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

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  New Brunswick Press Release
New Brunswick, NJ
Posted on: 16th January, 2004, By: Webmaster

New Brunswick, NJ--Hungary's national dance takes center stage at the State Theatre in Csárdás-The Tango of the East, a colorful extravaganza of living history. Set to fiery gypsy music, the performers and musicians of the Budapest Ensemble bring centuries of tradition to life in a whirl of color and movement. The spirited dances and evocative costumes of this dynamic ensemble pay homage to Hungary's rich heritage of folk artistry.
This lavish spectacle takes audiences on an illuminating journey to Central Europe, courtesy of the ancient folk tunes and dances that inspired the phenomenon that is the Csárdás. Two hundred years ago, the Csárdás took the region by storm. In the midst of modest court dances for the nobility (waltzes, quadrilles, and polkas) emerged a vigorous dance by the people, based on thousand year old customs and accompanied by the fervent music of gypsy musicians.
Deeply rooted in folklore, this exhilarating dance shares many characteristics with the Argentinean Tango, to which it is frequently compared. Like the Tango, the Csárdás symbolized the national cultural identity of its people, became the emblem of the revolution against foreign oppression, and was shunned by those in power. Emerging as fashionable entertainment, the Csárdás reached fad proportions at the height of its popularity. This robust, yet graceful dance is performed by a man and woman held in a tight embrace. With the male leading, the female follows her partner's movements instinctively. The result is a powerful and passionate dance that embodies the Hungarian spirit.

Due to the highly improvisational nature of the Csárdás, it has exciting regional variants, and holds endless potential for new developments. A cultural treasure that has been passed down through generations of Hungarian life, the Csárdás is kept alive through innumerable performances and cultural celebrations in Hungary and throughout the world.
Since its inception in 1958, The Budapest Ensemble of 30 has been preserving the spirit of Hungarian folk music and dance through performances around the world. The members of this vibrant folk group represent the best young dancers and musicians from Central Europe. Artistic Director Zoltán Zsuráfszki specially trains each prospective dancer until they are ready to tour with the ensemble. Mr. Zsuráfszki, a graduate of the Hungarian State Ballet institute, was fortunate enough to receive his education during a time of heightened interest in the Hungarian folklore revival. Today, he is one of the most prominent folk artists of his generation, bringing the festive dances of Hungary to the stage in performances around the world.
Tickets are available for the 10 am student matinee for $7 (Schools) and $20 (General Public). For telephone ticket orders or information call the State Theatre Education Department at (732) 247-7200, ext. 545. The State Theatre's Education Program is funded in part by The McCrane Foundation, PSE&G, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, whose support is gratefully acknowledged.
Tickets are on sale now for the evening performance for $34 (Premium Orchestra/Loge), $30 (Orchestra/Front Balcony), $26 (Rear Orchestra/Balcony), and $20 (Gallery) at the State Theatre Box Office, located at 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. For telephone ticket orders or information call (732) 246-7469 or toll free (877) STATE 11, Monday and Tuesday, 10 am to 6pm, Wednesday, 11 am to 7 pm, and Thursday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm. The State Theatre is equipped with an assistive listening system for patrons who are hard of hearing and the main floor is wheelchair accessible. Program notes are available in large print or audiotape format for this event. Funding for the State Theatre has been made possible in part through a grant by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.