- September 18, 2023
Poles danced the polonaise on the Cathedral Square in Vilnius
Lithuanian Poles danced the polonaise on the Cathedral Square in Vilnius on Sunday evening. 192 couples in national and historical costumes performed. It was a demonstration of unity and power of the spirit of Poles on the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland.
The event was broadcast on TVP, which was its initiator. The dancers were accompanied by a live orchestra, and the polonaise by Wojciech Kilar from Andrzej Wajda’s film “Pan Tadeusz” was performed by an orchestra of Lithuanian musicians.
“It is a wonderful, unique feeling when so many couples dance.”, “It is a dance that truly unites Poles and strengthens our identity”, “A touching, very emotional spectacle” – said the dancers and those gathered in the Cathedral Square.
Polish ensembles well-known in Vilnius and the Vilnius region volunteered to participate in the joint dance: “Sto uśmiechów”, “Wilenka”, “Wilia”, groups from the Trakai, Šalčininkai, Vilnius regions. Individuals have also come forward. “The youngest dancers are 14 years old, and the oldest are over 60”, choreographer Danuta Mieczkowska-Kowalczuk, the author of the dance arrangement, told Polish Press Agency.
Preparations for Sunday’s event lasted for several weeks. Rehearsals were held in five groups. “Then, during the final rehearsals, they were combined to create a single drawing”, explains Mieczkowska-Kowalczuk.
The dancing of the polonaise by Poles in Lithuania in urban space has a long-standing tradition. For the first time, the polonaise was danced in Vilnius Town Hall Square eight years ago by the students of Vilnius’ Adam Mickiewicz Secondary School on prom day. This was followed by a polonaise for 100 couples to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the independence of Poland and Lithuania. For several years, high school graduates from Polish schools in Vilnius have been dancing polonaise on the Cathedral Square after receiving their graduation certificates. This year, 140 couples danced there on July 18.
Translated by Katarzyna Korniak within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.