ZOLTAN FARKAS [BATYU] and ILDIKO TOTH [FECSKE] about the artists, teachers, researchers and perf ormers
ZOLTAN FARKAS (“BATYU”) was a member of the first graduating class of folkdance at the Hungarian State Ballet Institute in 1975. During his formal training he was fortunate to work with the very best of Hungarian folkdance teachers, choreographers and researchers. He was exposed to the many different styles and dialects of Hungarian dance well known in Hungary. At an early age he learned the best research methods to collect dance. Subsequent to his graduation he became a solo dancer and choreographer of the world-famous Hungarian State Folk Ensemble. Batyu, with other members of his gradu- ating class, has revitalized the repertoire of the Ensemble and set it on its course of revival. In 1978 he received the coveted prize of “Young Master of Folk Art”. In 1985 he was one of the founders and leading choreographers of a new and soon to be world-famous Kodaly Hungarian Folkdance Theatre. The Kodaly Ensemble became a trend setting, often imitated but never surpassed model for folkdance presentations on stage. The basic phi- losophy was the presentation and in-depth knowledge of the many Hungarian folkdance types and dialects, presenting them on stage in their most natural forms, preserving their natural beauty yet utilizing all modern stage techniques to enhance the excitement of the the- atrical experience. The numerous and always favourable reviews by major dance reviewers attest to the most advanced form of authentic folk culture presentation on stage which was developed by the Kodaly Ensemble. In 1985 Zoltan received the “Dance of the Year” award and in 1989 the “Pro Arte Hungarica” prize. In addition he was awarded many smaller prizes for his achievements as a choreographer and as a performer. Besides being
frequent guest choreographers for amateur and pro- fessional ensembles, Batyu is an organizer of large scale heritage festivals, and special events, as well as television and radio programs. Currently he is the leader and artis- tic director of his own semi-professional folk ensemble.
Awards: Medal for Promoting Hungarian Arts, 2001 World Music Grand Prize (in association with Muzsikás band), 2008 Hungarian State Medal for Meritorial Artist, Honorary Title, 2014 Knight of Cross from the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic, 2016
Tutorial Activities: Budapest Contemporary Dance Academy Liszt Ferenc Music Academy University of Theatre and Film Arts
ILDIKO TOTH (“FECSKE”) started dancing at a very early age. She received a classical ballet and folkdance training and has been a professional folkdance performer since the age of 17. She has been Batyu’s partner from the beginning of her professional career, initially with the Hungarian State Ensemble, later in the Kodaly Ensemble. Ildiko has accompanied Zoltan to all his guest teaching engagements and research trips to many regions of the Carpathian Basin. A solo dancer and a contributing choreographer in her own right, Ildiko is an excellent teacher and a superb dancer.
LILI FARKAS, Zoltan and Ildiko’s daughter, is 15 years old. She is a talented folk dancer under the guid- ance and inspiration of her parents.