Some Memorable Hungarian Dances

By California Symphony

Instantly recognizable, Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 has provided the soundtrack to some memorable pop culture moments, including a Charlie Chaplin skit, a Looney Tunes cartoon, and a routine performed by two naked Frenchmen with a couple of towels. Would Brahms have approved?

“Make your work a pleasure. Move with the rhythm of music…” declares a voice on the radio in Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. In a superbly timed routine, Chaplin shaves a customer to Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 in this classic scene.

Hungarian Dance No. 5 with two frenchmen and nothing but a towel? Surely, this was what Brahms had in mind when he originally put pen to paper.

You may remember Looney Tunes from the weekend mornings of your childhood, and it should come as no surprise that the colorful cartoons are just as entertaining now as they were then. The film, Pigs in a Polka, is a parody of two Walt Disney films: 1933 Three Little Pigs and 1940 Fantasia. The familiar story of the Three Little Pigs is set in this film to several of Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, specifically No.5, No.7, No.6 and No.17 which appear in that order. Click below to watch three rhythmic pigs outsmart one wily wolf.

Can’t get enough? Learn more about The Inspiration Behind Brahms’ Hungarian Dances.

Hungarian Dances Nos. 5 & 6 will be featured on BRAHMS FEST on Saturday, February 1 at 8 PM and Sunday, February 2 at 4 PM at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Tickets start at $44 / $20 for students 25 and under with valid Student I.D. and can be purchased online or by calling the Lesher Center Box Office at 925.943.7469.


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