The sixteenth instalment of this Contemporary Folk Dance anthology will present works reflecting new and unusual efforts and directions in the art of folk dancing. The terms "contemporary” and "folk dance” are by no means contradictory or mutually exclusive. We first linked the words "contemporary folk dance” together in 1995, around the time we produced our first anthology, but their meaning, the "genre”, so to speak, had already been conceived a good deal earlier. To understand this, we must peer back into the 1970s, when the best young choreographers of that generation were searching for new paths forward and regarded folk dance as a means of self-expression. They sought to break with the Moiseyev concept of folk dance. Instead of producing choreographies that were unfailingly sunny and carefree or dealt with petty conflicts, they developed dark and dramatically toned works that were in line with the mood of society and addressed the issues of the times. Deserving special mention alongside our great predecessors Ferenc Novák, Antal Kricskovics and Károly Szigety is contemporary folk dance's most outstanding figure, Katalin Györgyfalvay, whose creative works have played a decisive role in shaping this unique genre.
In the first programme directed in 1995, as well as in the anthologies that followed it, most of the choreographies were revivals, with mainly classic 'contemporary' pieces of folk dance from the '70s and '80s appearing on the stage. This concept was also a matter of necessity at the time as the trend towards "folklore dance” practically enjoyed a monopoly, making it rare for innovative and trailblazing choreographies to see the light of day. One of the most significant results of the forum, one might claim, is that the share of new "contemporary” choreographies was already increasing perceptibly by this time. In recent years - and this is also true for this year's production - only new pieces have been performed for the audience. (László Diószegi)
Presented by: National Dance Theatre
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