Thirty-five years of “Świtezianka”

Photo: Marian Paluszkiewicz

An audience of about one thousand witnessed an amazing performance, which presented the rich history of the Vilnius Region. The big event took place in “Ūkio banko arena” in Vilnius, and it commemorated the 35th anniversary of the Song and Dance Ensemble “Świtezianka,” established in Szymon Konarski High School in Vilnius.

“Although we have practiced the program for a year, we have had a lot of work till the last moment. The whole school has contributed. I hope that the audience is satisfied with the result, and I am so happy that our jubilee has attracted so many guests,” says Teresa Andruszkiewicz, the head of the dance section of “Świtezianka,” to Kurier (the Courier).

The concert took place in the evening of November 28th, and it began with a cheerful reference to the pre-war Poland and Lithuania, namely, with a presentation of the traditional “Kaziuki” (“Kaziuko mugė”). Soon the atmosphere on stage became melancholic and dramatic, and modern dances replaced the traditional ones. By solemn poems and music, the audience was taken to the horrible times of the Second World War and subsequent repressions. This part of the show was meant to make the audience think about the sense of those atrocious events.

However, the difficult and dark times went by, and the evil powers were conquered. This was illustrated by dynamic folk dances, which brought the cheerful mood back onto the stage. Great choreography, together with fantastic special effects, made the audience mesmerized, which was manifested by big applause. The audience’s ovation was a wonderful ending of the performance, whose originator and director was Beata Kowalewska.

“A large contribution has come from Krystyna Bogdanowicz,  Jurgita Jurgaitienė, and many more. One person could not have prepared such an undertaking,” mentions Teresa Andruszkiewicz, who once was a “Świtezianka” dancer herself. She also stresses the important role of folk groups in shaping the society’s cultural awareness.

“Children should be acquainted with the output of song and dance ensembles from an early age. This is how the youth learn about their Polishness and shape their self-awareness. All in all, who are we if we do not know our roots?,” rhetorically asks Andruszkiewicz. “I owe my love for folk dances to Madam Krystyna, who has put all her heart and soul into her dancers. Now I try to do the same. The “soil” on which I “sow” is very fertile, as practically our whole school sings and dances…”

Szymon Konarski High School began to sing and dance in 1976, as this was when “Świtezianka” started its activity. The first head of the ensemble was Władysław Korkuć, together with Krystyna Bogdanowicz, who has been the choreographer of the group till the present day. For the 35 years “Świtezianka” has given over 600 concerts. It has represented Lithuania on international folk festivals, as well as on the Vilnius Days in Gdańsk and Szczytno. For a few years the dancing duos from the ensemble have participated in all-Poland tournaments of ballroom folk dancing, where they have achieved notable successes.

Source: http://kurierwilenski.lt/2012/11/30/35-lecie-zespolu-switezianka/

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

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