“The ensemble is a vivid, living treasury of grand fold idiom of Central and Eastern Europe”
The Budapest Ensemble is one of the oldest, yet freshest folk ensembles from Central Europe. Rooting back to a period after World War II. During these years, four professional folk dance ensembles were established. The Budapest Ensembles always played an important role in the Hungarian dance life. The artistic directors and choreographers, who were at helm since the 1958 formation of these companies, were not only contributors to the repertoire, but also unusual personages of Hungarian theatrical folk dance art.
The Ensemble has performed on every Continent with critical acclaim while presenting Hungarian and other Central European folk cultures. Audiences from Coast to Coast enjoyed their previous visits to the North American continent. The current philosophy of the Budapest Ensemble is to present folklore in its most authentic form possible, yet include adaptations to suit the performance requirements of the stage and tailor the presentations to contemporary audiences.
The Artistic Director and solo dancer of the Budapest Ensemble is Zoltán Zsuráfszki, who is the leader of his generation in presenting folkdance on stage. He was fortunate to receive his education during a special period when the Hungarian folklore revival movement was at its highest energy.
He is a graduate of the Hungarian State Ballet Institute, but he has also conducted innumerable field trips to collect fresh material and learn and dance with the last living informants of Hungarian dance. He also made field trips to neighboring countries and learned the dances of the Romanians, Slovaks, Croatians, Poles (Gorals) and Germans. His tour to North America with his earlier Kodaly Ensemble was extremely well received at all their performances.
Zsuráfszki, as a performer of Hungarian dance, is unsurpassed. He can convey the energy, excitement and authenticity of folkdance to a level which has never been seen before. Audiences equally respect him on the world stages as by his informants from the distant villages of Transylvania. Zsuráfszki’s ability to convey, with insurmountable energy, the very spirit of folkdance, is unique and extremely rare. He is also an excellent teacher and choreographer who demands the same high standards from the members of his Ensemble as from himself.
The members of the Budapest Ensemble are selected from the best young folk dancers from throughout Central Europe. Zsuráfszki specially trains them until they are ready to tour with the group. All members of the Ensemble are dedicated to the same ideal of preservation and performance of authentic folkdance at the highest level.