Aphorisms



2. “Topogó Pe loc (In One Spot)”, Romanian Folk Dance No. 3. Béla Bartók (HungarRomania, 1915)

This dance belongs to a folkloric suite which Béla Bartók originally titled Romanian Dances from Hungary. In 1919, with the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, “from Hungary” had to be removed from the title. The terms of the Treaty of Trianon, signed during the Paris Peace Conference, handed 70% of Hungarian territory to Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Romania. The new circumstances had a significant impact on Bartók as he was forced to adapt to a more precarious and problematic life. Along with losing his regional identity—his homeland was no longer part of Hungary—he lost work and had to contend with the disintegration of his professional and personal networks. Territorial disputes in the geostrategically important Balkans, particularly in the Austro-Hungarian Sarajevo, had triggered the Great War in 1914. As the films show, the Serbian case, like that of Hungary, manifests the potentially dramatic consequences brought on by the politically-motivated redrawing of borders that insidiously fuels ethnic hatred.