• 22.6. - 30.6. 2018

      63 DAYS...

FOLKART - wonderful stories of the world


14. 05. 2017

The 29th edition of Folkart, one of the most visible folklore festivals in the world, will be hosting groups from Botswana, Bulgaria, Georgia, Croatia, Cuba, Hungary, and Slovenia!

Folkart 2017 - Kuba

International CIOFF® folklore festival FOLKART, 27. 6. – 1. 7. 2017 

We are approaching our 30th anniversary!

This year’s Folkart will be 29th time in a row, when the spectrum of wonderful colours of folk traditions will turn our city into the lively centre of world folklore

Folkart is one of the most visible festivals in Europe and the world. This year’s selection of performing groups will not disappoint you, since we will experience many different cultures: passionate rhythms from Cuba, African rhythms and touching songs from Botswana, proud Georgia, and lovely Croatia, energetic Hungary, and the strikingly wild Bulgaria. As always, you will be able to see Slovenian folklore by the Academic folklore group Študent from Maribor. 

The festive opening will take place on Tuesday, June 27th on the Trg Leona Štuklja square, where all participating groups will introduce themselves on the Main stage of the Lent Festival. Of course, the folklorists will march in a big parade on Lent before the opening ceremony.

On Wednesday, June 28th and Thursday, June 29th Maribor will be full of colourful folk events. On both days, parades and performances will take place on Grajski trg square, in the afternoon in the Arena Marprom and the city park, in the evening they will join the festival visitors on Lent. The folklorists from all over the world will continue their stroll to the Jurček stage, afterwards the colourful companionship will move to Glavni trg square, where the folklore dances will provide a diverse evening, closing it on Grajski trg square. 

On the last day of the folklore festival, on Saturday, July 1st, all folklorists from Botswana, Bulgaria, Georgia, Croatia, Cuba and Hungary will be saying good-bye to Maribor. The big parade in the morning will lead the groups to Grajski trg square for the traditional event, then the performers will take a walk to Europark and invite us to the big festive closing ceremony of the 29th international folklore festival FOLKART, which will take place in the evening on Main stage on Trg Leona Štuklja square.

The farewell will be concluded with fireworks at midnight.

Then it will be time to get ready for 2018, when FOLKART will be celebrating its 30th anniversary!

Presentation of the this year’s performing groups:

1. Botswana

"NGWAO LETSHWAO" Performing ArtsGabane

Africa is completely different, it is a different lifestyle, which still remains a mystery. The turbulent history, colonialism and the bloody slavery left a significant mark on the African people, and strongly influenced their culture. The pride of Africans and their steadfast love for freedom still reflect themselves in their every move.  

Botswana is a continental state between Namibia, Zimbabwe and the South African Republic. It is one of the economically better developed countries on the black continent, it is also called “Land of diamonds”. The Ngwao Letshwao group originates from there, and has been established in 2005. It is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of immaterial cultural heritage. It represents the folk traditions through upbringing and education. They actively collaborate with young people and want to hand them over the awareness of the importance of the national cultural identity.

They are bringing diverse dances to the stages of folklore festivals, such as “setapa” from the Bangwaketsi tribe, “tsubtsub” from the Basarwa tribe, “selete” from the Balete tribe and many others.

There are many different tribes in Botswana, and we will have the pleasure to get to know the colourful palette of folk traditions.

As they say themselves: "To your country we will bring the best of what Africa has to offer – peace, positive energy, enthusiasm, and true love!"

2. Bulgaria 

"TRAKIA" Folk Dance Ensemble, Plovdiv

Bulgaria, the land of roses, is an extraordinarily interesting, diverse country. It lies in the heart of the Balkans, and represents a unique connection between Europe and the Orient. It is a land with the biggest number of cultural and natural monuments protected by UNESCO. The rich cultural tradition, the primal, untouched nature, the extremely friendly people, the great cuisine, and traditions, they are passionately maintaining – this is what the top artists of the professional folklore ensemble from Plovdiv will show us.

The national ensemble “Trakia” was founded in 1974, and ever since their first performance, their style was considered a unique folklore creation and the embodiment of bold expressiveness.

Their concerts cannot be put in the box of traditional performance art, since they are presenting their huge treasury of their national folk tradition in an exceptional, rarely seen way. The harmony of movement, dance, song, and music show us the folk customs from all parts of Bulgaria. Thousands of concerts and performances all over the world are a guarantee that we are expecting an outstanding group which will surely be one of the highlights of this year’s folklore happenings. 

3. Georgia 

"TUTARCHELA" Choreographic Ensemble, Zugdidi

The Georgian national ensemble Tutarchela from Zugdidi is one of the most promising young groups of its kind in their homeland. The young dancers represent always new choreographies from the rich Georgian folklore treasury in a unique way, accompanied with authentic folk music. Their tradition is marked by war dances, elegant female dances with the typical “floating” step, and almost wild, acrobatic dance scenes.  

Georgia is a land of wild, unrestrained life passion, it is a coastal country in Eastern Europe on the shores of the Black sea characterised by many historic shocks. The important trade and cultural routes between eastern and western Caucasus, and also a part of the Silk road brought many different people to this beautiful country, and each of them left an ineradicable mark on the life and folk customs of the original settlers.

Travellers from all over the world fall in love with this magnificent country with extraordinary people and magical nature.  

The members of Tutarchela will bring a piece of this mysterious and faraway culture to Maribor.   

4. Croatia 

"MATIJA GUBEC" Folklore ensemble, Karlovac

The Folklore ensemble Matija Gubec was founded in 1936, and became the representative ensemble of the city Karlovac as well as one of the best amateur folklore ensembles in Croatia. They collaborate with renowned ethnologists and choreographers which enables them to continuously win the highest awards at many festivals in Croatia and abroad, of course also because of their continuous work and determination.

Our neighbouring country is known for its diversity, for its beauties and the rich natural and cultural heritage. Through the turbulent historic periods the Republic of Croatia changed quite a lot. Each period left a mark on the life of the Croatian people, their customs and lifestyle.

The folklore group Matija Gubec will present a big part of Croatian folk history, since they cover the whole Croatian tradition with more than 32 choreographies. 

5. Cuba

"CAMAGUA" Compania Folklorica, Camagüey

Cuba is a faraway corner of the world. The pearl, surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, is an old cultural country where the magic of Africa and Europe meet. It is one of the last fortresses of communism, although the land of Fidel Castro is modernising quite quickly.  Cuba is dance, Cuba is music. The Cubans are happy people, and salsa is taking over the young as well as the old. The typical folk tradition is actually still the only lifestyle.

Through the centuries, the music, dance and understanding of life developed under the Spanish, African, and autochthonic influences, and the African slaves left a big mark on the culture as they secretly maintained their rituals.

Camagua is bringing the hot Caribbean sun, salsa rhythms and the inexhaustible energy of the mixture of authentic, African and indigenous customs. Fernando Medrano Vireya, professor at the University in Camagüey, is the director of the group, founded in 1981. The extraordinary, exquisite dancers and musicians are performing all over the world and are known for their diverse, colourful and energetic performances which are a real eye and ear candy. 

6. Hungary 

"FORRÁS" Folk Ensemble, Százhalombatta

Hungary, our neighbouring country, is known for goulash and palinka, Franz Liszt and Bela Bartok, as well as its folklore. The varied and rich history of this land has its roots in ancient times when the first Hungarian people settled in the Carpathian Basin 896. This cultural mix provided the Hungarian language, a language so different from all his neighbouring languages, and only remotely related to Finnish and Esthonian.

The Hungarians are proud of their energetic immaterial cultural heritage. They are enthusiastically preserving their typical dances, songs and music known all over the world. Through their preschool education, they are taught how important their culture and their national identity is.

Folk ensemble Forrás is an exquisite group, one of the best in Europe. For them, folk tradition means so much more than just a collection of archive exhibit pieces. Through their inventive scene interpretation, they are reviving and presenting new forms of folk tradition which they think is the only connection between the modern present and the ancient world of our grandparents.

7. Slovenia 

"ŠTUDENT" Academic folklore group, Maribor

One of the best academic folk dance group in Slovenia was founded in 1964. Every year the group co-organizes the international folklore festival Folkart in Maribor. With the help of the group the festival became one of the best folklore festivals in Europe. Together with Narodni dom Maribor they endeavour to welcome the participants to Maribor and make their stay here unforgettable.

They are devoted folklorists, exceptional ambassadors of folk tradition and with their youthful energy they are ensuring that the tradition of former generations finds its way to the national and international stages. 

8. Slovenia

"BELA KRIZANTEMA" Veteran folklore group, 

The first meeting of all generations was organised at the 30th anniversary of Kulturno umetniško društvo Študent in Maribor in 1994 when the veterans of the folk dance group Študent gathered and picked the name “BELA KRIZANTEMA”.

They perform dances from Eastern Štajerska, Gorenjska, Prlekija, Porabje and Prekmurje region. The choreographies are adapted to their age, but still very attractive.

The once excellent dancers transfer their knowledge and experience into their performances and keep on enthralling the audience everywhere they go.

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