ARTYFACTS: Hungarian uprising – Day 8

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hungarian uprising – Day 8

Dionysian dance
King Naat Veliov & the Original Kocani Orkestar, A Hawk & a Hacksaw - Macdonian Gypsy and Hungarian wedding bands. It all started when the festival music programmer said ‘Find a space and dance’. That they did; in the isles, in their seats, at the back, in the circle. Then, like the guy in front of the Tianamen tank, a lone steward tried to stop the fun. He tried to clear the isles, herded small mobs of dancing maenads to the back of the hall and became a one-man stick-in-the-mud. It was all in vain. Everywhere you looked, pockets of presumably Hungarian and Balka, women were rising in their seats, hand aloft, hips gyrating. They drifted into and down both isles, stuck doggedly to the front and danced away at the back. The big guns rolled down the isles, neatly skirting across to the other isle when the steward appeared. In the end he had to admit defeat, and stood dejected at the side. These women were out for a good time and no man in a white shirt and tie was going to stop them.

The audience were really up for this. There were heaps of Eastern Europeans, in the audience. The music, of course, was wedding band music, all accordions, fiddles, brass, trumpets, drums rolling out rousing jigs. England, unlike Ireland, Scotland and all of Eastern Europe, has no folk equivalent, but the audience were appreciative. Who could fail to love this music?

Laptop lady
I’ve seen some eccentric behaviour at live performances over the years but the woman in the middle of the stalls seats who pulled out her laptop, illuminating all behind her and as visible as a searchlight from the circle, where I was sitting, started to type away in the dark. It was crass. This time the steward was right in asking her to put it away. I would have ejected her on the spot.


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