Folk dance is one of the most defining elements of Hungarian tradition and culture. For Hungarians, folk dance is not only a form of entertainment but the basis of being Hungarian. Read this article and find out more about the history and types of Hungarian folk dance!
Karikázó, or the maiden’s round dance
According to folkdancefootnotes.org, karikázó (maiden’s round dance) is considered the oldest Hungarian folk dance. This is a circle dance accompanied by singing, which was the dominant form of dance in Europe in the Middle Ages. Usually, this dance is performed only by girls, who also sing during the performance.
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Folk dance of the men: lad’s and leaping dances
Lad’s and leaping dances are traditionally danced by Hungarian men living in Transylvania. They mostly dance solo while the women around them cheer in small circles. It is accompanied by music, but the dancers do not sing during the performance. This is a rather fast-paced dance in which complex, closed parts follow each other closely to the rhythm of the music, writes noklapja.hu. At events, usually, the lad’s and leaping dances serve as the opening dances, followed by the couples’ dances.
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Beginning in the mid-1700s, the Austro-Hungarian armies recruited soldiers by staging musical entertainments in village taverns. Professional dancers in fancy uniforms wowed the locals and persuaded them to join the army. There are two main categories: the more improvisational solo verbunk and the more bound, classic circle verbunk. The dance is divided into three parts: a slow, a fast, and finally, a fresh part following each other.
Csárdás or “dance done at the csárda”
The famous Hungarian folk dance, csárdás derives from the place called csárda, which were the roadhouses of horse-era Hungary. Therefore, the name refers to “dance done at the csárda”. During the dance, the male dancers improvise one by one, then spin with their female partners holding on to each other, and then separate again, followed by teasing. The csárdás is an extremely popular, traditional Hungarian dance performed by dancers and accompanied by Gypsy musicians.
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Source: folkdancefootnotes.org, noklapja.hu
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