Dancing in Isolation

By Flora Carlile-Kovács

It’s been exactly one year since I sent out the email to our dancers that the upcoming Cultural Crossroads Festival was cancelled. Soon after that email the Saturday practices were also suspended, and all other performances got cancelled, too. None of us could imagine that the virus crisis would last this long, and we couldn’t imagine a life without personal interactions either. But the challenging times inspire creativity, and now I am grateful for our dancers who kept nudging me to try to figure out a way to keep the rehearsals going in our homes. The biggest challenge was to decide on dance material that can be danced without a partner, has many steps to keep us busy for several months, and is interesting enough to keep us going. With our dance instructor, Tibor Horváth, we decided on some men’s dances from Kalotaszeg. Although traditionally they are danced exclusively by men, women love learning and dancing them, too. They have very complex foot work and whole-body coordination combined with some exquisite rhythm and music. Last September we started meeting on Saturdays again, this time on Zoom. As with any changes, we temporarily lost some dancers who did not like this new format, but we also gained some of our old dancers back, who couldn’t attend in-person practices because they moved away. 

Although we are all exhausted by the prolonged isolation and the “Zoom-fatigue”, Saturday mornings are still the highlight of the week, when we get up and dance together even if we are separated in space. 

In the past few weeks we were focusing our energy on creating a recorded dance choreography that will be premiered in the March 15th commemoration of HAAW – don’t miss it! 

Big shout out to our instructor, Tibor Horváth for the amazing job every Saturday! 

Unfortunately in this school year we did not have enough time and resources to teach our most important dancers, the kids group. We are looking forward to the time when life gets back to normal, and we can dance together with them again. 

If any of our readers is interested in joining us, please send an email for details to forgatos.seattle@gmail.com

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