Hungarian folk band, along with local youths and dancers, will perform for the first time in Del Rio in February and March, as part of Hungarian Heart Texan Soul.
“We are happy to start our 2020 tour with the Tarsoly Band in Del Rio. This is the first time a Hungarian ensemble will come to Del Rio, and it is also the first time that local Del Rio dancers will learn and perform authentic Hungarian folk dances,” Hungarian Connection Gala Series said in a statement.
Tarsoly Band is one of the most famous and award-winning Hungarian folk bands, according to the organization. The performance will take place on Feb. 29 and Mar. 1, and will feature members of Miss Annie’s Straight Up Dance and the Casa de la Cultura.
Over 20 local dancers and Del Rio youths, through a partnership with Annie Marshall and her studio, Miss Annie’s Straight Up Dance, will perform Hungarian dances and will be accompanied by Tarsoly.
The performance will include Mexican dances and American tunes. It will also start with a red carpet event in the lobby, featuring both local and Hungarian wines, according to the organization.
“It is a perfect night to dress up, mingle, and to expand our cultural knowledge uniting three nations. Our Hungarian hearts will blend with the souls of local Texans, both of those with American heritage and those with Mexican roots,” the organization said.
Tickets are available through Miss Annie’s Straight Up Dance, the Casa de la Cultura and online at paulpoagevents.com.
Hungarian folk musicians and dancers often tour the United States, but typically don’t come to Texas. The organization is changing that by starting to build strong cultural ties in various parts of Texas, Hungarian Connection said.
The organization has a unique approach towards promoting Hungarian culture; at each event it includes local artists, traditions, music and dance. “Through this concept we build cultural competence from an early age inspiring the youth who will soon shape the future of our society,” the organization said.
“Each nation has extraordinary traditions and our gala series draws attention to the wonderful world around us. With today's heated political climate, it is especially important to learn more about various different nations. By familiarizing with a country through its music and dance we start to develop interest, appreciation and also compassion,” Hungarian Connection said.
Folk music has its own following in the United States and Hungarian Connection explained it is difficult to compare or differentiate between American folk music and Hungarian folk music.
Hungarian folk music uses violin, double bass and the cimbalom, an instrument unique to Hungary, to produce a “lively and rhythmic sound for fun dances,” according to the organization.
The cimbalom is a type of chordophone, or string instrument, and is composed of a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across the top.
“Like many folk dances, Hungarian folk music and dance originated in small villages as a way to bring these communities together. Over time, many of these dances became complex and challenging,” the organization said.
There are approximately over 200,000 documented folk tunes, and the total number of steps of all Hungarian folk dances combined contain more steps than that of any other culture’s in the world, according to the organization.
Del Rioans will be able to view performers wear authentic and traditional Hungarian costumes by students from Brigham Young University, some of whom traveled all the way to Budapest to perfect their dances, according to Hungarian Connection.
“Hungarian folk culture in its entirety, has been acknowledged by UNESCO as ‘best safeguarding practice of non-material intellectual and cultural heritage of the world’ in 2011. This official recognition was followed by another milestone in 2016 when UNESCO acknowledged the Kodaly method as ‘best music education method in the world,’” Hungarian Connection said.
For local children, this is an opportunity to be inspired and develop an interest in music and dance, while learning of a new culture and celebrating their own heritage, according to the organization.
The performance is directed by Alexandra Lengyel Bain, and is made possible with the help of the Hungarian Government and City of Del Rio, in collaboration with Animal Advocacy Rights Coalition – Del Rio. The organization was able to reach a little further and included the subject of animal welfare.
More information can be found on huncongala.com.