News from Forgatós, December

by Tibor Horváth

After a late start in mid-October, dancers in Forgatós Néptánc Együttes have been gathering to learn a new dance! This season, the group is learning various parts of the dance cycle from the Mezőség region. As a dance cycle that has been popular since the beginning in the táncház movement, some members of the group are familiar with it, but for others, it is an entirely new dance. All Hungarian folk musicians and bands are familiar with, and routinely play, music from Mezőség. Most Hungarian folk dance groups will have a Mezőség choreography in their repertoire as well. It’s been many years since Forgatós (or previously Kisbetyárok) has performed a Mezőség dance, so it was decided we would learn it anew to present to the community. 

The Mezőség, or Transylvanian Plain, is a region of Transylvania just to the east and northeast of the city of Kolozsvár and has a multitude of Romanian and Hungarian villages, as well as many with mixed populations. Most of the Hungarian dances from various villages in Mezőség share common elements, with perhaps a few minor differences. Some of the villages include Magyarszovát, Vajdakamarás, Mezökeszü, Magyarpalatka, Ördöngösfüzes, Buza, Bonchida, Válaszút, and Szék (though the dances of Szék have developed somewhat in isolation, and are thus significantly different than the dances elsewhere in Mezőség). 

Forgatós will combine elements from various villages to present a suite of dances representing a variety of villages in Mezőség. The dances of this region are characterized by turning, both as a couple, and by the man turning his partner with one hand. It is an appropriate dance for a group named Forgatós!

We are excited to one day present the dances of Mezőség to the members of the Hungarian American Association of Washington, as well as to the general public around the Seattle area. If you are interested in joining Forgatós, please contact us by email at forgatos.seattle@gmail.com or via our Facebook page, at Forgatós Néptánc Együttes. Be sure to also “like” our page for updates on the group and news about future performances.

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