III INTERNATIONAL FOLK CONTEST–FESTIVAL "THE FLOWER OF THE SUN"
GRAND PRIX
1 500 € - LFOLK DANCE ENSEMBLE "NARTEBI" Tbilisi (Georgia)
THE PRIZE OF THE FESTIVAL'S AUDIENCE
THE TV SET OF JSC "ŠIAULIU TAURO TELEVIZORIAI" - FOLK DANCE ENSEMBLE "NARTEBI" Tbilisi (Georgia)
SPECIAL PRIZE FOR ELABORATION OF TRADITIONS
THE PICTURE "THE FLOWER OF THE SUN" BY SIGITA MILVIDIENE - FOLK DANCE GROUP "ZAWIERCIE" Zawierce (Poland)
THE BEST SCENIC FOLK DANCE ENSEMBLE
600 € - FOLK DANCE ENSEMBLE "NARTEBI" Tbilisi (Georgia)
FOR CHERISHING TRADITIONS
TRADITIONAL LITHUANIAN INSTRUMENT - FOLK GROUP "ŽIBINYČIA" Marijampole (Lithuania)
SPECIAL PRIZE FOR TALENT
TRADITIONAL LITHUANIAN INSTRUMEN - SHIN JEONGSUN (South Korea)
I CATEGORY
TRADITIONAL FOLK DANCE GROUP
I FOLK ART GROUP OF CULTURAL CENTER OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF IOANNIN Ioannina (Greece)
GOLD 800 €
II FOLKLORE GROUP "PONIKVA" Žalec (Slovenia)
SILVER 600 €
III FOLK GROUP "JORE" Vilnius (Lithuania)
BRONZE 400 €
II CATEGORY
CHOREOGRAPHED ARRANGEMENTS OF FOLK DANCES
II ANKIRA CULTURE ART & YOUTH CLUB Ankara (Turkey)
SILVER 400 €
III FOLK DANCE ENSEMBLE "KARDZALI" Kardzaly (Bulgaria)
BRONZE 300 €
III CATEGORY
INSTRUMENTAL FOLK MUSIC ENSEMBLES
I FOLKLORE GROUP "PONIKVA" Žalec (Slovenia)
GOLD 150 €
II FOLKLORE AND MUSIC GROUP "HELOLDO-WILARIA" Holtzwihr (France)
SILVER 100 €
III FOLK DANCE ENSEMBLE "KARDZALI" Kardzaly (Bulgaria)
BRONZE 60 €
IV CATEGORY
ENSEMBLES OF TRADITIONAL SINGING
I FOLK GROUP "JORE" Vilnius (Lithuania)
GOLD 150 €
II "SEODO SORI BAEBANGGI" GUT (South Korea)
SILVER 100 €
III FOLK ART GROUP OF CULTURAL CENTER OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF IOANNINA Ioannina (Greece)
BRONZE 60 €
V CATEGORY
FOLK SONG SOLO
I NITISH Punjab (India)
GOLD 80 €
II JOLANTA BALNYTE Neveronys (Lithuania)
SILVER 60 €
III NAKKEE KIM (South Korea)
BRONZE 50 €
VI CATEGORY
ISTRUMENTAL SOLO
I MOLDOVAN IOAN Leshu (Romania)
GOLD 80 €
II IVAN IVANOV Kardzaly (Bulgaria)
SILVER 60 €
III DIANA ŠEDUIKIENE Palanga (Lithuania)
BRONZE 50€

Contest participants of 2009

FOLK DANCE ENSEMBLE "KARDZALI" Kardzaly (Bulgaria)
Artistic Director Vasil VASSILEV

The folk dance ensemble of the Cultural House of Kardzali town was founded in 1948. For 60 years, the dance group has been uncovering the beauty and force of Bulgarian folklore to thousands of spectators in Bulgaria and foreign countries.
The ensemble is a winner of numerous awards from national and international competitions and festivals. The dancers are presenting their mastery not only in Bulgaria but also in Turkey, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Russia, Finland, Algeria, Morocco, the USA, Italy.

FOLK ART GROUP OF CULTURAL CENTRE OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF IOANNINA Ioannina (Greece)
Artistic Director Ilias GARTZONIKAS
Teacher responsible Nikos NOUSIAS

The Cultural Centre of the Municipality of Ioannina, a city of "legend and tradition", founded the Folk Dance Department in 1984.
The Folk Dance Department aims at recording, developing and reproducing the popular musical and dancing tradition and at connecting these elements along. One generation passes the morals, legends and stories, triumphs and memories to the next generation by dancing and singing.
The group can present 400 different dances, 130 traditional songs, 40 acts and traditional games from Epirus (Ioannina, Zagori, Pogoni, Konitsa etc.), areas of Crete, Pontos, Macedonia, East Romylia, Thrace, the Aegean Sea Islands, Asia Minor etc. Local dances (Sirtaki, Zorbas) are presented too.
It has given more than 500 performances in Greece and all over the world. This is one of the most awarded Greek groups in the past few years.
The group is a member of IOV.

FOLK DANCE ENSEMBLE "NARTEBI" Tbilisi (Georgia)
Director Tamaz GOGOBERIDZE
Artistic director Roman BIRTVELISHVILI

The choreographic ensemble "NARTEBI" was founded in 2000. The ensemble consists of 50 dancers and singers, dancers' age ranges from 16 to 30 years.
The repertoire of the ensemble is represented by the best folk dances, such as "Kartuli", "Adjarian", "Farikaoba", "Shejibri", "Women's Mtiuluri", etc. as well as the best folk songs.
The ensemble has become a laureate of many international festivals. They have performed concerts in such countries as Turkey, Greece, Spain, France and the Netherlands.

Seodo Sori Baebanggi Gut (South Korea)
Director Park JUNYOUNG
Choreographer Yu JUHUI

Seodo Sori are songs that have been handed down in the Hwanghae and Pyeongan provinces, the northwest part of Korean peninsula, and the most part of Seodo region now belongs to North Korea (Sori means a song in Korean). They include a large variety of songs ranging from those sung by simple, unsophisticated peasants to those of a higher degree sung by trained professional folk singers. The folksongs, which are usually short and simple, and ballads, which are much longer by comparison, reflect the life and emotions of the people who dwell in this region.
Korean folksongs are divided into few groups: the Namdo Sori (the song from the South-West part), Gyeonggi Minyo (the song from Gyeonggi province, the central-west part), Dongbu Minyo (the song from East part of Korea), Jeju Minyo (the song from Jeju Island, the biggest island of Korea) and Seodo Sori.
The group has participated in various festivals in Europe, China and Korea, including Baltica 2006 in Tallinn, Võru folk festival in Estonia, Kaustinen Folk music festival in Finland, Oriental festival in Tallinn and Riga, etc.

FOLKLORE AND MUSIC GROUP "HELOLDO-WILARIA" Holtzwihr (France)
President Roger KLEITZ

The group "Heloldo-Wilaria" is a traditional folk dance and music group, it was created in 1979 in the village of Holtzwihr. The name that was given to the group comes from the 1st Roman chief of the village. There are 65 active members of the group: adults, adolescents and children.
The music is typically Alsasian, played on the accordion. The programme includes many dances such as mazurkas, salamandre, danse de la sorci?re, polkas piquées, scottischs, rheinländer etc.
The group has been invited to many festivals both in France and abroad: Israel, Turkey, Canada, Japan, Poland, South Africa, Estonia, Italy, Czech Republic.

FLUTE GROUP "RAPSODIA TRISCASILOR" Leshu (Romania)
Leader Nicolae-Grigore LUPSAN

Leshu Town is located in a mountain region of Bistrita-Nasaud district which is situated in Northern Romania. In the Town of Leshu, the main occupation of inhabitants is farming especially sheep-keeping. While taking care of their sheep, shepherds created simple instruments, such as rudimentary flutes (shepherd's flutes), and used them to sing their love and sorrow.
In 1953, one entrepreneur thought it would be a good idea to gather all these shepherds and create a folk ensemble. The newly formed ensemble was very successful throughout the years since, winning several local and national folk competitions.
Since 1969, there is an annual festival in the Town of Leshu dedicated to this ensemble, called "Shepherd's Flute Folk Ensemble Rhapsody" (Rapsodia Triscasilor in Romanian).
The shepherd's flute ensemble has a wide repertoire of songs, typical for the northern part of Romania as well as specific ones to the region of Leshu. Some of these songs are ballads, folk dance, sorrow and shouting songs.

FOLKLORIC GROUP OF LESHU Leshu (Romania)
Group leader Hodoroga FLORIN
Vocal group leader Elena LUPSAN

Traditional folk dances have been performed in Leshu Town from ancient times. Since 1910, a town dance groups were organized and have been performing together ever since.
The vocal folk group was founded in 1935 and performs many folk songs from Leshu Valley, the region on Nasaud City on many Romanian stages.

FOLKLORE GROUP "PONIKVA" Žalec (Slovenia)
Artistic director Mąjda KRIČEJ
President Milan COKAN

The first steps and practices were made in 1996 and the folklore group was registered in 2000.
The essential purpose of the folklore group is to revive and recreate folklore traditions and customs, and also to pass the knowledge to younger generations. The group consists of 30 dancers. They are performing around the region, county, at international performances and TV shows. Members of the group play harmonica.

DANCE ENSEMBLE "LAKRANGA" Colombo (Sri Lanka)
Director Lionel Sirisena

The dance school LAKRANGA PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE is a cultural/folk dance academy, registered under the Ministry of Cultural affairs in Sri Lanka. The ensemble is also a member of the IOV and the CID international organisations. Since 2000, this ensemble has participated at a big number of different international contests in different countries: China, Romania, Switzerland, Czech Republic, the Far East, etc.
We perform in the original form Sri Lankan cultural dances and drumming. Sri Lanka dances are divided into three parts:
1. The KANDYAN dance;
2. the LOW COUNTRY dance;
3. the SABARAGAMUWA dance style.

ANKIRA CULTURE ART & YOUTH CLUB Ankara (Turkey)
Director Tamer YAMAN

ANKIRA Culture, Art and Youth Club was founded in 2005 with the aim of introducing Turkish folklore and traditional values to the youth and keeping the tradition alive to carry those values to next generations. "ANKIRA" values intercultural learning desires to represent and introduce our rich Anatolian culture to other cultures.
We have quite a lot of members who have taken part in various national and international projects, festivals and organizations. Our association wins a large repertoire of dances from various regions such as Skopje, Silifke, Van, Karadeniz (the Black Sea), Bursa, Diyarbak?r, A?uk Ma?uk, Edirne, Zeybek, Artvin and Urfa.

FOLK ENSEMBLE "JORĖ" OF TAURAKALNIS CULTURAL CENTRE IN VILNIUS Vilnius (Lithuania)
Leaders: Rūta and Gintaras ALEKSIŪNAI

The folk ensemble "Jorė" was founded in 1988. In the time of national renaissance, many folk ensembles were born and their members were collecting and writing down folk songs and dances during expeditions and folklore later was learnt by them.
This ensemble is one of the most vivid in Vilnius, its concerts are held both in Lithuania and abroad. It also takes part in city events, folk festivals such as "Skamba skamba kankliai", "Baltica", World Lithuanian Song Festival Folk Days. In 2006, "Jorė" was nominated for the award "Aukso paukštė".
The repertoire covers many Lithuanian songs, dances, games as well as great programmes for events and celebrations.

DANCE GROUP "VAJAUNAS" Šiauliai (Lithuania)
Director Romas LAUGALIS

The dance ensemble "Vajaunas" was founded in 2002. The group takes part in a number of festivals all around Lithuania, in all district festivals, feasts, amateur art festivals-contests: "Rudens mozaika", "Suk, suk ratelį", "Pora už poros", "Iš aplinkui".
Since 2005, we cooperate with the folklore group "Šelmiai"; together we participate in events in different European countries, such as Great Britain, France, Portugal, Italy and others.

FOLK ENSEMBLE "VIEŠIA" OF NEVERONYS CULTURAL CENTRE IN KAUNAS DISTRICT Neveronys (Lithuania)
Leader Jolanta BALNYTĖ

The ensemble was founded in 1998 at Neveronys Cultural Centre. The name of the river in Neveronys was chosen to be the name of the ensemble.
25 members of this ensemble popularise folk traditions, songs and dances. The repertoire consists of songs, traditional dances and instrumental music from all regions of Lithuania.
"Viešia" takes part in many international folk festivals yearly, its concerts are held in Lithuanian towns and villages. Lithuanian folk traditions have also been presented to Polish spectators.

FOLK GROUP ŽIBINYČIA" Marijampole (Lithuania)
Director Žydrūnas RUTKAUSKAS

The folklore group "Žibinyčia" is performing since 2004. People of different occupations, students, pupils are gathering around one thing: to know and to cherish traditional culture, love their land's dances and songs. At this time there are 25 members in the group.
The ensemble performs folklore of all Lithuanian regions, but the main is their region – Sūduva: songs, dances, instrumental music as well as fairytales, funny stories, legends in their dialect.
The ensemble is a regular participant and organiser of a number of festivals in their region and all around Lithuania.

Soloists

HALIL ISMAIL Kardžali (Bulgaria), IVAN IVANOV Kardžali (Bulgaria), IVAN IVANOV Zavercis (Poland), WOO EUNHA (South Korea), SHIN JEONGSUN (South Korea), NAKKEE KIM (South Korea, MOLDOVAN IOAN Lešu (Romania), SERETAN IOAN Lešu (Romania), TODICA LEON Lešu (Romania), SALIM KABACI Ankara (Turkey), JOLANTA BALNYTĖ Neveronys (Lithuania), BIRUTĖ ČEPIENĖ Girkaliai (Lithuania), ARVYDAS LEŠČINSKAS Petrašiūnai (Lithuania), DIANA ŠEDUIKIENĖ Palanga (Lithuania).

Festival partcipants of 2009

ŠIAULIAI UNIVERSITY FOLK MUSIC ENSEMBLE "SAULĖ" Šiauliai (Lithuania)
Art director Darius DAKNYS
Choreographic director Edmundas VERPETINSKAS
Vocal group director Eugenijus ANDRULIS
Manager Zenonas RIPINSKIS

Šiauliai University folk music ensemble "Saulė' was founded in 1972. Presently, 30 dancing, singing and playing music from Šiauliai University students, academic staff, graduates are members of the group.
"Saulė" repertoire encompasses traditional music and songs, original musical compositions by Lithuanian composers, a big number of traditional dances and traditional Lithuanian folklore.The ensemble has taken part in numerous national and international folk music and dance festivals, contests throughout the world. In 1999 "Saulė" was nominated as the best Lithuanian folk ensemble and awarded the prize "Aukso paukštė".
Since 2002, the ensemble is a member of the International Organisation of Folk Art (IOV).

FOLK ENSEMBLE "SALDUVĖ" OF THE CULTURAL CENTRE "LAIPTŲ GALERIJA" IN ŠIAULIAI Šiauliai (Lithuania)
Leaders Violeta and Darius DAKNIAI

The ensemble was established in 1986; there are 30 dancing, playing music and singing members. The repertoire of "Salduvė" consists of songs, dances, plays and tales of 2 Lithuanian ethnical regions.
It takes part in many events held in Šiauliai and the whole Lithuania. The ensemble also has given concerts in Latvia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Great Britain, Estonia, Denmark, Portugal, Slovakia, Greece, Turkey.
In 2008, "Salduvė" was nominated as the best Lithuanian city folk ensemble and awarded the prize "Aukso paukštė". Since 1999, the ensemble is a member of the International Organisation of Folk Art (IOV).

FOLK ENSEMBLE "GASUŽIS" Šiauliai (Lithuania)
Leader Rosita KALINIENĖ

The folk ensemble "Gasužis" from Šiauliai Gegužių Secondary School was established in 2005.
The members of this ensemble are 26 children at the age of 9-13 years. The ensemble has prepared several programmes for concerts.
This ensemble is a participant of festivals, events and celebrations held in Šiauliai, also at Lithuanian Song Festival. Moreover, "Gasužis" organises seminars for pupils on ancient Lithuanian celebrations.

NON-TRADITIONAL FOLKLORE GROUP "KITAVA" Šiauliai (Lithuania)
Leaders Rasa and Kęstutis STOŠKAI

The group was founded in 2001, at Šiauliai University. There are 7 members in the group. The repertoire consists of non-traditional interpretations of Lithuanian folk songs, music along with rock, jazz, blues and pop music elements.
In 2005, the group issued their first album called "Kitaip". In 2007, they recorded their second album "Oi, ant kalno".
Today this group represents Šiauliai University Faculty of Social Sciences.

LTHE ORCHESTRA OF LITHUANIAN ARMED FORCES NAMED AFTER LITHUANIAN GRAND DUKE GEDIMINAS (Lithuania)
Leader Egidijus ALIŠAUSKAS

The Orchestra of Lithuanian Armed Forces was established in 1991; it encompasses 57 professional musicians.
The main aim of this orchestra is to take part at important official foreign guest meetings, ceremonies, national celebrations. Moreover, the orchestra gives solo concerts for Lithuanians.
The orchestra also takes part in international music festivals and cooperates with the European Union and the USA armed forces orchestras.
The repertoire consists of Lithuanian and world composers' popular orchestra, original contemporary and classical music.

FOLK ENSEMBLE "SEDULA" OF THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED CULTURAL HOUSE IN ŠIAULIAI Šiauliai (Lithuania)
Leader Virginija GINTILAITĖ

The beginning of the folk song ensemble was in 1981 and in 1989, when the dancers and musicians joined, the ensemble was named "Sedula".
The ensemble is the participant of the World Lithuanian Song Festival since 1990. It also takes part in folk festivals held in a number of Lithuanian cities and towns. "Sedula" took part at the international festival of the blind and visually impaired "Tyfloart" in Czech Republic in 2007. It also organised the national folk feast in 2008.

FOLK MUSIC BAND "ŠELMIAI" OF ŠIAULIAI THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED CULTURAL HOUSE Šiauliai (Lithuania)
Leader Arūnas ŠLIAUTERIS

The band "Šelmiai" was founded in 1961.
The ensemble is a regular participant of the World Lithuanian Song Festival, it actively takes part in national and regional folk music festivals. "Šelmiai" band together with the dance group "Vajaunas" worked out a joint programme and successfully at international festivals in Portugal, France, Italy, Holland and Thailand.

ŠIAULIAI CITY WIND ORCHESTRA Šiauliai (Lithuania)
Leader Vytautas PILIBAVIČIUS

The wind orchestra was established in 1966. This orchestra is a participant of national events since 1970, takes part at the World Lithuanian Song Festival's contests. Moreover, it is the winner of several prizes.
Its concerts were held in Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Russia, Germany, France, Sweden, Holland.
The orchestra annually prepares 3-4 programmes for concerts and includes some 30 pieces of classic, contemporary, popular, jazz music in its repertoire. 30- 35 concerts are held every year.

RELIGIOUS SACRAL MUSIC ENSEMBLE OF ST CECILIA Šiauliai (Lithuania)
Director Rolanda KALAKAUSKIENĖ

The religious sacral music ensemble of St Cecilia was founded in 1997, attached to Šiauliai Cathedral.
All members of this group are teachers having university or other musical education, they are working in schools and leading different associations. The main point of the ensemble is to preserve and recreate Lithuanian culture and historical heritage, to collect, record and spread ancient Lithuanian cants.
The ensemble takes part in festivals, feasts, Masses, church festivals. In 2007, the group performed in Germany, Great Britain.

FOLK ENSEMBLE OF ŠIAULIAI UNIVERSITY "VAIGUVA" Šiauliai (Lietuva)
Leader Diana MARTINAITIENĖ

The folk ensemble "Vaiguva" was founded 28 years ago. The participants of the ensemble are students from various regions of Lithuania; that is why the repertoire includes folklore from different regions. The ancient folk is very appreciated.
The costumes of the ensemble are spectacular: the members wear replicas of archaeological brass accessories and clothes are the reconstructions carried out by the contemporary designers.

VERONIKA POVILIONIENĖ

Veronika Povilionienė is the most popular Lithuanian folk singer in all Lithuania. She became like a symbol of Lithuanian national culture. Her strong and suggestive voice reveals authentic songs, intonations of the southern Dzūkija region as well as our forefathers world's beauty and authenticity of existence. Besides solo performances, the singer performs a lot with the folklore ensemble "Blezdinga". She is also very famous for diverse projects with jazz and academic music authors, other artists, poets. Veronika Povilionienė often sings with pop, rock music bands and soloists. This is the way to make folk songs more popular.
The singer has won a lot of musical contests and received a great number of awards.

FOLK ENSEMBLE "VIEVERSĖLIS" OF ŠIAULIAI SAULĖTEKIO SECONDARY SCHOOL Šiauliai (Lithuania)
Leader Arūnas STANKUS

The folk ensemble "Vieversėlis" was founded in 1998. Children from 13 to 18 years old are the members of this ensemble. The pupils play on their hand-made folk music instruments.
This ensemble takes part in many city and country events, festivals, seminars and conferences, takes part in many ethno-cultural projects. The members of "Vieversėlis" are winners of national contests.

SACRAL MUSIC ENSEMBLE OF JONIŠKIS ART SCHOOL ŽAGARĖ BRANCH Žagarė (Lithuania)
Leader Irena STRIPINIENĖ

The sacral music ensemble was founded 3 years ago, in 2006. The first canticle they learnt and sang was "Canto about St Barbara". After one year of hard work, the ensemble recorded and released their first album. The priest of Žagarė St Apostles' Peter and Paul parish also sings in this ensemble.
The repertoire consists of ancient canticles, liturgical, Taize and other contemporary canticles. Every other Sunday they perform at Žagarė church Mass for the young generation.

KELMĖ DISTRICT PAKRAŽANTIS CULTURAL CENTRE'S ŽALPIAI ADULT ETHNOGRAPHICAL ENSEMBLE Kelmė (Lithuania)
Director Danutė ANANKAITĖ

Adults ethnographical ensemble was founded in 1967. The ensemble performs songs of its region written by long-term members of the group.
In 1990, the ensemble took part in the National Song Festival in Vilnius. The ensemble performed ancient canticles at the international festival in Vilnius "Skamba, skamba kankliai".