Dance and Music Material 2023

The 2023 dance material will be from the areas of Gyimes, Mezőkölpény, and Zemplén. Music students will focus on material from Mezőkölpény.


Mezőkölpény (Culpiu in Romanian) is a small village in Romania, Transylvania, in the Sekler land, in the Marosszék region, near Marosvásárhely (Târgu-Mures in Romanian ) with Hungarian and Romanian population.


The recruitment dance (verbunk) which in former times began the dance cycle has been relegated for some decades to the dance breaks and was danced by special request.  Today, only the elder dancers know it.  It consists of heel steps and toe steps as well as cutting behind, stamping, clapping, and slapping figures.

The couples’ dances begin with a sort of progressing sequence (jártatós or lassú csárdás), consisting of a two-step walking figure and a down-accent couples’ turning figure which, however, can be augmented with stamping figures.  There follows a somewhat more lively half-breed tempo (korcsos), characterized by the leading across and turning out of the woman, but also featuring the down-accent couples’ turning and the release of the woman.  The dance cycle closes with a quick tempo Gypsy csárdás (cigánycsárdás) with the same inventory of figures as the previous, but in which the one-step motif and stamping figures dominate.

They often asked the musicians for table songs (asztali nóta) during the breaks in dancing and sang the words to the music.  The melodies were the same as those played for the jártatós, but they were played more slowly in a slightly limping, asymmetrical rhythm.  Often they blended one of the songs they were playing into the jártatós, and the couples’ dancing began again.


There is great variety as to the origin of the tunes from the older folksong layers across the early and late verbunk music to the folk-style new music.  There are many song texts linked to the jártatós tunes.  Song words are more rare for the other two couples’ dance tempos, and there are none for verbunk tunes.  Shouting can occur in any of the dances.  We may also note that in this music there are certain breaks or interludes with harmonic patterns that enable a transition to any other tune.

Watch dances and music from Mezőkölpény [one] [two]


More information coming soon!

Watch dances and music from Gyimes [one] [two]


More information coming soon!

Watch dances and music from Zemplén [one] [two]