Sunday, July 15, 2012

Key to China - New Confucius Institute in Szeged

More than 70 cities have angled for establishing a new Confucius Institute, but only Szeged have succeeded.
The institute will open in September and there is no doubt about the various facilities and benefits it will provide for the students, local businesses and residents of Szeged. The themes of the recent conference in the town hall were the strenghtening relationships between Hungary and China, Szeged and Shanghai.
The parliamentary representative, István Újhelyi stated, that if we want to cut in the chase for Chinese business, economic and diplomatic relations we have to 'learn China' and understand the Chinese way of thinking. He also mentioned that he appeciates the efforts of the present-day government for establishing better relations with Chinese partners. Besides these he claims that due to our Asian ancestors we have a better chance for creating strong contacts with Chinese partners.

It is a huge accomplishment that out of 70 applicants, Szeged can have the opportunity to host a new Confucius Institute. The mayor expects economic and cultural development in Szeged.

Confucius Institutes are non-profit public institutions aligned with the Government of the People's Republic of China that aim to promote Chinese language and culture, support local Chinese teaching internationally, and facilitate cultural exchanges.

Confucius Institute (CI) headquarters are located in Beijing, and the program is overseen by the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), a non-profit organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China and the United Front Work Department. The institutes operate in co-operation with local affiliate colleges and universities around the world, and financing is shared between Hanban and the host institutions.

The related Confucius Classroom program partners with local secondary schools or school districts to provide teachers and instructional materials. It provides opportunities to study Chinese culture and language for those who are interested.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

VIRSKY dance crew in Szeged again

The Open-Air Theatre of Szeged has opened and invites all of you to its fantastic shows. One of them is the world-wide famous show of the Virsky dance crew, a team which has played an important part in shaping the history of dancing. The biggest rival of the Mojszejev dance crew has arrived to Szeged after 10 years of impatient waiting. While the Mojszejev crew is more famous in Europe, the Virsky is better known in the USA. This can be pressed for the fact that the Virsky crew has only spent 2 months in Europe before.

The ensemble was created in 1937 by Pavlo Virsky and Mykola Bolotov, and guided by Pavlo Virsky until his death in 1975. During World War II, Virsky performed for the soldiers at the front. In 1980, the company's artistic direction was overtaken by Myroslav Vantukh, who had been a disciple of Pavlo Virsky. Virsky's aim is to create dances that embrace historical Ukrainian dance traditions as well as dances that are innovative and forward-moving.

Pavlo Pavlovych Virsky was an innovative dancer, balletmaster, choreographer, and founder of the P. Virsky Ukrainian National Folk Dance Ensemble, whose work in Ukrainian dance was groundbreaking and influenced generations of dancers.

Pavlo Virsky was born on February 25, 1905 in Odesa, Ukraine. After graduating from the Odesa Music and Drama School in 1927, he continued his studies in Moscow, at the Theater Technicum, from 1927-28. Virsky joined the Odesa Opera and Ballet Theatre as a dancer and choreographer. It was at this theater that he collaborated with Mykola Bolotov in their first joint production: Gliere's The Red Poppy. Virsky left the Odesa in 1931, and worked as a balletmaster at various theatres, including those in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kiev, working on productions of ballets such as Raymonda, La Esmeralda, Le Corsaire, Swan Lake, and Don Quixote.

With the outbreak World War II, and in the build-up to the Great Patriotic War, many ensembles suspended activity, as performers were enlisted to entertain the troops. Virsky continued his work with folk-themed choreography as the director of the Red Flag Song and Dance Ensemble of the Kiev Military District beginning in 1939.
 In 1955, Virsky returned to Kiev to helm the State Folk Dance Ensemble of the Ukrainian SSR, just after World War II. For the next 20 years (until his death in 1975) Pavlo Virsky developed the concepts of Ukrainian folk-stage dance further than had previously been imagined. He founded a school to train dancers in the technique he developed. He toured the world with his dancers, influencing Ukrainian dancers the world over.

Virsky died on July 5, 1975 in Kiev. The State Folk Dance Ensemble of the Ukrainian SSR was named after him in 1977.

Today this widely known crew celebrates its 75th anniversary on the stages of the Open-Air Theatre of Szeged with its 84 members in a hundred minutes long performance. It can be seen on the 7th of August, 9pm, in New-Szeged.

Tickets for the show can be bought online here: TICKETS ONLINE

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Food scandal in Szeged

An unbelievably large number of people (98) became infected with Salmonella enteritidis, a serious infecting agent in Szeged and Domaszék last week. Most of the infected are kids, however, there are four adults involved, too. Not only schoolchildren, but also kids attending nursery school and play-school got infected. The poisonous food arrived from a restaurant in Domaszék, the so-called "Nagyi Kifőzde", which was shut down by the authorities last week.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhoea, fever, vomiting and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. In most cases, the illness lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. However, in some cases the diarrhoea may be so severe that the patient becomes dangerously dehydrated and must be taken to a hospital. This happened to a few of the infected children.

The seriousness of this infection is demonstrated by the fact that there are few children who are still under treatment at the Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Szeged at the moment. According to the food-delivering company, the cause of the infection was the swelter and the inadequate storing. The schools, nurseries and play-schools have been desinfected last week. The company appears to have made several serious mistakes which lead to the break-out of the infection so it was shut down a few days ago. The parents and teachers are indignant.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Munkácsy exhibition in the Móra Ferenc Museum, Szeged

World-wide famous Munkácsy paintings can be seen in Szeged's Móra Ferenc Museum this month. You can admire 41 renowned paintings, many of them haven't been exhibited in Hungary yet. Actors of the Szeged Theatre revive Munkácsy's life, you can visit the shows in July. In the great hall of the Museum you can see the 36 m2 big painting of Munkácsy, the Golgotha.

Munkácsy Mihály can be proclaimed Hungary's greatest and most well-known painter. He lived in Paris and earned international reputation with his amazing genre and biblical paintings. He was born to German parents in the Kingdom of Hungary, in Munkács, the town of which he later named himself. He was quite influenced by the modern French art seen at the Universal Exposition in 1867.

In the early years of his career Munkácsy painted mainly scenes from the daily lives of peasants and poor people. In 1869, Munkácsy painted his much acclaimed work The Last Day of a Condemned Man. This is considered his first masterpiece. The picture was rewarded with the Gold Medal of the Paris Salon in 1870. Towards the end of his career he painted two monumental works: "Hungarian Conquest" for the House of Parliament and a fresco entitled "Apotheosis of Renaissance", for the ceiling of Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna. By the 1890s, his depression grew into a severe mental illness which was probably intensified by the syphilis he caught in his youth. His last pictures are troubled and sometimes even bizarre. Nineteenth century visual art or the historical developments of Hungarian art cannot be discussed without considering Munkácsy's lifework.