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Csárdás! The Tango of East -- Budapest Ensemble - Budapest Táncegyüttes Tour - Reviews



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Reviews of the North American Tour 2000 [Winter]

division of AMIMPEX Inc.
TEL: 201-836-4869 * FAX: 201-836-1590 * email: magyar@magyar.org
Web Site: www.magyar.org
Kalman Magyar, Director

“CSÁRDÁS! – The Tango of the East”

Reviews of the North American Tour 2000 [Winter]

The New York Times - January 19, 2000 – Anna Kisselgoff

“…admirable presentation of Hungarian folk dances…”

“A strong sense of community and intimacy peers through… and the dancers impress…with their mind-boggling stamina and fleet virtuosity.”

“A stick-dance duel between the groom and rival, with supporting clan, gives this play-within-a-play a vibrant edge.”

“Above all there is the company’s compelling way with rhythm in dance and music.”

New York Newsday, New York – January 17, 2000 – Sylviane Gold

“…superb musicians ..lively, seductive music..”

“…young agreeable dancers…”

“Yet you feel you’ve dropped in at a local celebration rather than bought tickets to a show.”

“Zsurafszki takes the floor himself…csardas soars into the realm of art.”

The Star Ledger, New Jersey – January 17, 2000 – Robert Johnson

“…exuberant, on-stage party that opened ‘CSARDAS! – The Tango of the East’,…..”

“Yet anyone in the audience who remembers shaking a leg on Saturday night could identify with the thrilling, muscular energy and high spirits on display.”

“…Budapest Ensemble was an ethnographers dream-come-true. Director Zoltan Zsurafszki has refrained from adding theatrical “refinements” and distortions. Non was needed.”

“As for attitude, the members of this troupe performed with a candor that impressed far more than any glittering, Las Vegas revue.”

“pumped full of adrenaline and drunk on wild Gypsy music, these dancers made the csardas a festive escape from daily cares, and carried the audience away with them.”

The Boston Globe, January 26, 2000 – Karen Campbell

“But tango never had the kind of boisterous and exuberant high spirits exhibited by Zoltan Zsurafszki’s Budapest Ensemble…”

“’Csardas! – The Tango of the East’ had a nearly full house of enthusiastic fans stomping, hollering, and clapping right along with the performers in a rousing afternoon of music and dance.”

“…a remarkable diverse series of dances – solo, couple, group, fast, slow – that show the range of the Csardas.”

“These men play off the pulsating rhythms in the music with rhythms of their own…”

“The men seem to have ball bearings in their knees and ankles, as legs swivel and kick in sharp angles at fast speeds."

“There is one especially fantastic stick dance resembling a Hungarian version of “Stomp,” in which pulsating rhythms of the sticks and heels send dust and testosterone flying in a powerful display of machismo.”

“The dancing of this company is terrific all through, and the seven-piece music ensemble, led by the violinist Istvan Papp and featuring impressive cimbalom playing by Kalman Balogh, is beautifully integrated into the show.”

The Daily Gazette [Schenectady], January 27, 2000 – Wendy Liberatore

“But placing the tango alongside the csardas is far too limiting. The fluid csardas is much, much more. That became clear on Wednesday night when the ensemble of 30 dancers and musicians presented its brilliant touring program.”

“In the csardas, the dancers can exude elation, tenderness, aggression, and, as with the tango, desire.”

“But what made this particular folk program so luminous, and so distinct from other traditional music and dance shows, was how Artistic Director Zoltan Zsurafszki cast it… it is a wonderful idea as it gives the overall display more substance. Surely, Zsurafszki’s device can serve as a model for other groups.”

“It [Csardas!] expresses the sweetness of first love in a swirling duet from Transylvania, the treachery of the villain in a rambunctious dance from Szatmar and a final duel in rhythmic, boot-slapping extravaganza form Mehkerek.”

“While the csardas is more eloquent, the footwork of the dance does have much in common with the tango.”

“The program was fresh, too, in that there was a lot of improvisation.”

“… there was an honesty that is nearly impossible to capture in high-tech and highly polished folk tour groups.”

“… Zsurafszki himself leading the pack in a riotous, infectious and happily improvised finale.”

Spectator Online, Durham, N.C., January 31, 2000 – John W. Lambert

“…a stirring program called ‘Csardas! The Tango of the East’, …”

“…the guest artists quickly transported the small audience to the Old World for a remarkably unified and immensely rewarding show.”

“The show was brilliant from a technical standpoint,…”

“…fascinating bottle dance….”

“…the dance master himself giving a stunning display of intricate and demanding styles,….”

“The evening’s highlights were brilliant, often virtuosic display of instrumental playing --…”

“…--and some first rate dancing from the 21 members of the distinguished ensemble, who appeared in a dazzling array of richly-colored traditional costumes,…”

“It was, in sum, a heart-warming evening of people-to-people diplomacy in which representatives of one culture demonstrated the best they have to offer to members of an other. In the process, many hearts were won, on both sides.”

The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH., February 15, 2000 – Wilma Salisbury

“The rousing folk production…”

“…the dances are the real thing. Collected in Hungarian villages and performed without slick theatricalizations, the authentic movements are earthy, raw and the dancers seem to be making up the steps on the spot. Each sequence is clearly structured, though, and the music in the motivator.”

“…a colorful array of raucous-sounding folk instrument, the music sets the dancers stamping, stepping, singing and whirling at ever accelerating tempos.”

“…Zsurafszki brings the audience back to the present with a show of intricate solo dances that involve quick footwork and deep knee bends.”

“The predominantly ethnic audience got into the spirit of the performance early in the evening. By the end, they joined the party by clapping to the infectious rhythms…”

Chicago Sun Times, February 21, 2000 – Hedy Weiss

"…rollicking performance…"

"Had the irresistible fiddlers continued playing, the whole thing might have turned into a giant party"

"The ensemble is a vivid. living treasury of the grand folk idiom of Central and Eastern Europe"

"The ensemble of 20 dancers and seven superb musicians who form the Budapest Ensemble [including Kalman Balogh, master player of the cimbalom...]"

"[the Ensemble] ... works in the tradition of Russia's Moyseyev company. It maintains the spirit of fading culture with ethnographically accurate rendering of folk dances transformed into a theatrical feast appealing to a modern audience"

"The competition among men, as well as their camaraderie, was sensual,..."

"...simple, deeply romantic duet ... was danced winningly..."

"The groom and his rival brought fire and a sense of prideful danger to their danced match."

"And the company's charismatic director-choreographer, Zoltan Zsurafszki, arrived for the finale to spice things up even further with his brilliant, seductive, wild-eyed dancing."

"More improvisational and freewheeling in feel than the rigidly patterned routines of many similar folk companies..."

"...the "Csardas" program is unquestionably choreographed, but in a relaxed way that makes you feel part of the action."

"Even the lavish, authentic costumes--embroidered, bejeweled, richly hued--seem lifted from a hope chest."

"At a time when the new nationalism often has negative connotations, this company is an example of its most positive face, something the audience at the Chicago Theatre--abuzz with Middle European accents--only confirmed."