STEVE KOTANSKY   Steve Kotansky began dancing as a teenager in the San Francisco Bay Area where he taught and performed with the Westwind International Folk Ensemble and the Perfiloff Russian Dance Ensemble. In 1970 he made his first research trip to Hungary and the former Yugoslavia, returning to study dance and Slavic languages at UCLA. Steve danced with AMAN Folk Ensemble and Vincent Evanchuk’s Ukrainian Dance Group while teaching at many of the folk dance coffee houses in Los Angeles. In 1972 he made a research trip to Hungary and the former Yugoslavia to learn and document village dances with Robert H. Leibman (including dances and music from the Albanian village of Krani on Lake Prespa in Macedonia). During this trip he met many dance specialists who would become instrumental in the direction of his life including Pece Atanasovski, Desa Djordević, Dr. Ivan Ivančan, and Dobrijvoje Putnik. Steve would spend the next 8 years living in Munich, Germany where he continued to teach and research ethnic dance. He co-founded, directed, and choreographed for the Gajda Folkore Ensemble, inviting top dancers and teachers from Central and South-Eastern Europe to Germany and led tours to Hungary and the Balkans. In 1980, he returned to the U.S.A. settling in New York. He continued to teach at dance camps throughout North America and Mexico, choreograph for many dance ensembles, and with his wife Susan, co-founded the Guzsaly Hungarian Dance Ensemble. Steve continues to teach and research dances from the Balkans, and with his wife Susan, has made two trips to Albania.

STEVE KOTANSKY

Steve Kotansky began dancing as a teenager in the San Francisco Bay Area where he taught and performed with the Westwind International Folk Ensemble and the Perfiloff Russian Dance Ensemble. In 1970 he made his first research trip to Hungary and the former Yugoslavia, returning to study dance and Slavic languages at UCLA. Steve danced with AMAN Folk Ensemble and Vincent Evanchuk’s Ukrainian Dance Group while teaching at many of the folk dance coffee houses in Los Angeles. In 1972 he made a research trip to Hungary and the former Yugoslavia to learn and document village dances with Robert H. Leibman (including dances and music from the Albanian village of Krani on Lake Prespa in Macedonia). During this trip he met many dance specialists who would become instrumental in the direction of his life including Pece Atanasovski, Desa Djordević, Dr. Ivan Ivančan, and Dobrijvoje Putnik. Steve would spend the next 8 years living in Munich, Germany where he continued to teach and research ethnic dance. He co-founded, directed, and choreographed for the Gajda Folkore Ensemble, inviting top dancers and teachers from Central and South-Eastern Europe to Germany and led tours to Hungary and the Balkans. In 1980, he returned to the U.S.A. settling in New York. He continued to teach at dance camps throughout North America and Mexico, choreograph for many dance ensembles, and with his wife Susan, co-founded the Guzsaly Hungarian Dance Ensemble. Steve continues to teach and research dances from the Balkans, and with his wife Susan, has made two trips to Albania.

SUSAN KOTANSKY   Susan performed with the George Tomov, Kálmán Magyar’s Hungária, and Ungaresca ensembles in NYC. She spent a year living in Budapest, attending the Folkdance Section of the State Ballet Institute and studied with the Bartók Ensemble under the direction of Sándor Timár. She has made many research trips to Hungary and Transylvania and together with her husband Stephen Kotansky founded the Guzsaly Ensemble. Stephen and Susan were instrumental in planting the seeds for the Táncház movement in the US, teaching classes and inviting teachers from Hungary. Together they teach Hungarian, Balkan, and international dance classes worldwide. Susan has taken two trips to Albania, concentrating on women’s dances and styling.

SUSAN KOTANSKY

Susan performed with the George Tomov, Kálmán Magyar’s Hungária, and Ungaresca ensembles in NYC. She spent a year living in Budapest, attending the Folkdance Section of the State Ballet Institute and studied with the Bartók Ensemble under the direction of Sándor Timár. She has made many research trips to Hungary and Transylvania and together with her husband Stephen Kotansky founded the Guzsaly Ensemble. Stephen and Susan were instrumental in planting the seeds for the Táncház movement in the US, teaching classes and inviting teachers from Hungary. Together they teach Hungarian, Balkan, and international dance classes worldwide. Susan has taken two trips to Albania, concentrating on women’s dances and styling.

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.