Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Online Databases of Traditional Hungarian Dances

Submitted by Mei-Chen Lu and Charlotte Wile – May 4, 2010

We would like to direct you to an intriguing site created by János Fügedi and his colleagues from the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The site contains two interrelated databases of traditional Hungarian dances from their Dance Archive: the Motif Collection and the Film Collection.  Hundreds of dances are included in the collections.

An introduction to the databases says, “The structure of the Hungarian traditional dances is regarded motivic. The dances are built of short repetitive movement sequences, researchers call them ‘motives.’ The performers repeat these motives identically, symmetrically, they modify the motives, make variations by expanding, shrinking, or assembling parts.

The goal of the Motive Collection is to present the motives of the Hungarian traditional dances in a notation system called Labanotation/Kinetography Laban. Records of the Motive Collection were selected from the Notation Archive. The point of selection was to match the dances in the Film Collection.”

(For further information see “User’s Guide for Film Collection” and “User’s Guide for Motive Collection”)

We feel this site is an invaluable resource for dancers, stagers, notators, and educators. It is comprehensive, beautifully organized, and offers an exemplary model for documenting dance electronically through notation and film.

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