’s Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 10, at 8 p.m.

“Unlike the usual folkloric troupes that merely reproduce the old dances, we put these dances on stage with modern theatrical techniques, special lighting effects and video projections,” explains Maria Ferencz, managing director of the Hungarian Heritage House and the Folk Ensemble in a recent interview with the Sacramento Bee.

Hungarian ensemble

A troupe of more than 30 musicians and dancers move to rich folk music played by an orchestra that includes violins, violas, and traditional instruments such as the Hungarian dulcimer and the hit gardon, an stringed instrument resembling a cello often found in Transylvania. Ethereal melodies played on the tarjato, a medieval wind instrument that resembles a flute but with a deeper sound, transcend culture and time. The violin, of course, represents the vibrant Gypsy element.

Hungarian Folk Ensemble’s preservation of the extraordinary folk music that inspired renowned composers such as Liszt, Bartók and Kodály is performed by two musical ensembles – the Folk Orchestra and the Gipsy Orchestra – accompanying the troupe’s dancers. Much of the music audiences will hear was collected and preserved by Bartók in the early 1900s.

A pre-performance discussion will be held 45 minutes prior to the performance on the hall’s Grand Tier.

Tickets are $44, $36 and $22; tickets for children 12 and under are half price. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit tickets.com.

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