Milestone anniversary! That’s right, we’re upping the festivities this time around. The milestone, 30th Folkart, will once again make the young and old alike rejoice as part of the Festival Lent 2018, this year again on the grand floating stage on the Drava river.
It’s promising and it promises!
For the small price of a ‘Lenta’ festival pass, all fans of the magical and colourful folk heritage of the world can have their fill of folklore. Yes, all it takes this year is a ‘Lenta’ pass; no extra ticket required. Two grand concerts await at the Main Stage on the Drava river; the opening ceremony (Tuesday, June 26th at 21:00), and the grand finale, closing with a majestic display of fireworks, a gift for the performers and the good people of Maribor (Saturday, June 30th at 21:30).
All across Maribor, street performances of world-class folklore groups from all over the world will be available to you completely free of charge.
On Wednesday, June 27th, and Thursday, June 28th, before noon and in the evening, and on Saturday, June 30th, when ‘half the town’ gathers at Grajski trg square, we will be able to witness tens of performances by folklore groups galloping through centre town, caroming through the streets and squares, and ending in the Town Park. All topped up by grand parades!
The folklorists can hardly wait for these performances, delighted by the throngs of people lining up on the streets and in the stands, whom the dancers are always eager to meet and teach a dance move characteristic of their cultural tradition. Each and every one of them lauds and loves the audience in Maribor.
Full of colour, full of wonder, full of passion!
Choosing the groups for the big milestone was a special challenge; oh, yes, quite a task. A long and challenging task, sometimes brimming with panic… What if some of them don’t show up? The anxiousness and uncertainty reigns supreme every year until the dance groups come to town, but over the years we’ve learned to cope with those. Once again, we’ll be able to live and see the diversity common to the people of our planet. Take, for example, the folklore group from Argentina; they called us and wanted to be part of the festival, having heard of Folkart and deciding they wish to show us their tango, a dance of passion born in the slums of Buenos Aires. Get ready to meet the amazing, charmingly casual Montenegrins, who exude pride and aristocratic heritage in every step they take. We’ll be joined by the African ‘lions’ from Kenya, who will bring along their steaming rhythms of the Black Continent. We will witness the excellent dance group from Peru, keeping alive the mysterious culture of the Inca. The Tuva Republic, a lesser known gem from Southern Siberia on the border of Mongolia, known for guttural signing and dancers who keep alive the tradition of nomads. We’ll greet the excellent dance group from Serbia and be able to relive the memories of our former common land. Of course, Folkart is nothing without Slovenia – our locals, hosts to the dance groups during their stay in Maribor, the tireless members of the Academic folk dance group Študent Maribor; can’t have a Folkart without them. Also joining us are the members of the Academic folk dance group France Marolt from Ljubljana, a group that was with us at the very first Folkart.
We’ve been planning, searching, piecing together the puzzle, working like crazy, throughout the year, and a few years before that, before we could finally cast the programme in stone. Now we can all look forward to seeing folk dance groups from all of the world and enjoy when they walk up on our stage. We’re glad to see the happy faces and relaxed joy of the people of Maribor, as well as visitors from elsewhere, and see how they enjoy the excellent performances of the folk dancers, the hearty ambassadors of their amazing traditions and cultures.
Argentina: Fiery and passionate rhythms of folk tradition and tango.
Due to mass migrations to their country, Argentinians are known as the most ‘European’ nation in South America. They are a proud, confident and traditional people, loyal to the family and their rich history. The plethora of cultural influences is therefore reflected mostly through their own tradition. The folk dance group Nuestras Raíces (Our Roots) keeps alive in equal parts the tradition of gauchos, Argentinian shepherds known all over the world, and tango, born from the slums of Buenos Aires. A performance filled with passion and love for art.
Kenya: Smoking African rhythms with rich folk heritage.
This folk dance group from Kenya, a country on the east coast of the Black Continent, was founded back in 1996. Using traditional instruments and donning the attire of different tribes, they take us on a fiery ride through the rich tradition of their coastal country. Their dances are filled with African rhythms so appealing to us, with special energy, and constant movement. All with a hefty dose of drums called ‘l'Ohangla’; these play an important role in all traditional events, be it marriage, birth, death, or religious ceremonies.
Montenegro: Proud attitude and charming casualness mixed with aristocratic heritage.
Folklorni ansambel »Crna Gora«, Podgorica
All through its tumultuous history this small land filled with mountains was constantly battling oppressors and had crowned one of the most charismatic leaders of all time – Vladika (king) Peter Petrović Njegoš. Not only was he a very progressive-minded and educated leader, he was also known for his distinct sense of humour. The battle-tested Montenegrins have developed into a stout and individual nation, proud of and in love with their cultural identity. We will be able to witness their aristocratic ancestry through the performances of the amazing folk dance group Crna Gora, whose chief mission is to keep alive the rich cultural heritage of their homeland and bring it to the world in a unique artistic manner. With rich traditional attire, folk singing and folk dance, the group spread and emphasize diversity and rich tradition.
Peru: Amazing, authentic display of Inca heritage.
The Inca are definitely the most famous civilization that once lived in today’s Peru. Their beginnings are shrouded in a veil of mythology and documented in rare accounts of the Spanish, whose arrival in the 16th century marked the end of this amazing civilization. The world-famous and well-preserved ruins of the “Lost City of the Inca” are located on the Machu Picchu (or “Old Mountain” in the Quechua language) mountain ridge at nearly 2,500 m altitude. Amazing history, convergence of different influences, and ancient culture; all this and more in a single performance by one of the most famous groups folk dance festivals all over the globe want to host – the C.I.D.A.N. MiPeru dance group, whose beginnings date back to 1985.
Russia, Tuva Republic: Mysticism, guttural singing, and rarely seen tradition.
Tuvan Autonomous Republic is the cradle of a very special and unusual culture. In the heart of Asia, on the banks of the mystic Yenisei River, this Siberian country has it all – amazing nature, diverse landscape, ranging from tundra to desert, moose near the Mongolian border and camels in the south. All this makes the Tuva Republic a magical and mysterious place. The national ensemble Sayani presents their customs and life of an ancient nomadic people, whose descendants have preserved their native language and original, primeval culture. Their performance is based on myths and legends of other Asian people living in this region. Definitely one of the highlights of this year’s Folkart.
Serbia: Colourful, energetic, deeply-rooted folk tradition.
When the culture and art association Sevojno was founded in 1954, many generations got the chance to get involved in folk dance, song, and music. It is a well-known fact that the Serbs have a deep respect for their culture. Originality, diversity, powerful rhythms, beautiful folk attire, unmistakeable honesty, and the grandeur of folk life are the foundations of each performance of this folk dance group that toured all over the world and has earned the most prominent foreign and local awards throughout their tenure. They also keep alive the originality of folk customs and authenticity of folk attire, as their collection features pieces that are over one hundred years old.
Youth, enthusiasm, love for the culture of their land.
This successful story that keeps developing and evolving even to this very day was started by members of the former AFS Študent back in 1964. The group performed dances from the entire region of former Yugoslavia and made their name at countless festivals all across the globe. In 1989, they added to their dance tours by founding their own folk dance festival, the CIOFF® International Folklore Festival FOLKART, which later gave birth to the international Festival Lent. Known to the people of Maribor as ‘Kudovci’, they are diligent and excellent hosts to all foreign dance groups appearing at Folkart. Hand in hand with the Maribor National Hall, they make sure that the folk dancers feel at home in our town and can give us their best performances. Ever since the creation of Folkart, members of AFS Študent have the honour of opening the festival and are the last dance group to appear in the closing ceremony, inviting the audience to join them again next year.
Successfully keeping alive the tradition and dedication to folk heritage.
The Academic folk dance group France Marolt was founded in 1948 by France Marolt, the first Slovenian ethnomusicologist. He set the foundation for Slovenia’s largest folk dance group that is nowadays a regular guest at national and international events and always enthrals the audience with an excellent performance. In their 70 years of existence, the group have earned numerous awards and recognitions. Their members never hold still, appearing every year in over 60 concerts, short performances and workshops, all while running numerous independent projects. The dance group appeared in the very first Folkart festival and we couldn’t wish for anything more than to greet them on stage again at our 30th anniversary.