Hungarian National Dance Ensemble Steals Hearts Across America

2018 HIF Cultural Ambassador of the Year Hungarian National Dance Ensemble performed an exclusive dance and music show for over 5,000 people to commemorate the spirit of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution against oppression of the Austrian, Habsburg Monarchy and to celebrate the vibrant and energetic folklore of the Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin. The Ensemble’s a 10-stop American tour, entitled “Spirit of Hungary, 1848” performed across North America between October 18 and November 4, 2018 was a resounding success met by standing ovation everywhere. 

Their HIF-sponsored North American tour included performances in Chicago, Cleveland, Seattle, Mountain View, Los Angeles, San Diego and Fullerton. 

Spirit of Hungary USA Tour by the Numbers

The Hungarian National Dance Ensemble traveled with 37 performers and staff, the tour lasted 18 days, and featured 10 performances in North America. The dancers covered more than 12,000 miles, and performed for over 5,000 people.

The “Spirit of Hungary, 1848” was featured in newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, the Seattle News Tribune, and other local news outlets. 

The Program

The 2018 North American Tour was a special engagement to commemorate the 170th Anniversary of the historic 1848 Hungarian Revolution against the Austrian Habsburg Empire and present authentic Hungarian folklore in a dazzling performance.

The first part of the show “The Spirit of Freedom” featured contemporary and thematic dances commemorating the 1848 Hungarian Revolution, many leaders of which also participated in the American Civil War and helped to formulate modern American politics and society. The Ensemble’s choreography paid homage to this historic event and offered a glance into those historic times, when national identities began to be vital in the forming of nations in Europe, as we know them today.

The second half of the program “Roots of Hungarian Dance” featured authentic Hungarian folk music and dances from the Carpathian Basin, showcasing roots in Mediaeval times, and a rich folklore 

The Ensemble also provided small workshops throughout the whole tour in an effort to popularize Hungarian folk dancing among the diaspora communities and the general public.

Click here to watch the dancers’ impromptu performance at the Golden Gate Bridge.

Click here to watch an impromptu Csapás at the Chicago Bean.

Audience Reviews

The performance was received with standing ovation by the audience all across America. The energetic and passionate dancers and colorful costumes brought back personal memories many in the audience.

“beyond amazing performance! I was absolutely dumbfounded by the genius choreography, music, dancer’s skills, complexity, energy and passion!!”

Jenny ManyFeathers (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

“…what just happened….I’m shell shocked blown away trying to catch my breath from one of the greatest gifts of my lifetime to see the most amazing, authentic, stunning high energy artist performance of all time….I’m so lucky to have caught this….it made my year and more….unforgettable…the music and dancing was so good I cried….thank you for your energetic superb presentation beyond imagination…..Loved it all !”

Michael Balog (Los Angeles, CA)

“It was a dynamic performance. The dances, costumes, songs and the accompaniment of the musicians all pulled together to tell the stories of the Magyars in a very entertaining fashion.”

Anna Pazsitzky (Fullerton, CA)

“Saw the show in Cleveland, Oct. 20. It was wonderful. I’ve always loved Hungarian dancing. The Nemzeti Dal was one of the most powerful presentations I’ve ever seen. I had the chance to talk to a few of the dancers after the performances and it made me appreciate the performance even more.”

Claude Cluster (Cleveland, OH)

About the Hungarian National Dance Ensemble

The Hungarian National Dance Ensemble (Magyar Nemzeti Táncegyüttes), in its original form, was established in 1949 and has been touring the World with significant success. Under the recent artistic direction of the decorated choreographer, Zoltán Zsuráfszky, successful productions mesmerized North American audiences with the Kodály Folk Dance Ensemble, The CSÁRDÁS – The Tango of the East, Gypsy Spirit – Journey of the Roma and the “Spirit of Hungary-1956” shows. The Ensemble recently completed a triumphant tour in Japan and in Transylvania.

About HIF’s Cultural Ambassador of the Year Initiative

Since 2017, HIF partners with world-class Hungarian artists to sponsor a series of performances in cities where large Hungarian American communities live across the United States. The initiative aims at promoting the best of Hungarian culture in some of the world’s major concert and performing halls reaching the widest possible audience in America.