Tisza Ensemble

Tisza Ensemble

traditional Hungarian folk dancing Silver Spring, MD
Photo Credit: photo courtesy of artist
Tisza Ensemble

Tisza Ensemble was formed in 1982 by a group of dancers in Maryland interested in the Hungarian táncház movement. Táncház — literally “dance house” — is a Hungarian folk dance social event. The táncház movement—a modern revival of Hungarian traditional dance and music — began in the early 1970s and forms an active part of Hungarian culture, both at home and abroad. Táncház draws on traditions from across the regions of the old Kingdom of Hungary, most notably Transylvania. The term táncház (pronounced “tahnts hahz”) is derived from a Transylvanian custom of holding dances in private homes. This type of casual social gathering has always been inherently diverse, and dynamic — evolving over time. This being Tisza’s ethos, the organization regularly partners with other entities in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region to ensure that Hungarian folklife and culture remain accessible to all. Tisza holds dances and other programs several times a year, and offers regular courses at Montgomery College.

Tisza has performed and taught throughout the East Coast and Canada, including at the Embassy of Hungary, the Kennedy Center, the annual Hungarian Christmas Bazaar, and in Hungary. Several of the dancers studied their art in Hungary and Transylvania. Tisza’s performances focus on improvisation—true to the roots of the dance — rather than on choreography. In addition, many of Tisza’s costumes are vintage pieces from villages.

Tisza at the McLean Hungarian Festival.

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