Cultural events

Dance Camp in Ghimes

The idea of the dance camp of Ghimes popped up during a friendly conversation in 1991. Mihály András and Irén András, János Bodó-Bán and Enikő Bodó-Bán, Csaba László and Lujza László as well as Zoltán Szalay and Rozália Antal made up the pioneer team to which immediately joined György Mihók, the manager of the Lunca de Jos culture centre and Imre Nagy Mayor, who, being the people best knowing the local conditions, have always helped their work. In the first camp of 1992 they only taught folk dance and folk songs in the frame of common singing. Starting with the second camp, instrumental folk music has widened the activity, and later on, in the fifth camp they introduced that kind of folk song-teaching that required the application of folk singers only. As far as we know, they were the first to initiate this latter activity among the several Transylvanian camps that came into beingin the course of time.

Later on, they tried to initiate every well-known traditionalist musician in the camp activity. In the beginning, the participants were divided into two groups : beginner and advanced dancers. Starting from the third camp, even the beginners formed two groups: they dealt separately with those who wanted to learn dances of Ghimes and with those who wanted to learn dances of the Upper Ciuc region. Lately they have taught dances and games to children as well. In time the handicraft activity as alternative programme has been introduced. Besides the local (Ghimes and Upper Ciuc) traditions - weaving, sewing, embroidery, egg writing, woodcarving, furniture painting, - felting and doll making are also taught. In the evening dance houses participants can dance together with performer dancers. During the teaching of dances as well as in the dance houses performer musicians (also) play music. The traditionalist musicians and singers are regularly initiated in the teaching of folk music and songs. Some of the handicraft activities are also led by performer women.

The camp concentrates on two traditionalist countries: Ghimes and Upper Ciuc. The Upper Ciuc material first limited to that of Sândominic has been gradually enlarged, thus either the dances and songs of Sândominic or those of Ineu and Carta are taught. Such distinction can be found among the dances of Ghimes as well. Generally they teach the material of Valea Intunecoasa belonging to Lunca de Jos, but there were years when the dances and songs characteristic to Ghimeş-Făget and Ghimes came into limelight.

When hiring a dance house band, the assurance of good atmosphere is of primary importance. After a while these camps became so famous that many people knowing the dances well came only for the sake of the camps. In every dance house performer dancers and singers are also invited for the participants to see and hear the acquired material "in original". Traditionalist dance groups, musicians and singers perform in the last evening the end of the camps. All these offer free opportunities for collecting, mainly for the participants who wish to continue the work began in the camp. The participants are also offered other entertaining programmes such as dance and folk song competitions, funny competitions, camp fires, trips, tours for collecting medicinal plants etc.

Afternoon lectures serve the improving of knowledge with their topics more or less closely connected to the nature of the camp: there are lectures about folk dance and folk music, but also folk customs, folk tales, folk costumes, handicrafts, folk medicine, folk beliefs, runic writing and many others, up to the Turkish-Hungarian relationship. People of international fame have given lectures here such as Dr. Professor Bertalan Andrásfalvi, dr. Lajos Balázs ethnographer, Tibor Beder teacher, András Berecz folk artist, Györgyi Csókos Varga ethnographer, Pál Haszmann folk craftman, Zoltán Kallós ethnographer, dr. János Kardalus ethnographer, Rozália Kóka folk artist, András Kovács shaman, Csilla Könczei folk dance researcher, dr. László Kürti professor, dr. Katalin Lázár folk music researcher, Pál Pálfalvi ethnobotanician, dr. Ilona Szenik folk music researcher, László Tőkés Reformate bishop and many others.

Since 2000, the organization of the camp has been taken over from the initial organizers by the local Mayor's office.