GRAND PRIX OF THE IV INTERNATIONAL FOLK CONTEST–FESTIVAL "THE FLOWER OF THE SUN" – Folk ensemble „DEVIN“ (Slovakia, Bratislava) – 1 500 EUR
I CATEGORY – TRADITIONAL FOLK DANCE GROUP
I – Folk ensemble ,,Karjala“ (Russia, Petrozavodsk) – 800 EUR
II – Folk ensemble ,,Soluntum“ (Italy, Sicily, Santa Flavia) – 600 EUR
III – Folk ensemble ,,Viešia“ (Lithuania, Neveronys) – 400 EUR
II CATEGORY – CHOREOGRAPHED ARRANGEMENTS OF FOLK DANCES
I – Folk ensamble „Devin“ (Slovakia, Bratislava) – 600 EUR
II – Folk esnemble „Siemianowice“ (Poland, Siemianowice Slaskie)– 400 EUR
III – Folk ansamble „Katvari“ (Latvia, Limbazi) – 300 EUR
III CATEGORY – INSTRUMENTAL FOLK MUSIC ENSEMBLES
I – Folk ensemble „Soluntum“ (Italy, Sicily, Santa Flavia) – 150 EUR
II – Folk ensemble „Vīteri“ (Latvia, Rēzekne) – 100 EUR
III – Folk ensemble „Switanak“ (Belorussia, Minsk) – 60 EUR
IV CATEGORY– ENSEMBLES OF TRADITIONAL SINGING
I – Folk ensemble ,,Šatrija“ (Lithuania, Luokė) – 150 EUR
II – Culture association ,,Mandrač“ (Slovenia, Koperas) – 100 EUR
III – Folk ensemble ,,Switanak“ (Belorussia, Minsk) – 60 EUR
V CATEGORY – FOLK SONG SOLO
I – Chandra Prasad Sharma (Nepal, Kathmandu) – 80 EUR
II – Gopal Prasad Khavel (Nepal, Kathmandu) – 60 EUR
III – Vanda Sukarevičienė (Lithuania, Šiauliai) – 50 EUR
VI CATEGORY – ISTRUMENTAL SOLO
I –Alfredo Orlando (Italy, Sicily, Santa Flavia) – 80 EUR
II – Yevgeny Michaylov (Rusia, Karelia, Petrozavodsk) – 60 EUR
III – Antanas Pažarauskas (Lithuania, Šiauliai) – 50 EUR
THE PRIZE OF THE FESTIVAL'S AUDIENCE –
Folk Ensemble „Soluntum“ (Italy, Sicily, Santa Flavia)
SPECIAL PRIZE FOR ELABORATION OF TRADITIONS –
Folk ensemble „Rataa“ (Lithuania, Telšiai)
Speciali prize of head of Contest Jury –
Pīters Daugulis (Latvia, Rēzekne)
Folk dance group "WAGRAM"
Leader of dancers Claudia Brünner
Leader of musicians Jutta Halmetschlager
Group leader Stefan Moser
Wagram is a small village (about 900 inhabitants) in the eastern part of Austria in the middle of great vine region. The folk dance group "Wagram" was founded in 1977. Right now the group consists of about 35 active members. The members' average age is approximately 27 years. The older members still like to dance and they founded an additional group with another 20 members.
The main aim of the dancers and musicians is to preserve and perform the traditional Austrian dances and songs and to celebrate traditional events like thanks-giving, marriages and folklore evenings. All "Wagram" members are amateurs and practice dancing voluntary. The group also organises some events every year. "Wagram" group has also founded a small vocal ensemble, a folk music ensemble and a theatre group. Group members wear 2 different traditional costumes. One is called the "daily" wear ("Altagstracht" - you can see it on the photo) and the 2nd one is the festive day cloth ("Festagstracht").
During the recent years the ensemble attended many international festivals and welcomed dancers from all over the word in our home village Wagram. The group has already visited such countries as Latvia, Spain, Greek, Turkey, Bulgaria, Portugal, Ireland and almost all of our neighbouring countries.
Artistic leader Nadegda Khomich
Minsk Centre of Creativity of Children and Youth "Switanak" was founded in October 1984. The word "switanak" means the time of the day before the dawn, the time between night and morning.
The concert programme of the ensemble on the whole is based upon song, music and dance folklore of the Belarusian Polesye which is considered to be a treasury of East Slavs' spiritual culture. The programme of the ensemble consists of a calendar-agricultural cycle: Carol-singing, Shrovetide songs, spring and autumn songs, etc. Songs of a family-social cycle: wedding, birth songs, conversational songs, love songs, comic songs. The songs are performed either "a-capella" or accompanied by the music, dances and round dances. The combination of music, songs and dances has enabled the artists to create bright concert programmes.
The ensemble carries out great work on promotion of folk art. By its song, music, dance and game repertoire the ensemble reveals rich spiritual world of Belarusian folk embodied by song, music, dance and national costume. The ensemble carefully keeps up and conveys the best features and traditions of Belarusian folklore, remaining true to the spirit and character of genuine folk art.
The team performs much and takes an active part in charitable actions. The ensemble is a frequent visitor to the boarding schools for aged people and the disabled, children asylums, the centres of social help. The ensemble had honour to present its creative art abroad in Norway, Austria, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Czech Republic, Poland, Serbia.
ITALY, Sicily, Santa Flavia
Folk group "SOLUNTUM"
President Maria Orlando
Artistic leader Alfredo Orlando
Leader of women dancers Daniela Balistreri
Leader of men dancers Giuseppe Tomasello
CChoreographer Giuseppe Mancuso
The group was founded in Casteldaccia in 1996 under the initiative of some Casteldaccesi looking for the lost territorial identity rediscovering customs.
In May 1997 (and again, in May 2004) after the invitation of the Sicilian-American "Trinacria" Panel Dock participating in charity events in the Sicilian Folk Festival in San Diego; it was the opportunity to bring all the warmth of their land to those who have been far so long - a show at the "Caesar Palace" of Las Vegas was held.
In June 2000, the group was invited to be part of the international folk festival at the "Kupalnok" held in Poland.
In November of the following year the group is engaged in an international meeting in Gozo Malta.
Great satisfaction was to participate in the international meeting in Turkey in July 2002; 20 groups from all over the world took part there: starting from extreme east with the presence of the group of Japan and Korea, until you come to the warm lands of Mexico, our group represented Italy.
In 2007 we were in Tunisia at the international folk festival, in 2008 - in Portugal at the "Benfica do Ribatejo International Folk Festival" and in December - in Malta.
The group was invited back to Portugal in July 2011 to attend the festival which is held in Nazare Gafanha achieving great success with critics and audiences.
Folk dance group "KATVARI"
Artistic leader Taisa Aruma
Leader of the music ensemble Sandra Budevica
The folk dance group "Katvari" has been involved in maintaining and promoting the national culture both in Limbaži and Latvia. Over all its 92 years, the group has not lost the enthusiasm and joy of dancing; moreover, it has developed professionally and participated in international dance festivals with great success. The folk dance group was established by the council of Katvari District in 1919. The purpose of the group was to contribute to the development of education and the local library. Initially, the group rehearsed in Katvari manor house. Only in 1991 Katvari found a new home in the Culture house of Limbaži.
The folk ensemble performs frequently and has taken part in every Song and Dance Festival since 1948. Taisa Aruma has been the leader of "Katvari" since 1971. Since then, the professional level of the group has increased and it achieved its first state-wide success.
Folk group "VITERI"
Artistic leader Sandra Stare
Responsible for the group Einars Lipskis
The folklore friends' group and folk music band "Viteri" from Rezekne, Latvia, formed in 2003 when the most active and creative people came together and started to sing, dance and make music alongside with their children. The group was established at the Culture Centre of Rezekne and the folk music band followed soon with ambition to maintain songs, dances and local traditions of Latgale region.
The folk group participates in the events, organised by the Culture Department of Rezekne city, goes for Christmas mummery and holds folk dance nights for youth of the city. "Viteri" continues educational activities with help of folk musicians' and folk dancers' camps, takes part in contests and festivals.
The group is involved in many folk movement activities - masques, children folk festival "Pulka eimu, pulka teku", Latvian school youth song and dance festival, Latvian nationwide song and dance festival, international folklore festival "Baltica". The group won the 1st place in the National children and youth folk musicians' contest in Riga, organised the first Latvian Youth Ethno Days, performed in the palace of the President of Latvia during the Latvian Song and Dance Festival. In collaboration with other groups, "Viteri" released the contemporary folk music CD "Sviests4" (the first CD and DVD were entitled "Samovars").
"Viteri" consists of three subgroups: the youngest - up to 7 years old; the middle - from 8 to 14; the oldest - from 15. The youth from the oldest subgroup (at least 18 years old) from the folklore friends group and the folk music band will take part in the 4th international folk contest- festival "The Flower of the Sun".
MEXICO, Folk dance group BALLET FOLKLORICO DE OCCIDENTE
Leader Ruben Alejandro Hernandez Granados
"Ballet Folklorico de Occidente" ("Folk Ballet the West") was started in 1994, in Guadalachar (Jalisco State, West of Mexico) by a group of patriots and folk dance enthusiasts. Director and founder of the group Ruben Alejandro Hernandez Granados and all members of the group share one mission to preserve and spread as widely as possible the authentic Aztec folklore, instrumental music, costumes and dances.
The dances performed are based on the history of Aztec nation and their mythical worldview. They present three the most important Aztec deities - Coatlicue, the mother of all gods, Coyolxaugui, the goddess of the moon, and Huitzilopochtli, the god of war. The dance ritual starts with a salutation of the four parts of the world. The group performs ritual dances of the eagle, fire, the butterfly, the road, the rattlesnake, and others.
Dancers actively participate in various events and celebrations, the group has performed at international festivals in Egypt, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Portugal, Bulgaria and Romania.
Traditional Aztec ceramics, textile ware and accessories will be presented at the festival by the group leader.
KATHMANDU ARTIST CLUB
Director Chandra Prasad Sharma
Group leader Bimal Sherchan
Choreographer Sushila Thapa
The Country of the Mount Everest - Nepal - is recognised all over the world by its one of the oldest cultural heritage. Even though the country is very small, it has ethnic, cultural and geographical diversity. Due to this, here in Nepal each different ethnic group has its own culture, custom, tradition, music and dances. The country itself is a melting pot of folklore, folk dances, folk music and classical music.
In this modern age, it is very essential to preserve and promote such traditional folk dances. This necessity has been realised by the group of youth Nepalese artist and they organised an institution named Kathmandu Artist Club (Folk Dance & Musical Group). In order to preserve and conserve the Nepalese traditional classical, folk music and dances and to promote them in both the national and international arenas Kathmandu Artist Club was established in 2005 and registered in 2007 as a non-profit, non-governmental cultural organization with an approval and recognition of Government of Nepal.
POLAND, Siemianowice Slaskie
Folk assembly of singing and dancing "SIEMIANOWICE"
Artistic leader Anna Moj
Music leader Iwona Talatycka-Seman
Choreographer Tomasz Dworak
The folk assembly of singing and dancing "Siemianowice" is a group presenting traditional folk dances as well as Polish national dances. The assembly also presents the beauty of native customs and folklore through musical compositions which are performed by a professional band. The group has a one hundred-year tradition as is a continuation of a singers' group "Kasyno" created in 1910. Nowadays the seat of the group is the centre of culture in Siemianowice where the members of the group improve their skills. The high artistic level of the performances has been confirmed as the group has gained the accreditation of CIOFF - an organisation embracing the best folk groups.
"Siemianowice" is a winner of numerous prizes and awards; it has performed during festivals in Poland and abroad in Turkey, Greece, Romania, France, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, in Germany and Hungary.
The variety of the repertoire determines that the group is suitable for different events and lively and colourful performances receive a warm welcome of the audience.
RUSSIA, Karelia, Petrozavodsk
Folk ensemble "KARJALA"
Artistic leader Andrey Anisimov
The name of our group "Karjala" means Karelia, the name of our region situated in the northwest of the Russian Federation and borders with Finland. The native population of the Republic of Karelia is the Karelians and Veps, Finno-Ugric peoples by origin.
There are 20 people in "Karjala" consists of 20 members at the moment, the youngest person is 16. The ensemble dance old Karelian, Vepsian and Finnish folk dances. The Karelians and Veps, the native peoples of our republic, have been living side by side with the Russians for several centuries but they have managed to develop heir own culture and native languages. "Karjala" tries to preserve and revive this culture. We dance to live music, sing traditional songs in the Karelian language (the three existing dialects), play traditional instruments, and perform local games.
"Karjala" group was founded in 1961 and has a rich history. The dancers and musicians representing several generations have participated in many festivals, concerts and folk-culture conferences in Russia and other countries. "Karjala" took part in Estonia, Finland, Germany, Finland, the Ukraine, Austria, Sweden, Hungary.
The peculiarity of our group is that we are really interested in visiting small villages, dancing in picturesque places and playing folk-games with people. We are a group of friends who like being together, travelling, singing, dancing, talking, smiling and enjoying the beauty of the world. We are students and people of different professions. We represent different nationalities by origin, Veps, Karelians, Russians, Belorussians.
Folk ensemble "DEVIN"
Artistic leader Martin Janač
The activities of this group of passionate young people are supported by the association called "Folklórne študio Devin" which was established in 2000. Its mission is to keep and develop the traditions of the folklore art in Slovakia. The ensemble cooperates with the "Posadkovy klub OS SR Bratislava" (Stationary Club of the Slovak Military Forces).
"Devin" after its establishment in 1985 has been partly inspired by the activity of the extinguished folklore ensemble "Slovnaftar" and has partly decided to carry on "Slovnaftar's" activities. After the establishment of the association "Folklore studio Devin" (2000) the folklore ensemble begun working in that kind of form in which it is working at the present time. The changes took place especially in the dancing element again, as the older generation of the dancers was replaced by the younger ones (mostly the university students coming from different parts of Slovakia). During the "starting-up" of the activities of the folklore ensemble Igor Hraško has contributed a lot, after his secession the leadership had been overtaken by Milan Krigler. The former leader Danka Klučarova has formed "Devin" over the last five years and that is why the success coming from the previous few years is related to her name.
The folklore ensemble "Devin" has performed not only on the most important national folklore festivals in Slovakia ("Vychodna", "Myjava", "Detva"), but in the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Span, Italy, Greece, Austria and Czech Republic. It has participated in the famous theatrical performance "Na skle malované" introduced in Slovak National Theatre (SND) for many years.
As for the current success of our ensemble, we would like to mention the participations on the national performance competitions in choreographies (Košice 2005, Liptovsky Mikulaš 2004 - the prize of the jury), participation of the solo dancers on the national competition "Šafova ostroha" (2003, 2004), or the successful performance at the festival "Oživené tance" (2003, 2004).
Cultural Association "MANDRAČ" KOPER
Artistic leader Mojca Lepej
President Bogomir Likon
The Cultural Association "MANDRAČ" KOPER operates for more than 20 years. During this period, the association was continuously practicing the integrity of tradition, manners and customs, popular art, folk songs and folk dances not only from all Slovenian regions but also from some regions over the Slovenian border. These activities have been always exercised with a particular and very strict respect to authentic performance of dances and songs from each region separately.
The Cultural Association was always been pleased to share its own expertise and skill with an audience at the occasion of various performances. During the period of its activity the association performed over 750 performances all over Slovenia and also abroad (in Italy, Croatia, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Canada, Portugal and France). The association participated in 12 folk festivals in Slovenia and 15 folk festivals on the international level. The Cultural Association owns a large number of national and international awards, especially for performing manners and customs from the local region.
The Cultural Association consists of the folk group (from 8 to 10 pairs of dancers), the group of musicians (two accordions, clarinet, flute and traditional bass) and a group of female singers (5 to 6 singers). During performances, all members of groups wear national costumes dictated by the choice of program.
The content of the programme always involves participation of all three groups and consists of customs, songs and dances from: Slovenian Istria, from each other Slovenian regions (Gorenjska, Bela Krajina, Prekmurje), from regions on border with Italy (Trieste, Gorizia).
CONTEST PARTICIPANTS (LITHUANIA)
Zapyškis Culture Centre folk ensemble "ALTONĖ"
Leader Jūratė Mackonienė
The folk ensemble "Altonė" performs since 2004. Then, children's group was founded and in autumn of 2009 the group of adults joined the ednsemble.
The folk ensemble is named after an ancient Lithuanian goddess Altonė who takes care of newly married couples. In environments of Zapyškis, the mound of Altoniškiai stands; the ceremonies of worshiping by the newly married used to be held on it.
Members of the ensemble actively participate in organisation of various celebrations in Zapyškis and take care of the mound of Altoniškiai. Annually, the festive events such as Shrove Tuesday's "Šambaro talka", the midsummer's night, the Advent evening "Laiko ratu" are held on the mound of Altoniškiai.
The basis of the ensemble's repertoire consists of songs from Sulvakia region and brothers J. and A. Juška.
Kaunas District Neveronys Culture Centre group of singers of polyphonic songs "JORĖ"
Leader Jolanta Balnytė
The group was founded in 2008 m. at Neveronys Culture Centre. The interest in ancient ways of singing and the beauty of polyphonic songs encouraged women-members of the folk ensemble "Viešia" to form a group of singers of polyphonic songs entitled "Jorė".
"Jorė" takes part in international festivals such as "Atataria lamzdžiai", "Skamba, skamba kankliai", "Ant vandens", "Baltica", "Aisūs kankleliai".
Samogitia folk band "RATAA" (Telšiai)
Leaders Rima Bomblauskienė and Jurgis Bomblauskas
The band "Rataa" is an independent group from Tešiai promoting Samogitian and Lithuanian national musical culture. The group was established in 1995. Before that, the members used to play and sing in various groups for some ten years. Members of the band include both amateurs and professional musicians of various ages.
The biography of the group lists many concerts, festivals not only in Lithuania but abroad as well. They delivered concerts in Poland, several times in Germany, Austria, France; several times took part in national TV programmes "Duokim garo" and "Gero ūpo", performed at various events, calendar-based celebrations and festivals not only in Telšiai town and district.
In 2010, Telšiai Samogitian folk band "Rataa" was awarded the nomination of Lithuanian Folk Culture Centre the "Golden Bird" ("Aukso paukštė") as "The Best Performers and Leaders of Traditional Instrumental Music".
Rima and Jurgis Bomblauskai, Algimantas Pleškys, Antanas Kontautas and Dovilė Varkalytė sing and play on the violin, bandonion, drum and pipe, accordion, linear flute type, rattles Samogitian melodies and songs. Playing music is a favourite form of leisure time for all members of the group.
Biržai Culture Centre folk ensemble "SIAUDELA"
Leader Jūratė Garnelienė
The repertoire of the ensemble includes songs, polyphonic songs, folk dances and round dances of Biržai land, Aukštaitija region. Baltic psaltariums with five, nine strings, horns, pan flutes are played. At the international contest in Poland in 2001, "Siaudela' won the third place; in 2002, at the same festival, the ensemble was awarded for the authentic programme. "Siaudela' took part in international folk festivals in Latvia, Nida "Tek saulužė ant maračių", Klaipėda "Parbėg laivelis", Vilnius "Skamba, skamba kankliai" etc. The group delivers performances in other regions as well, takes part in Biržai Land Museum's "Sėla' project "The Beer Road", Panevėžys County, World Lithuanian Song celebrations, performed at TV broadcasts "Subatos vakarėly", "Krašto garbė", "Gero ūpo". This summer, the festival performed in Klaipėda International Folk Festival "Žuvys išgalvojo giesmes" the Festival of Herbs in Rumšiškės. Soon a CD "Gardus alutis padarytas" will be released.
Nine years ago, the folk ensemble "Siaudela" was founded and still is under leadership by J. Garnelienė.
Telšiai District Luokė Culture Centre folk ensemble "ŠATRIJA"
Leader Vilija Benešienė
Luokė Culture Centre folk ensemble was established in 1972. In 1989, this ensemble was entitled Folk Group "Šatrija". Since establishment of the group until 2001 J. Misiūnienė was the principal leader of the ensemble. Her husband a professional musician J. Misiūnas helped her to work until 2000. From 2000 to 2001 her niece, also a professional musician, Vilija Vaigauskaitė-Benešienė helped working; since 2001, she is the leader of the group.
Until the new leader came to the ensemble, almost solely authentic Samogitian songs sung by ensemble's members used to be performed. However, the age members gets younger and, besides authentic Samogitian songs, the group also performs folk romances and folk songs of the later period. The repertoire of the group includes not only sons but also folk dances, round dances, narrative folklore. Moreover, "Šatrija" also learnt Samogitian Mass "Žemaitiška votyva" (authors: I. Petrošius and J. Elekšis) and performed it in several churches of Samogitia.
The ensemble released two discs: "Patalkių vakaronė" and "Luokės muzikantai" (1997), three audio cassettes: "Šatrija" (1997), "Eisma į kalną" (1998), "Oi, gydra gydra" (2002), a CD "Pruociavuoja tuos bitelės" (2008). Since 1998, they ensemble has worked out the following concert programmes: updated "Patalkių vakaronės" (1998); on the fate of a bride "Magdelė parvažiava" (1999); "Ir iš kaimą, ir iš dvarą" (2000); on Samogitian wedding "Žemaitiškos vestuvės" (2007); "Dainų pelnė lauka" (2009).
Since the beginning of creative activities of the group, performances were delivered in Lithuania and abroad, 6 contests, some over 30 festivals. In 2008, the group was on a concert-excursion trip to Austria and in 2009 went to the folk festival in Sicily (Italy). In 2012, the group will commemorate the 40th anniversary of its activities.
Kaunas District Neveronys Culture Centre folk ensemble "VIEŠIA"
Leader Jolanta Balnytė
The ensemble was founded in 1998 in Neveronys Culture Centre. The first performance on the 16th of February (the Day of Restoration of Lithuanian Independence) was held at Neveronys Secondary School. This date is the birthday of the ensemble.
Since 1999, the ensemble is leaded by Jolanta Balnytė. The title for the ensemble was chosen by its members referring to the river running through Neveronys.
The folk ensemble "Viešia" consists of 20 members. The ensemble promotes ancient Lithuanian traditions, songs, dances.
The repertoire includes material collected from archives and recordings from expeditions around environments of Neveronys. Moreover, the repertoire of "Viešia" includes songs, traditional dances and instrumental music from all regions of Lithuania.
When performing, members of the ensemble wear cloths reflecting ancient ethnographic regions of Lithuania.
Every year, the folk ensemble "Viešia" takes part in various international festivals such as "Atataria lamzdžiai", "Saulės žiedas", "Skamba, skamba kankliai", "Ant vandens", "Baltica", "Aisūs kankleliai". The ensemble delivered concerts in many Lithuanian cities and towns, around Kaunas District, introduced Lithuanian folklore to audiences in Poland, Lomza town. In 2009, the Lithuanian Folk Culture Centre awarded the folk ensemble "Viešia" with the 1st category.
Šiauliai University folk music ensemble "SAULĖ"
Artistic leader of the ensemble Darius Daknys
Leader of they choreography group Adelė Gružienė
Leader of the vocal group Eugenijus Andrulis
Administrator Zenonas Ripinskis
Šiauliai University folk music ensemble "Saulė" was established in 1972.
Presently, some over 30 Šiauliai city students, academic staff and university graduates still joining the ensemble play music, sing and dance.
"Saulė" repertoire includes arrangements of traditional music and songs, original pieces of Lithuanian composers created on the base of Lithuanian folk traditions, stage dances and traditional Lithuanian folklore.
The ensemble takes part in various national and international folklore festivals, contests; the winner of laureate and other diplomas. For excellent creative achievements the ensemble "Saulė" was awarded with the nomination of the Best Lithuanian Folk Music Band in 1999 and the "Golden Bird" ("Aukso paukštė").
Throughout its existence, "Saulė" successfully performed in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the United Kingdom, Croatia, Cuba, Holland, Latvia, Poland, Malta, Hungary, Russia, Sweden, Germany, France, Norway, the USA, Brazil, Check Republic, China, Slovenia, Italy etc.
"Saulė" recorded and released 8 CDs: "Saulė" (1996), "Saulės muzikantai" (1997), "Šviesi naktis" (1999), "Sveiki atvykę" (2002), "Iš lietuviško folkloro skrynelės" (2004), "Praėjusio amžiaus melodijos" (2004), "Baltos ievos" (2007), "Iki ryto" (2007).
Since 2002, "Saulė" is the member of the International Organisation of Folk Art (IOV).
Šiauliai Culture Centre folk ensemble "AUDA"
Artistic leader Mykolas Žalneravičius
The folklore ensemble of Samogitians was established in 1986. Presently, the group encompasses 30 members. Throughout its existence, the group participated in various events, festivals or the country, national song festivals, also took part in folklore festivals in foreign countries: the Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, France, Italy. A number of various prizes, awards were won, in 2002 in Italy, "Grand Prix" of the festival "World Music" was awarded. The ensemble "Auda" continues promoting songs, music, dances of Samogitia region, takes an active part in celebration of calendar-based events, especially Shrove Tuesday, in Šiauliai city. "Auda" staged to performances based on Samogitian customs, traditions. The latter performance was a performance-concert "Kelionė metų ratu".
Šiauliai City Culture Centre "Laiptų galerija" folk ensemble "SALDUVĖ"
Leaders Violeta Daknienė and Darius Daknys
In the eastern outskirts of Šiauliai town, the historical mound (called a mount) Salduvė is located; that is why the folk ensemble has chosen the title "Salduvė" The ensemble was established in 1986.
Presently, 30 members play music, dance and sing in then ensemble.
Šiauliai is the centre of the county, its territory joins two Lithuanian ethnic regions - Aukštaitija (Higher Lithuania) and Žemaitija (Samogitia or Lower Lithuania); that is why the repertoire of "Salduvė" includes both Higher Lithuania and Samogitian songs, dances, games, narratives.
Members of the instrumental group of "Salduvė" play music with various Lithuanian national instruments: violins, bandonion, accordion, bagpipe, Baltic psalterium, horn, linear flute type, pan flute, reeds, drum etc.
"Salduvė" promotes and continues traditions of Lithuanian folk music, collects experiences of elderly inhabitants in villages. The ensemble has also worked the programme including late folklore-romance pieces.
"Salduvė" delivers many concerts, promotes folklore at social evenings not only in Šiauliai city but also around Lithuania.
The ensemble successfully delivered concerts abroad: Latvia (1993, 2005, 2008), Check Republic (1997), Hungary (1998, 2007), Great Britain (1998, 2004), Estonia (1999, 2003, 2010), Denmark (2000), Portugal (2002, 2009), Spain (2009), Slovakia (2003), Greece (2006 m.), Turkey (2008), Germany (2010, 2011).
"Salduvė" several times took part in Lithuanian radio and TV broadcasts, released 4 music albums: "Salduvė" (1996), "Patrepsėkim" (2000), "Tarp aukštaičių ir žemaičių" (2005), "Išlieti meilę lyg šaltinį" (2007).
For excellent creative achievements "Salduvė" ensemble was awarded with the nomination of the Best Lithuanian Urban Folk Music Ensemble in 2008 and the "Golden Bird" ("Aukso paukštė").
Since 1999 m. "Salduvė" is the member of the International Organisation of Folk Art (IOV).
Kaunas folklore ensemble "GADULA"
Leader Andrius Morkūnas
The ensemble consists of people from diverse regions - Dzūkija, Suvalkija, Samogitia (Žemaitija) and Higher Lithuania (Aukštaitija). Some of them know their native dialect and customs well, whereas others would like to learn them; but all of them are united by the love to national song and dance.
The ensemble has been performing for more than twenty years; members sing songs of various regions, dance, play games, celebrate calendar-based events, arrange concerts and social evenings, get-togethers. The ensemble delivers mane concerts in Lithuania, took part in many foreign festivals abroad too. A number of thematic programmes (calendar-based events such as Advent, Shrove Tuesday, Midsummer's Night, All Souls' Day) have been worked out.
Šiauliai University group "KITAVA"
Leaders Rasa Stoškuvienė and Kęstutis Stoškus
The group was founded in 2001 at Šiauliai University; it was among the first not only in Šiauliai but in the whole Lithuania publicly promoting the idea of modernised folklore.
A unique style of music performance when ancient archaic Lithuanian music is matched with contemporary popular music styles (drum & bass, rock, jazz, pop) provides a non-traditional but acceptable to a contemporary listener sound to this genre. In 2005, the group presented its first CD "Kitaip" and in 2007 - the second album "Oi ant kalno".
Exceptionality of the group is determined by only lively performed concert programme, authorial interpretations of Lithuanian folk music. The performed music is usually used as the educational means encouraging the positive attitude of youth towards Lithuanian folk music.
Every year, the group delivers more than half a hundred concerts, is a frequent guest in TV programmes, takes part in various international festivals (Latvia, Poland, Germany, Holland, Jordan). The group is often invited to perform at conferences and seminars where its music is introduced as one of the effective forms encouraging the positive attitude of youth towards Lithuanian folk music.
At the end of the year, "Kitava" will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its establishment. Presently, a new album is under preparation for release; it will be introduced it Lithuanian audience in autumn, during the concert tour.
Today, the group represents Šiauliai University Faculty of Social Sciences.
Kurtuvėnai folklore "KURTUOVE"
Leader Edita Ramančionienė
In 1970, the ensemble was founded and leaded by the head of Kurtuvėnai 8-form School Janina Čepulytė-Lukoševičienė. The ensemble is famous for authenticity, interesting and exceptional concert programme. In 1971, the ensemble's performance was recorded by Lithuanian Television. Later, many concerts were delivered at national celebrations and events.
In 1981, Zofija Papova became the leader of the group. Bubiai women singers joined Kurtuvėnai women singers. The joint ensemble took part in World Lithuanians' Song Festivals in 1994, 1998, 2003. In 1984, the joint Bubiai-Kurtuvėnai ensemble became the laureate of the national contest "Ant marių krantelio", took part in festivals "Baltica-93" and "Baltica-96". In 1996, 12 authentic songs of the ensemble were recorded at Lithuanian State Radio.
In 2003, the Kurtuvėnai group separated from the Bubiai group. Edita Ramančionienė started leading the Kurtuvėnai group and in 2005 Kurtuvėnai folk ensemble was entitled "Kurtuove". In 2006, recording of authentic Kurtuvėnai performers' songs were added to the funds of Lithuanian Folk Culture Centre. The ensemble was a participant of Lithuanian Song Festival "Būties ratu" (2007), Lithuanian Millennium Song Festival "Amžių sutartinė" (2009).
In 2009, after implementation of the project funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, the programme for rural support, Kurtuvėnai folk ensemble obtained new Samogitian national costumes.
Folklore ensemble of Šiauliai land folk artists "MARGULIS"
Leader Birutė Poškienė
The ensemble "Margulis" started its creative-performing activities in 1990 and continues till present day. The group promotes Lithuanian national songs, dances, round dances, folklore, instrumental music. Learning song themselves, members try rendering them to the younger generation - their children, grandchildren, acquaintances and other people who love a song.
Members of the folk ensemble are folk artists creating in various fields of art: ceramics, painters, woodcarvers, weavers, knitters, paper-cutters, straw ornament-makers, toy-makers. The members sing, teach crafts, take part in educational activities in city day nurseries. The folk ensemble mostly sings songs characteristic to its own region (Šiauliai land) collected around environments of Šiauliai: Gruzdžiai, Kurtuvėnai, Kuršėnai, Micaičiai, Raudėnai etc. Samogitian songs are favourite ones and usually sung, instrumental pieces are played.
The group of folk artists took part in World Lithuanians' Song Festivals and Lithuanian Millennium Song Festival "Amžių sutartinė", sang and danced at Šiauliai city, county events: openings of folk art exhibitions, Šiauliai city celebrations, Šiauliai Culture Centre's festival "Rudens mozaika" etc.
On the 24th-25th of April 2009, the ensemble of folk artists "Margulis" and Šiauliai land folk artists took part in the days of Lithuanian Name's Millennium culture days in Kaliningrad Region, Chernyakovsk; also, in folk festivals in Punsk, Torun, Augustow (Poland) and Lithuania ("Žiemgala' etc.).
In 2010, the ensemble celebrated the 20th anniversary of its creative-performing activities. On this occasion, they arranged some concerts, workshops on crafts.
The ensemble members plan to continue creative-performing activities and render their learnt songs, crafts to the younger generation.
The group of singers of polyphonic songs "MARTI"(Šiauliai)
Leader Diana Martinaitienė
The group was established this year. A mother with two daughters - 13-year-old Damilė and 11-year-old Vilija - sing in it. The title of the group, first of all, is a part of the family name - Martinaičiai. The title of the mother and two daughters is also based on two meaning of the word marti (a bride): a bride - a wife and a bride - a girl, a bride-to-be. The group sings treble and double polyphonic songs.
Leader Rolandas Bučmys
The band was established in 2000, last year it celebrated the 10th anniversary. During the years, many countries were visited: England, Belgium, Italy, Latvia, Spain, Germany and, of course, Lithuania. The group performs Lithuanian folk melodies and songs, both genuine Lithuanian national music and created by musicians themselves. The leader of the band is a sailor; that is why some songs are on the sea theme because they reflect the history of Klaipėda land as well. The group plays the traditional instruments: accordion, drum, violin, contrabass, linear flute type, mandolin etc. The repertoire also includes Lithuanian folk dances, played and taught by the members, also, includes games, songs, romances and other pieces enjoyed by the audience. Members of the band are five men who dedicate their leisure time to folk music.
The group of singers of polyphonic songs "SASUTALAS"(Kaunas)
Leader Andrius Morkūnas
"Sasutalas" - six women of various age - joined into a group in September of 2008. All members take part in other folk ensembles, have diverse experience in folk singing; that is why they learn from each other "in accord". The title of the group reflects the ancient traditions of singing polyphonic songs when very close women, usually belonging to one family of living nearby, living in accord used to sing. "Sasutalas" perform polyphonic songs of various kinds, also those accompanied with dancing.
Šiaulių aklųjų ir silpnaregių kultūros namų folkloro ansamblis "SEDULA"
Leader Virginija Gintilaitė
The ensemble was founded in 1981. At the beginning it was the ensemble of folk song performers.
In 1989, dancers and musicians joined the ensemble. The group encompasses 20 members. Aldona Meškonienė sings in the ensemble since the day of its establishment. The ensemble performs the Samogitian repertoire. The programmes of Easter and Advent canticles, songs of partisans and exiles were prepared. Since 1990, the group took part in all World Lithuanians' Song Festivals, international folk festivals "Parbėg laivelis" in Klaipėda, "Skamba, skamba kankliai" in Vilnius, "Er pajauga žali leipa" in Telšiai, "Lek gerveli" in Kelmė, "Saulės žiedas" in Šiauliai, "Žiemgala" in Pakruojis. The ensemble takes part in celebrations and biannual reviews organised by Lithuanian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired. In 2004, the group leader V. Gintilaitė worked out a project of the international project "Tylus, tylus vakarielis". In 2005, the group took part in the concert in Punsk (Poland).
In 2005, a CD "Tylus, tylus vakarielis" was released.
In 2007, the ensemble took part in the international festival of the visually impaired "Tyfloart-2007" in Check Republic. In 2007, a celebration "Viską sudėjom į dainą" dedicated to the folk ensemble's "Sedula" 25th anniversary was arranged; a CD "Šalis ta Lietuva vadinas" was released.
In 2008, the group leader V. Gintilaitė worked out and implemented the project - the national festival of folk ensembles "Šalis ta - Lietuva vadinas". In June of the same year, the ensemble took part in the cultural event of Latvian blind and visually impaired people in Riga "Pinas dainos, muzika ir eilės".
Folk music band of Šiauliai Home of the Blind and Visually "ŠELMIAI"
Leader Arūnas Šliauteris
The band was founded in 1961. It is regular participant of national and World Lithuanians' Song festivals, various regional festivals and celebrations. Since 2004, the band is leaded by A. Šliauteris. Since 2005, the band and the folk dance group "Vajaunas" have worked out a joint concert programme. The group took part in international festivals in Holland, Portugal, Sardinia, Thailand. They have recorded a CD "Trenk, polkute".
Vilnius Trakų Vokė Community Culture Centre folk ensemble "VIJA"
Leader Rasa Kasperavičiūtė
The folk ensemble "Vija" was established in May of 1999. Then, the first public concert dedicated to the Mother's Day was performed. Since that time, the annual event dedicated to this occasion is considered to be the birthday of the ensemble. Emilija Stankevičienė is the founder and first leader of the ensemble. Since 2008, R. Kasperavičiūtė is the leader of the ensemble.
The repertoire of "Vija" includes songs of Kaišiadorys land (Kietaviškiai). Majority of them are of Dzūkija origin, some are from the repertoire of the uncle Juozas (Juozas Averka). Songs of other regions are favourite too. Jolly dances and round dances always make programmes of the ensemble more diverse. They play the instruments such as violins, accordion, contrabass, Baltic psalterium, linear flute type, drum and a small drum.
The age of the group's members varies from 15 to 80. This ensures the future of the ensemble. Majority of members are families. Women who started singing brought their husbands and children followed them in rehearsals. Presently, 19 members constitute the ensemble.
The ensemble "Vija" willingly delivers many concerts, organises calendar-based events and get-togethers for the society. Every year it participates in the festival "Skamba, skamba kankliai", World Lithuanians' Song Festivals, events of Vilnius city, fairs. "Vija" brings a folk song and dance to diverse locations, festivals of Lithuania and foreign countries.