Ethnographer from Hungary
Hungarian Gypsy Dances
Choreographer, Performer, Lecturer
The foremost scholar for Gypsy dances in Hungary. He obtained his Ph.D. in Ethnography from the Kossuth Lajos University of Debrecen. He has done extensive research in numerous Gypsy communities in Hungary and studied their dances. His work resulted in a definitive book on Hungarian Gypsy dances. This exciting folkloric treasure has not been introduced widely in North America. Dr. Balázs’ work helped to clarify the differences as well as the similarities between Hungarian and Hungarian Gypsy folklore, which are often confused. He has been organizing an annual week long camp of Hungarian Gypsy folkdance and music for 17 years which became a learning laboratory for people interested in that topic. Dr. Balázs is a choreographer who worked with many folkdance ensembles in Hungary, Western Europe as well as in North America. His knowledge and understanding of the folklore and especially the dances of the northeastern Hungary [namely the Szatmár Region] is unique. Although his choreographies adhere to the authentic folk dance idiom, he often creates compositions which depict folk costumes found in villages. His choreographies have received the highest awards. As a performer, Dr. Balázs attained the top awards granted to a Hungarian folk dancer, three times recognition of the “Golden Spur” rating. In addition, he is also the recipient of the “Young Master of Folk Art” price. Currently he is the choreographer of several groups in Hungary, Western Europe and the 1998/1999 performance of the Duquesne University Tamburitzans will present one of his major works especially created for them. His small chamber ensemble, the MAJLAKI LULUDUJI ["Wild Flower"] tours the European continent regularly presenting exclusively authentic Hungarian Gypsy Music. He is a dynamic teacher in dance workshops when he teaches with his partner, Elsa Grollé, who is also a specialist in Gypsy dancing.