NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — The Crossroads Theater in New Brunswick will be reacquainted with the Old Country on Saturday, Mar. 19 as ethnic dance and folk groups come together to celebrate Hungarian culture — wedding style.
Performers from the Csurdongolo Folk Ensemble, Eletfa Hungarian Folk Band, the Hungarian American Athletic Club Children’s Folk Dance Group and the Berkenye Children’s Folk Dance Ensemble will demonstrate the traditional regional dances and folk songs of Hungary.
The performance will serve as a means to exemplify the beauty and cultural heritage of traditional Hungarian life, said Laszlo Hajdu-Nemeth Jr., artistic director for the Csurdongolo Folk Ensamble.
“New Brunswick is a so-called hotbed for Hungarian-Americans, and I think that's going to be exemplified on stage," he said. “People can expect a lot of great music, some great dancing.”
The performance is a mock wedding that will begin on the Hungarian State Railway and, after working its way through different regions of Hungary, Transylvania and Slovakia, will make a final stop at the traditional Hungarian wedding.
"Imagine you step into a hall and you just see the wedding happening — the actual ceremony and the actual reception itself,” Hajdu-Nemeth said. “Some of it is conceptual, but some it is a real-life example of how things actually transpire."
The performers have spent the past few months preparing for the event, said HAAC Children’s Folk Dance Group Artistic Director, Erica Tabi-Nagy.
This performance is different because the story line is so complex, Hajdu-Nemeth said.
“I’m asking a lot more from the dancers, to think more theatrical than just, ‘oh let’s go out there and dance,’” he said. “In that regard, the band has practiced more to bring their level of playing up a notch.”
The children, aside from gaining dancing experience, are important to the show, said Tabi-Nagy, instructor of the HAAC Children’s Folk Dance Group’s intermediate level dancers.
“The children are always a great addition to any performance like this to remind our audiences of the future generations that are a part of maintaining our heritage and cultural identity,” she said of her pupils. “They add a nice flavor to the overall show itself.”
The groups involved perform frequently around New Jersey and New York. The Eletfa Hungarian Folk Band and the Csurdongolo Folk Ensemble have spanned the nation, performing as far away as California, Florida, and Montreal, Canada, Hajdu-Nemeth said.
To reserve tickets for the Saturday, Mar. 19 performance, call the Crossroads Theatre at 732-545-8100