The Erdély Ensemble

ldikó Kalapács and Wayne Kraft founded the Erdély Ensemble in Spokane, Washington, in 1988. The Ensemble has devoted itself to the task of studying and performing dances form regions of Hungary and Transylvania (Romania) where astoundingly rich folk traditions once flourished. Due to the pressures of urbanization and 20th century life–as well as the repression of the former Romanian dictatorship–, many of these folk traditions have vanished or are near vanishing. Some of the dances we are studying have been called back into life from film documents made some decades ago.

The work of the ensemble
Hungarian, Romanian and Gypsy dancing are rather difficult of access. Most of the time, the dancing is also technically and physically challenging. The acquisition of authentic costumes is difficult and expensive. Despite all these challenges, the Erdély dancers say they are devoted to Hungarian dancing because it is simply one of the most wonderful dance traditions they have had the good luck to discover.

The Erdély Ensemble performs annually at the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle and at such local events as Art-on-the-Green Festival in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. You can catch their annual theater concert with Salt Lake City’s Jómóka Táncház Band at the Spokane’s MET every fall.

The directors of Erdély
Ildikó and Wayne, the co-directors of Erdély, teach the improvised dance forms and choreograph performance suites for the group. They regularly study with Hungarian dance artists and visit Hungary and Transylvania where they conduct field research. They started a documentary video on the state of traditional culture in Transylvanian Hungarian villages. This project is a collaboration with Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington.

Wayne and Ildikó participated in a Hungarian folk music and dance concert with Ms. Márta Sebestyén, Hungarian folk singer and the Jómóka Táncház Band of Salt Lake City in April 2004 in Salt Lake City, UT.

Hungarian Folk Dance

Click here for a Project Synopsis

The Erdély Ensemble is seeking sponsors.

If you would like to become a sponsor, please email 
or call (509) 747-0979.