Full room on “Świtezianka’s” jubilee

Jubileusz Świtezianki

“Kaziukas Fair”, repression, war, victory and patriotism— it was all included in a jubilee concert dedicated to 35th anniversary of the Song and Dance Group “Świtezianka” from the Vilnius High School of Szymon Konarski.

The concert was opened with a “Kaziukas Fair” picture, relating to pre-war Polish and Lithuanian history. Obviously, there were plenty of Polish rolls and pretzels. Then a viewer slowly, through recitatives with dramatic music in the background, was introduced into the times of repression and war.

Thus, a part with contemporary dance began. The dance, using props (a red cloth), specific lighting (unfortunately used only at that moment) and amazing choreography and production, showed the audience the nonsense of a war, which could be felt by everyone present in the room.

The scene in which a Nazi/a Chekist tried to tear a baby from a mother made some people cry. The climax moment of the contemporary dance part was the change of the red cloth, symbolising suffering and blood, into colours of Polish and Lithuanian flags, handing side by side, with no traces of a conflict.

The audience welcomed this solution with ovation.

“I am a Lithuanian, I do not speak Polish. The director was explaining to me what she wanted to show, what the character of this or that image is, and I was trying to show it. I would like to thank the students, dancers, teachers, who were helping me to contact, to realise this project”— told PL DELI Jurgita Jurgaitienė, the choreographer of the contemporary dance part.

Beata Kowalewska, the director and screenwriter of the show emphasized that maintaining the main thought was the hardest task.

“We were trying to avoid showing songs and dances separately. We wanted to maintain the flow of the whole show. We have chosen a patriotic theme, without limitations to Poland or another country. We have chosen a time difficult for Poles, Lithuanians and any other nation that suffered during the time of war and repression. The main theme was memory, keeping memories, the eternal ones.”— Kowalewska shared her reflections with PL DELFI, after the show has ended.

The part showing victory over evil forces, that is the folk part, ended the jubilee concert. It seems that all students danced and sang, because the groups were changing so often, that there was no chance to change costumes or have a rest. Obviously, the audience was charmed by dancing little kids, who, without any stage fright, were singing solo parts. The artistry of the older group should also be emphasized, and choreographers of reputable Lithuanian adult groups have certainly noticed it.

“It is hard before a concert but later the whole difficulty goes away somewhere and only joy stays. The most difficult thing is keeping discipline and motivation among the young people. Explaining them the meaning of being a Pole, making them aware of what we do, what we engage them into”— explained PL DELFT Teresa Andruszkiewicz, a choreographer of the group, responsible for the joe-job.

The first leaders of the group were Władysław Korkuć and Krystyna Bogdanowicz. Krystyna Bogdanowicz has not left the group for 35 years and she still is a leader.

“The success is based on former members. On their enthusiasm, on their craziness. I am glad that I managed to pass it on to them, and now they are doing the same thing. I am glad these 35 years were not wasted. I am happy that someone needs our work. A dancer who can dance folk dances will dance everything else”— emphasised Bogdanowicz.

Source: http://pl.delfi.lt/kultura/kultura/pelna-sala-na-jubileuszu-switezianki.d?id=60106541  

Tłumaczenie Emilia Zawieracz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Emilia Zawieracz the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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