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Dr. Gusztáv Balázs is the foremost scholar for Gypsy dances in Hungary. He obtained his Ph.D. in Ethnography from the Kossuth Lajos University of Debrecen. He has done extensive research in numerous Gypsy communities in Hungary and studied their dances. His work resulted in a definitive book on Hungarian Gypsy dances. This exciting folkloric treasure has not been introduced widely in North America. Dr. Balázs' work helped to clarify the differences as well as the similarities between Hungarian and Hungarian Gypsy folklore, which are often confused.
He has been organizing an annual week long camp of Hungarian Gypsy folkdance and music for many years which became a learning laboratory for people interested in that topic. Dr. Balázs is a choreographer who worked with many folkdance ensembles in Hungary, Western Europe, and North America. His knowledge and understanding of the folklore and especially the dances of the northeastern Hungary (namely the Szatmár Region) is unique. Although his choreographies adhere to the authentic folk dance idiom, he often creates compositions that depict folk costumes found in villages. His choreographies have received the highest awards. As a performer, Dr. Balázs attained the top awards granted to a Hungarian folk dancer, three times recognition of the "Golden Spur" rating. In addition, he is also the recipient of the "Young Master of Folk Art" price.
Currently he is the choreographer of several groups in Hungary, Western Europe. The Duquesne University Tamburitzans have presented one of his major works especially created for them. His small chamber ensemble, the Majlaki Luluduji ("Wild Flower") tours the European continent regularly, presenting exclusively authentic Hungarian Gypsy Music. He is a dynamic teacher in dance workshops when he teaches with his partner, Elsa Grollé, who is also a specialist in Gypsy dancing.
Elsa Grollé Balázs is a dancer with versatile background. She is trained in the dance from different cultures. In her lessons and workshops she can be especially feel at home with her specialization in Roma singing and dancing.
Together with her husband Gusztáv, they regularly travel abroad, to research the danceing, singing, and old traditions to examine them and to write. The couple travels to Transylvania in Romania to research the singing and dancing. Of course, many of the collected materials are used during their lessons.
She teaches different dancing weekly, including Zumba dansfitness, bewegingslessen for seniors, and kinderdanslessen.
Elsa has many years in the foundation of dance. In addition to her teaching, she is a singer in the Roma orchestra Maljaki Luludji. This orchestra brings dance songs and ballads from Hungary, Romania, Russia, and the Balkans to the stage.