Debrecen was built on trade. The city is located at the crossroad of the east-west salt road and the ancient north-south trade route, connecting the ports of the Aegean and Baltic Seas.
Over the centuries, Debrecen has become famous for many things. The city was known throughout the continent for its famous fairs and schools, the Reformed Great Church and even its double sausage. However, if we talk about culture, we must mention traditional folk dance and the Hajdú Folk Dance Ensemble of Debrecen.
The predecessor of the Hajdú Folk Dance Ensemble of Debrecen was founded on 1st September 1953. István Zámbori, the director of the Lajos Kossuth Cultural House of Builders founded the dance ensemble under the name of the Builders’ Folk Dance Group (Építők Népi Tánccsoportja).
The year of 1960 was a turning point in the life of the group. Gyula Varga, an ethnography and dance research scientist, teacher and choreographer, started to lead the dance ensemble independently. It was time when they realized that the tradition and culture lives not only in its language, but also in its songs, music and dance and it needs to be maintained, saved for prosperity.
During 5 years of his professional leadership Varga opened new artistic-stylistic and methodological channels in the life of his ensemble. The group not only presented the original folk dance processes, but also showed dance in the spirit of new choreographic trends. From April 30th, 1966. László Kardos, an excellent folk dance teacher, took over the leadership of the dance group.
The Hajdú Folk Dance Ensemble of Debrecen started to win many awards including Csokonai Award (1984), Ferenc Kölcsey Award (1998), Territorial Prima Primissima Award, (2007), Mihály Csokonai Vitéz Community Award (2010), Ferenc Kölcsey Scholarship (2010), Pro Urbe Award (2014) and Hungarian Heritage Award (2014).
At the meeting of the Hajdú-Bihar County Securities Depository Committee held on the 11th May 2017 the work of the Hajdú Folk Dance Ensemble of Debrecen was declared as of county value. In the same year, the dance ensemble received a Martin György Memorial Plaque for the third time.
The foundation of the dance ensemble was established in November 1990. One of the most important tasks to-date is the operation of the dance ensemble, and the management of its art school, which supports the folk dancing activity of its adult groups, as well as for the youth and children.
Dance lovers can learn more about the ensemble and follow their performances on Facebook or via their website.