Csárdás (CHAHR-dash) is the national dance of Hungary (See “Hungarian Dance” under DANCE>Dance Information). Like the Tango, its a very complex, improvisational-based couple dance that requires much practice to achieve even a basic proficiency.
So what about the poor recreational folk dancer in North America? Obviously you need a LOT of experience just to get a feel for the basic csárdás, let alone become proficient. Isn’t there something simple with the name csárdás we can do so we can say we’ve had a taste of the Hungarian National Dance?
One of the first and best-known teachers of Hungarian dance in North America, Andor Czompo, soon recognized this problem. He took some simple csárdás motifs, including folding in and out of a circle, married it to a hot Hungarian folk song (Reten Reten), and the result was Körcsárdás, which means “circle csárdás”.
By the way, here’s the song, though a repeat of part 2 makes it un-danceable for us. Bango Margit & band give it the full Roma treatment, including a friss finish.