Company Info/Repertoire

Frequently Asked Questions About Csárdás

Who directs Csárdás?

Founder, Richard Graber along with Artistic Director, Christopher Smith, integrated the dances, costumes, music and culture of the Hungarian people into Csárdás Dance Company from 1994 - 2005. Upon their relocation to Texas in 2005, Csárdás was maintained by Toni (Bodnar) Gras as Managing Director. In 2012, the Csárdás Board of Directors took over management of the company. Rehearsal instructors are Stuart Meyer and Judith Horvath, Richard Graber travels to Cleveland periodically to set new choreographies and works with the Youth Ensemble.

Csárdás Board of Directors
Richard Graber, Founder
Jennifer Hensal, President
Alicia Hathcock, Secretary
Robert McPeak, Treasurer
Judith K. Horvath
Stuart Meyer
Gina Morlan
Jennie Vasarhelyi
Toni Gras
Anthony Messina, CPA

What is Csárdás?

Csárdás is a professional dance company presenting traditional and contemporary works stemming from Hungarian heritage.

What does "Csárdás" mean?

"Csárdás," /char-dash/ comes from the root word "Csárda," which is the Hungarian word for a village inn, pub or tavern. It was in these places villagers would often gather and sing, dance and celebrate special occasions. The dances that were celebrated in the "Csárda," became known as "Csárdás," or "dances of the pub."

Why is Csárdás Dance Company important?

Through Csárdás, emotions and traditions are personified and brought to everyone, to people of any and all ethnic backgrounds. The Company provides accessible cultural programming for audiences through mainstage performances, lecture demonstrations, master-classes and residencies.

Can I join Csárdás even though I'm not Hungarian?

Csárdás celebrates the UNIVERSAL joys of tradition! Anyone is welcome to audition for the adult company or the children's ensemble. Please contact us for more information on auditions.

Where does Csárdás perform?

Csárdás performs throughout the Cleveland area, Ohio, as well as out-of-state. Csárdás has performed abroad. Through the various educational programs Csárdás offers, performances on weekends, as well as weekdays, are frequent.

Does Csárdás perform for free?

Not typically, but we do offer a small amount of in-kind performances annually. A written request for Csárdás to perform should be submitted one year in advance of event or function. These requests are reviewed and either approved or denied given performance schedules, prior commitments, etc. In-kind performances range in length anywhere from 5 - 30 minutes.

Who funds Csárdás?

Csárdás has received support from numerous individuals in addition to the Ohio Arts Council, the NORD Family Foundation, the Nordson Corporation Foundation, The S. Livingston Mather Charitable Trust, The George Gund Foundation, the Cyrus Eaton Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation The Ultrasteel Corporation, The Stell Foundation, The Alcoa Foundation, The Alex and Carol Machaskee Fund of the Cleveland Foundation, Sam's Club, W.W. Grainger Co., and The Cleveland Hungarian Development Panel.

Csárdás Dance Company is one of hundreds of cultural organizations that successfully competed for grants from the Ohio Arts Council this year. The OAC is a state agency with a fiscal year 2005 budget of $11,375,734 appropriated by the state legislature.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically.The OAC's grants to arts organizations help make programs available to broad audiences, keep ticket prices down and allow groups to undertake innovative programming.

The OAC also supports programs that bring artists into classrooms. Studies show that when the arts are a significant part of a child's education and are used to help teach humanities, science and other curricula, cognitive and work skills are enhanced, creative and critical thinking skills develop, truancy is reduced and self-esteem increases. Toward that end, the OAC is supporting cultural organizations' efforts to work with school districts to implement the new model arts curriculum of the Ohio Department of Education.

Ohio is home to thousands of artists who are vital to the state's cultural richness. The OAC is committed to supporting their creative talent. Artists who receive grants participate in public presentations so the public can see the results of its investment firsthand.

The OAC also supports local arts councils in cities and towns across Ohio. These local councils present programs in their communities ranging from festivals, exhibitions and performances to educational programs for adults and children.

Thanks to the state's investment, cultural resources like Csárdás Dance Company are integral to the quality of life in Ohio.


Csárdás Dance Company
P.O. Box 770641
Cleveland, OH 44107
Tel: 440-668-6500