Szilas Folkdance Ensemble

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The Szilas Folkdance Ensemble was founded in 1997 in the 15th district of Budapest, Rákospalota. Rákospalota is one of the few places in the capital where several folklore traditions are still preserved. The ensemble, though originally consisting only of a handful of keen dancers, nowadays has approximately 120 members, ranging from the youngest ones (4-5-year-olds) to adult dancers. The main goal of the ensemble is to maintain, represent and mediate the diverse nature of Hungarian folklore traditions to the audience. It focuses on creating and staging not only authentic, but skilled and spectacular choreographies at a very elaborate and sophisticated level.

The repertory of the ensemble covers the entire region of the Carpathian Basin. Apart from the traditional paired, lads’ and girls’ dances, the group also performs several so-called ‘instrumental dances’, which aim to show how skilled the dancers are. One of these dances, women’s’ ‘dance with bottles’, is done with wine bottles on the head. For the men, there are dances with sticks, stools or hoops.
Authentic regional costumes are used for every choreography, which illustrate not only the traditions, but the atmosphere of the regions from which the dances are. Due to varied nature of Hungarian folklore and folkdance traditions, the costumes embrace a wide range of colours, patterns and styles.
A number of festival prizes and television broadcasts demonstrate the ensemble’s success with the national audience and the folklore profession. Just to mention a few, being one of the twelve best dance groups, the ensemble got in the semi-final of the ‘Fölszállott a páva’ folklore talent show of the Hungarian Television. The group was given an Award of Excellence at the Szekszárd Folk Dance Festival, one of the most significant national competitions. At the biannual national ranking festival for folk dance groups, the ensemble was awarded the highest, excellent rank.

In the past few years, the ensemble successfully took part in several national and international festivals:

  • 2016 – International Folk Meetings Malopolska (Poland)
  • 2015 – Interetno Festival Subotica (Serbia)
  • 2015 – Folklore Festival Bitburg (Germany)
  • 2014 – Denizli Municipality 14th International Folk Dance Festival (Turkey)
  • 2013 – International Folklore Festival Brno (Czech Republic)
  • 2013 – Summerfest International Folklore Festival and Folk Art Fair (Hungary)
  • 2012 – Folkfestival (Slovakia)
  • 2011 – Interetno Festival Subotica (Serbia)
  • 2010 – Interetno Festival Subotica (Serbia)
  • 2008 – International Youth Folklore Festival Primorsko (Bulgaria)

 

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