• October 27, 2014
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“Zgoda” from Rudowina celebrated 25th anniversary of its existence

Folk Song and Dance ensemble “Zgoda” (“zgoda” – “concord”, translator’s note)  festively celebrated its 25th anniversary. During “Concord and Friends”, the jubilee concert in Arena Theatre in Vilnius there were Polish, Lithuanian, Romani, Slovak and Spanish songs and dances, guest starring: a highlander band “Pieczarki” (“pieczarki” – “champignons”, translator’s note) from Poland and a folk band “Lalki Corporation” (“lalki” – “dolls”, translator’s note) from Belarus.
Every time when they are celebrating an anniversary, “Zgoda” prepares a surprise for its audience. Five years ago, when celebrating 20th anniversary they prepared a rock opera based on Adam Mickiewicz’s “Sir Thaddeus”. The program of this year’s concert related to the band’s numerous travels. They performed in Greece, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Sweden, England, Ireland, Hungary, Spain and Croatia. “We visited many countries, we got to know the folklore of different nations, we wanted to make our culture known to them. Maybe a Vilnius polka would be more applauded than, for example, a Spanish dance but we wanted to present something more than just typical dances which we perform most often or new costumes. Probably elderly people did not quite like the heavy sound of the “Pieczarki” band but we wanted our concert to be different, to be remembered”, said Henryk Kasperowicz, the founder and director of Folk Song and Dance ensemble “Zgoda” when talking to Wilnoteka.

The ensemble was created in 1988 in Rudomina (Vilnius region). Henryk Kasperowicz, who has been dancing with “Zgoda” for many years, injected interest in dance into the young people of Rudomira.  The program includes dances and songs from different regions of Poland, folklore of the Vilnius region, Lithuanian, Belarussian and Jewish dances and songs was presented in many international festivals. “Zgoda” was decorated with honours of the Polish Republic Senat,  the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and Prime Minister of the Lithuanian Republic. In 2009 “Zgoda” was honoured the “Deserving for Polish Culture” title. At present, the ensemble consists of 50 representatives (dancers and the choir), the band and the two preparatory groups of children. Those are the students from F. Ruszczyc Secondary School in Rudomina who belong to the groups led by Greta Wiszniewiecka and Marta Swatkowska.

The dancers, the choir and the band – they are all youth from Vilnius and settlements of the Vilnius region. “We are proud that the composition of our ensemble has been the same for years, the present-day  members are in fact the third generation. Of course, we have new people but those are the ones who have been with us for more than ten years that are the core of the ensemble”, said  Henryk Kasperowicz.

“Zgoda” is an amateur ensemble. Its members are studying, working they have to reconcile studying or work with the rehearsals and concerts. “Professional teams probably have different conditions, both financial and technical. They can rehearse every day. We do not have such opportunities. We need to sacrifice something in order to participate in concerts and travels but we feel as if we were one big family. We are spending our free time together, not thinking about our responsibilities. It has been years that I devote my vacation to go for concert tour with the ensemble”, said Henryk Kasperowicz.

He emphasized that what the audience saw during the jubilee concert was a result of cooperation and work of not only the direction, that is Iwony Bujnowskiej (the choir), Mirosława Wojtulewicza (the dancing group), Romualda Piotrowicza (the band), but of all of the members of the ensemble.

Translated by Gabriela Godek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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