• 22.6. - 30.6. 2018

      62 DAYS...




Main Stage - Trg Leona Štuklja square

Folklore festival Folkart


29. FOLKART - closing ceremony (CRO, CUB, BDI, BUL, GEO, ROM, SLO)

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, energetic rhythms of African drums from Burundiproud Georgia, and lovely Croatia, ancient, almost mystic Romania, 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 Burundi, Bulgaria, Georgia, Croatia, Cuba and Romania 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. 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. 

2. Burundi

"ROYAL BURUNDI DRUMS" – Association Ikiyago Legacy, Gishora

Life on the »black continent«, Africa, is completely different, and is still a unsolved riddle for the rest of the world. A riddle that needs to be solved, if necessary, by force. Turbulent history, colonialism, and bloody slavery have left their traces on African people, and a strong mark on their culture. The proud Africans kept their steadfast love for freedom and their way of life, but they paid a very high price for it.

The small continental state Burundi lies in the eastern part of Africa, and is known to be the »forgotten land«. Its neighbours are Ruanda, Tanzania, and the Democratic republic of Congo. The country has been marked by the long hegemony of European colonialists from since the middle of the 19th century. Burundi is one of the four states, that are sharing the second biggest and deepest lake in the world, Tanganyika, covering an area of 32.900 km².

Drums are an important part of the Burundian cultural heritage. The art of drumming (ingoma) is almost mystic, since it symbolises the unification of people, music, and the instrument. The enchanting mixture of formalities with spontaneity creates a trance-like state. The rhythms coming from the heavy, rough drums, that can weigh up to 70 kilos, tell stories about will to live and the joys of life. The group members are the descendants of royal drummers from the central part of the country, the Gishora region. 

They say they are happiest when they can share their true love for life with the world. 

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. Romania 

CRISANA" Artistic Professional Ensemble Oradea

Romania, the land with an almost mystical hint, with the romantic Transilvania, and the richness of its cultural heritage marked by the Middle Ages, is known for its beautiful nature, majestic castles and wonderfully preserved medieval towns in Europa, such as Brasov or Sibiu. The legend about Count Dracula, the most famous vampire in the world, originates from Romania – it is the story about the cruel Vlad the Impaler who threatened and controlled the people from his castle.

The artistic ensemble Crisana with its 67-year-long tradition acquired its professional status due to its excellent quality. They will show us the traditional life in many Romanian regions and revive the life of living along the Danube delta for thousands of years, in small wooden villages, in hardy medieval towns, in steppes, basins, next to the sea, under the Carpathian Mountains, next to mighty rivers, fighting the Turks, Tatars, and other invaders.  

In this pot of many people, in this mixture of Ukrainians, Serbians, Tatars, Turks, Roma and other people of various religions, from Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Roman Catholic and Protestant, the life of simple people was always marked by the constant struggle for survival, and the craving for freedom.

They kept the love and respect for their own culture forever. 

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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