- $25 for one ticket to to see Hungarian State Folk Ensemble or Danú: A Christmas In Ireland (Up to $42.50 value)
- Where: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
- Seating: section B
- Door time: 7 p.m.
- Ticket values include all fees.
- Click here to view the seating chart.<p>
- Hungarian State Folk Ensemble on Friday, December 13, at 8 p.m.
- Danú: A Christmas In Ireland on Monday, December 16, at 8 p.m.<p>
Hungarian State Folk Ensemble
Cloaked in billowing skirts, feathered hats, gold-piped military tunics, and other colorful garb, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble shows off the traditional dances of their homeland. But their mission isn’t just to perform the dances—they also aim to preserve centuries of tradition. Drawing from more than five decades of research, the troupe’s choreography and musical pieces hail from all corners of Hungary, showcasing the wildly diverse styles that have evolved over the centuries. Intricate footwork and flying leaps join melodies that draw on the same rich Magyar tradition. Some folk tunes flow from instruments relatively unaltered from the days they were played in isolated villages, while other arrangements filter ancient pieces through the genius of Bartók, Liszt, and Brahms, and a Brita pitcher, in case there’s any lead in them.<p>
Danú: A Christmas In Ireland
Named after the Celtic mother goddess of the land, Danú aurally embodies the majesty of the Emerald Isle during an evening of traditional Irish song. Lead singer Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh was raised on an Irish Gaelic–speaking island in County Cork, where she spent her childhood honing her evocative alto pipes through sean-nós, or old-style, songs alongside local vocalists. Muireann propels Danú’s melodies with her full voice and spritely tin whistle while prancing flute solos intertwine with bow-breaking fiddling. Festive thumps from the traditional bodhrán drum, rustic acoustic plucking, and freewheeling accordion round out the euphony.
In “A Christmas in Ireland” (or “An Nollaig in Éirinn,”) Danú takes the holiday festivities of their homeland as their inspiration. Their seasonal songs pay tribute to such Irish traditions as placing a candle in the window, setting a place for anyone in need at The Laden Table, and journeying from home to home to sing and celebrate on St. Stephen’s Day. Several of the group’s seasonal selections were chosen because they need a little extra help—at each performance, a local choir joins Danú on stage to create an even richer sound and fulfill the event’s matching-robes quota.<p>
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Built in 1968 with funds from a Sarasota bond referendum and help from philanthropists Lewis and Eugenia Van Wezel, the city-owned-and-operated Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has been dedicated to expanding the cultural landscape around it ever since. Crowned the top North American performing-arts hall of its size by the aptly named Venues Today, the Hall welcomes Broadway shows, legendary vocalists, and world-class symphonies to its Bay-front stage. There, performers and audiences alike find the two seashells from the Sea of Japan that inspired the Hall’s design, as well as an eye-pleasing lavender and purple color scheme. In addition to hosting quality shows in a fittingly regal environment, the Hall joins the Sarasota County School Board in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Partners in Education Program, one of many impressive attributes of its education program.