Last year, the Maribor Folkart, the largest Slovenian folklore celebration, marked 30 consecutive years in existence – three decades’ worth of celebrating intangible cultural world heritage.
Folkart placed the city of Maribor at the centre of the European folklore map and made it into one of the most prominent folklore cities on a global scale.
To mark this impressive anniversary, we dubbed the festival the “Window into the World” and a more apt description could not be bestowed upon it; this window of ours that invites us all to learn and feel new experiences has been swung open once more.
Folkart, which captured the hearts of the people of Maribor a long time ago and made us all rightfully proud of it, has entered its thirty-first year in existence with a bold, happy and optimistic attitude! It calls to all people with a free spirit and open heart who wish to see beyond their immediate horizon.
In June, our city will welcome the most prominent folklore groups from Europe and other, more remote continents. Get ready for the feisty Irish and their dance steps that inspired some of the most famous dance shows; we will be able to experience the softness and pride of Macedonia and the fiery vivacity of the Ukraine. We will marvel at the mysterious culture of the Mayans and Inca from Mexico and embark on an exotic journey to the Guam Islands. Folkart will also look into the eyes of the faraway and mystic land of China and set its sights on the untamed Russian ancestors from Bashkortostan (Bashkiria) hailing from the Western edge of the Urals.
Rounding up this diverse and colourful group from all parts of the globe will be Slovenia, most notably our fellow Mariborians, the Academic Folklore Group Študent.
And so, our world-renowned International CIOFF® folklore festival Folkart will once again clothe our city in the beautiful and diverse colours of cultures from all over the world!
Opening: 25 June at 21.30, Leon Štukelj Square, Maribor
Closing ceremony: 29 June at 21.30, Leon Štukelj Square, Maribor
Republic of Bashkortostan
Dance and song ensemble “Aytugan”, Ufa
The ensemble was founded in 2010 by folk heritage enthusiasts at the Ufa State University. The mastermind behind the ensemble since its very beginning is Alfiya Saifullina. Members of the group are students at the State University.
They hail from Ufa, the capital of this autonomous republic of the Russian Federation situated between the Volga River and the Ural Mountain. Bashkortostan is bordering on various other republics, with the most known being the Republic of Udmurtia and the Republic of Tatarstan.
As is the case with many other countries nested in the massive Russian wastelands, Bashkortostan is a land of contrasts. The Bashkir are a Muslim people of Turkish origin. They were known as shepherds and nomads, who led their flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, horses and camels along carved migration paths. The ancient way of life, the contrasts, and constant change greatly influenced the culture of the nation.
Aside from appearing at home and abroad, members of the ensemble devote plenty of their time to research. They collect and adapt lesser known folk songs and dances, and attempt to revive ancient customs of their people. The ensemble’s repertoire is rich and diverse, featuring Bashkir and Tatar folk dances and songs, as well as the traditional heritage from various parts of the Russian Federation. A professional attitude, youth, charm, energy and passion, and colourful folk attire – with all this and more the ensemble are at the centre of attention and affection wherever they appear.
The “Aytugan” ensemble have become a staple of numerous local and international festivals. This is the first time the Bashkir are coming to Maribor.