Nearly 500 young dancers, 6000 kilometres travelled, 6000 spectators – this year also saw a huge turnout for the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s (BFO) Dancing on the Square project in Heroes’ Square. The children, a majority of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds, became real heroes for the day; they demonstrated their talent, perseverance and the overwhelming power of communal creation. Following the grand event in Budapest, the orchestra is now organising another Community Week during which they will be performing free chamber concerts at 21 venues across the country.
“Tolerance begins where we are able to be fond of one another’s values and find beauty that which belongs to someone else. Tolerance includes mutual respect for each others’ religion and being able to grasp the beauty of that other religion” – said conductor Iván Fischer at the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s Dancing on the Square project. The children dancing in the square had been preparing for this day at 23 schools in 17 towns around the country. For them, this was the climax to the summer and, according to their teachers, they became noticeably more open during the rehearsals. Harangozó Prize winner Bertalan Vári was the chief choreographer of the production, and it was he that brought in the professional dancers from Varidance.
Alongside the performance, the Festival Orchestra gave these children the gift of an extra day of cultural and communal programmes; for most, it was the first time they’d seen Budapest. Some visited the Budapest Zoo, others took part in free programmes in the Petőfi Literary Museum and at the Liszt Academy. But support for the children does not stop there; after the June performance they will continue to be supervised by colleagues from the Foundation for Democratic Youth and supporting adults.
Following the Dancing on the Square project, the BFO’s chamber ensembles will be going on tour again - continuing their community-building work with more free concerts between 15 and 24 June.
This Community Week will see them performing for one Catholic and two Calvinist church communities; taking part in the St Martin Year at Pannonhalma; they’ve invited the entire Ormánság region to Sellye; and will also be performing in Hódmezővásárhely. The first stop for the Synagogue concerts is going to be Mátészalka, while the following concert will take place in the Bonyhád synagogue - one of the oldest in Hungary, it was a paint warehouse until just a few years ago. The concert series concludes in Kunszentmárton. The synagogue, which is currently functioning as a cultural centre, is an extraordinary example of Hungarian art nouveau - even though it too was used as a grain silo and a furniture warehouse for 25 years. (The Synagogue Concerts are a joint production by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation and the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities.)
During this Community Week, the interactive and integrative series for children called Music Castle is coming to Bódvaszilas, Tiszaszalka and Told In Told, the BFO will be performing for the underprivileged children at the Real Pearl Foundation. Nóra L. Ritók, the manager of the Foundation, told us that: “In an instant, music can elevate highly disadvantaged children into a wonderful medium. Where there is happiness, childlike innocence, clarity, harmony… where social differences do not set us apart. Where we are just people. People with opportunities. This is the gate that classical music opens. The gate to the soul.”
Furthermore, the Festival Orchestra’s players will be giving chamber concerts in twelve nursing homes, from Budapest through Csókakő to Csongrád.
The aim of the community concerts is to make the classical music experience available to those people who, through no fault of their own, are unable to attend regular concerts.
16 June, 2016, 5:30 pm - Pannonhalma, Boldogasszony-kápolna, Vár u. 1.
17 June, 2016, 6:00 pm - Sellye, Református templom, Domb u. 11.
18 June, 2016, 6:00 pm - Hódmezővásárhely, Ótemplom, Kossuth tér
20 June, 2016, 6:00 pm - Mátészalka, Zsinagóga, Kossuth u. 19
21 June, 2016, 7:00 pm - Bonyhád, Zsinagóga, Mártírok tere 8.
23 June, 2016, 6:00 pm - Kunszentmárton, Bartók Béla Terem, Deák Ferenc u. 20.
15 June, 2016, 2:00 pm - Tiszaszalka, Hétvezér Baptista Általános Iskola, Petőfi Sándor utca 6-8.
16 June, 2016, 2:00 pm - Bódvaszilas, Petőfi Sándor Művelődési Ház, Petőfi út 8.
17 June, 2016, 2:00 pm - Told, Kultúrház, Kossuth u. 5.
20 June, 2:00 pm - Olajág otthonok IV., Törökbálint, Kazinczy u. 105.
21 June, 10:00 am - X. ker. Önkormányzat Szivárvány Idősek Háza, Budapest, Sütöde u. 4.
21 June, 10:30 am - Fővárosi Önkormányzat Idősek Otthona, Vámosmikola, Ipolyság u. 9-11.
21 June, 10:30 am - CSMÖAranysziget Otthona, Csongrád, Gyöngyvirág u. 7-9.
21 June, 3:00 pm - Harmónia Idősek Háza, Gyömrő, Táncsics u. 2/a
22 June, 10:30 am - Fővárosi Önkormányzat Idősek Otthona, Visegrád, Mogyoróhegyi u. 10.
22 June, 10:30 am - Nagyboldogasszony Ház, Piliscsaba, Kálmán király u. 15.
22 June, 3:00 pm - Szent Erzsébet Otthon, Pilisvörösvár, Szent Erzsébet u. 135.
23 June, 10:00 am - Őszi Napfény Idősek, Kisbér, Deák u. 69.
23 June, 3:00 pm - Farkas Edith Szeretetotthon, Budapest, Krisztina krt. 61/a
24 June, 3:00 pm - Békásmegyer Evangélikus templom, Budapest, Mező u. 12.
25 June, 10:00 am - Aranyhegyi Idősek otthona, Csókakő, Tölgyfa u. 2.