Hungarian State Folk Ensemble
photo: Nóra Bege
The Hungarian State Folk Ensemble was founded in 1951 with the purpose of collecting, preserving and presenting the treasures of Hungarian folklore. The HSFE presents all folk-related Hungarian genres on stage: historic music, authentic folk music and dance, dramatic folk plays, as well as traditional-based world music, show-dancing and the elements of contemporary dance-house tradition. Its variegated repertoire has made the HSFE one of the most widely performing ensembles of the world: during the six decades of its existence, the HSFE has performed in 50 countries of four continents, entertaining more than 8 million people altogether. At home (8 Corvin tér, Budapest), the HSFE performs about 100-120 times a year, beside being regular guest of theatres all over the Carpathian basin.
On-stage adaptations of Hungarian folklore appeared about half a century ago. Beside the authentic and educational presentation of dances, there has always been a renewing wish for the establishment of an independent dance theatre within the HSFE. However, when the real revival of folk dance on stage came about in the beginning of the 1970's, professional folk dance ensembles started to include authentic themes in their repertoire. Transformation and substitution of original dance figures with more „stagelike" movements was no longer a guiding principle, and for long, the precise reproduction of authentic dances was held to be the right interpretation. In the last decade though, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, performing various themes, has managed to transcend this idea. In today's HSFE performances, folk dance tradition appears from various aspects; it is either the theme or just the communicative means by which the theme manifests itself. Folklore has proven to be creative and vivid enough to become a bright colour on the palette of contemporary arts.
The HSFE's repertoire features authentic performances as well as contemporary ones. The traditional performances give a truthful presentation of the historical relations in traditional life, while the dance-theatre shows use folklore as language to communicate some new message.
- About the Hungarian Heritage House
- Hungarian State Folk Ensemble
- Applied Folk Arts Departement
- Folklore Documentation Center (Archives)