THE PODLASIE OCTAVE OF CULTURES
 
THE BIAŁYSTOK SONG STUDIO (Białystok, POLAND)
artistic director: Jerzy Tomzik

The Białystok Song Studio was founded in 1991. It educates artistically talented young people from the Podlasie region, who after graduation perform in theatres, movies and cabarets. Last year, the young artists took part in a festival in Sweden, and this year the studio released an album entitled ‘Białystok presentations: Łucja Prus’.
 

 
BUNCHUK (Białystok, POLAND)
manager: Ewa Jakubowska
choreographer: Ahmed Tashayev

The Tatar group Bunchuk was formed in 2000. The word bunchuk means a pole topped with a ball with a piece of horse tail hair attached to its top, used formerly as a sign of military power by the Turks, Tatars, Cossacks, and Polish commanders. In its repertoire, the group has works of Tatar poets and writers, as well as those who wrote about Tatars; Tatar and Polish songs and dances to tunes based on Crimean, Bashkirian and Tatar themes. The band has given concerts in Poland and Lithuania.
 

 
CICHA & PAŁYGA (Warsaw, POLAND)
band leader: Karolina Cicha

Cicha & Pałyga is a multi-instrumentalist duo. Karolina Cicha mastered playing several instruments simultaneously, whereas Bart Pałyga plays many string and ethnic instruments from all over the world and is also a precursor in the use of overtone singing techniques in Poland. The ‘Many Languages’ concert is inspired by the multicultural tradition of the Podlasie region, Karolina Cicha’s home . During the performance we will hear songs in Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Russian, Romani, Tatar, Yiddish, and Esperanto.
 

 
THE FOLK CHOIR OF CHERKASSY (Cherkassy, UKRAINE)
artistic director: Zinoviy Yurovich
artistic manager: Leonid Trofimenko
choreographer: Tamara Zuyeva

The Folk Choir of Cherkassy was founded in 1957. In its repertoire it has the most interesting Ukrainian lyrical and ceremonial songs as well as contemporary works by Ukrainian composers. Attractive choreography brings to life scenes from the past: chumaks at a fair or processions of boys and girls during the Kupala Night. Over the 56 years since its founding the group has given thousands of concerts at home and abroad in countries such as Georgia, Moldova, Bulgaria and the United States.
 

 
CZĘSTOCHOWA PIPES & DRUMS (Częstochowa, POLAND)
director: Tomasz Ujma

Częstochowa Pipes & Drums, founded in 2002, is the only Polish orchestra which performs traditional Scottish music on great highland bagpipes. As every pipes & drums group, it consists of the pipe section and the drum section. The group’s repertoire consists of traditional Scottish music, especially military marches. Czestochowa Pipes & Drums gives over a 100 concerts a year in Poland and other countries in Europe.
 

 
ESCADA (Gyumri, ARMENIA)
artistic director: Diana Matsoyan

The dance theatre Escada was formed in 1994. In its repertoire, it has over 100 dance compositions, including Armenian, Russian, Spanish, Moldavian, Serbian, Irish, Gypsy, Georgian and Greek dances, as well as classical and modern dance. The group has performed at festivals in Russia and Turkey.
 

 
FOLK BROTHERS (Białystok, POLAND)
group manager: Andrzej Pietraszko

Folk Brothers group was founded in 1996. The inspiration for its establishment was a pressing need for developing music inspired by folklore of different countries. The band repertoire is based mainly on the Austrian and German folklore, but during this year’s Podlasie Octave of Cultures the group will present New Orleans music. To date, the band has performed in Austria, Croatia and Germany.
 

 
GUDY (Minsk, BELARUS)
artistic manager: Igor Mangushev

Gudy, the group of Belarusian folk wind instruments, was formed in 2000 at the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts. It includes students of the Wind Instruments Department, who play Belarusian music using traditional instruments, such as bagpipes, pipes, zhaleikas, ocarinas, percussion and shepherd’s instruments. The repertoire consists of over 50 originally arranged musical themes. The group has won many international competitions and festivals in Belarus, Armenia and Russia.
 

 
ISRAELI DANCE THEATRE (Ramat-Gan, ISRAEL)
artistic director, choreographer: Elan Millo
manager: Lia Gretz

Israeli Dance Theatre was founded 21 years ago in the city of Ramat Gan, at the initiative of choreographers Elan Millo and Lia Gretz. In its repertoire it has traditional Jewish, oriental and hora dances. So far, the group has presented in France, Mexico, Germany and the United States.
 

 
KABATAŞ ERKEK LISESI HALK DANSLARI TOPLULUĞU (Istanbul, TURKEY)
artistic director: Hasan Kazanci

Kabataş consists of dancers aged 16-20. It presents traditional dances from different regions of Turkey, including the province of Trabzon, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, and Artvin. Among the group’s instruments there are kemençe, davul and zurna. The ensemble has performed at numerous European festivals, including those in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Italy.
 

 
KAZACHATA (Maykop, ADYGEA)
director: Anatoliy Uvarov
artistic director: Natalia Uvarova
artistic manager: Olena Shcherbak

The Song and Dance Ensemble ‘Kazachata’ operates at a music school in Maykop, Adygea. This year it celebrates 25 years of its existence. Members of the group are children of different nationalities, but the ensemble presents mainly Ukrainian music. Kazachata also performs sacred music as well as their own compositions, with the accompaniment of such instruments as balalaika or bayan.
 

 
KUD ‘RIBARSKA BANJA’ (Ribarska Banja, SERBIA)
artistic director: Natasha Djurdjevic

Ribarska Banja group was founded in 2003. It consists of dance and multi-instrumental group and presents traditional Serbian songs and dances. Among the group’s instruments are violins, guitars, clarinet, and drums. The ensemble has presented not only in Serbia, but also in Macedonia, Austria, Switzerland, and Tunisia.
 

 
KURPIE ZIELONE (Białystok, POLAND)
music and artistic manager: Andrzej Marian Dyrdał
choreographer: Wiesław Dąbrowski
vocal tutor: Józef Zyśk

The Song and Dance Ensemble ‘Kurpie Zielone’ was founded in 1953 in Białystok, Poland. During these years over two thousand members have participated in the ensemble. The group's repertoire includes dances and songs from different regions of Poland. Over the years, Kurpie Zielone has collected over 300 national costumes and many folk paraphernalia. The group has given concerts in Europe, Asia, and America.
 

 
LES COLPORTEURS (Pierre-de-Bresse, FRANCE)
coordinator: Denis Lamard
music manager: Dominique Trompille

Les Colporteurs project was created in 2011, as a merger of two groups: Fromages et Desserts, which performs folk music of central France, and the amateur dance ensemble La Grange Rouge. The group’s aim is to encourage people to dance in the streets and to teach them traditional French dances. During the performance at this year’s Podlasie Octave of Cultures Les Colporteurs will present mazurkas, waltzes, bourrées, and chapeloises.
 

 
LOVZAR (Białystok, POLAND)
manager: Ahmed Tashayev

The Children Dance Group ‘Lovzar’ was founded in 2008 to promote the Chechen dances and arouse the interest of the national heritage among Chechen youth. ‘Lovzar’ is the Chechen word for ‘fun’. In its repertoire, the ensemble has Chechen and Caucasian dances. Lovzar consists of children of refugees from Chechnya living in Bialystok.
 

 
MAGDALENA WARZECHA WITH THE BAND (Warsaw, POLAND)
director: Magdalena Warzecha

Magdalena Warzecha, a native of Bialystok, an actress of the National Theatre in Warsaw, is the author of music and poetry performance ‘Ukrainność’. Polish and Ukrainian poetry as well as Ukrainian native music in its archaic sound are the main elements characterizing this show. The musical setting was put together by acclaimed Polish musicians: Wojciech Pulcyn (double bass) and Paweł Iwaszkiewicz (wooden wind instruments), led by Ukrainian artists Sergiy Okhrimchuk (violin) and Anna Okhrimchuk (vocals).
 

 
THE BIAŁYSTOK MUNICIPAL BRASS BAND (Białystok, POLAND)
conductor: Franciszek Mocarski

The Białystok Municipal Brass Band was formed in 1965. It has participated in many municipal, regional, national, and international events, it has performed during state and church celebrations, annual celebrations of schools and institutions, and sports events. The group has given concerts not only in Poland, but also in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, and Italy.
 

 
IGOR MILSTEIN & THE KLEZMER BAND ‘NÄCHAMA-2’ (Nurymberg, GERMANY)
band leader: Igor Milstein

Nächama-2 was founded in 2000, under the auspices of the Jewish community in the city of Fürth, Germany, at the initiative of a young Moldavian immigrant Igor Milstein. The group performs Klezmer music, based on the tradition of Eastern European Jews. Lyrics are sung in Yiddish, Hebrew, German and Romanian. Instruments include piano, violin, clarinet, saxophone, cello, and drums. Nächama-2 has given concerts in Germany, it performed during the FIFA World Cup 2006 and in the Berliner Philharmonie among others.
 

 
THE UKRAINIAN FOLK ORCHESTRA OF THE RIVNE STATE HUMANITIES UNIVERSITY (Rivne, UKRAINE)
conductor: Oleg Trofymchuk

The Ukrainian Folk Orchestra of the Rivne State Humanities University presents authentic folk music as well as classical, pop, and film music and their own compositions. It has recorded three albums. During 35 years of its existence, the group has performed at numerous international festivals, it has won prizes at Citta di Lanciano in Italy and Perpetuum Mobile in Ukraine among others.
 

 
PROLISOK (Kirowograd, UKRAINE)
artistic director: Anatoliy Korodkov
main choreographer: Victor Pohilenko
choreographer: Valentina Korodkova

The dance ensemble Prolisok was formed in 1970. A group counting 20 members very quickly developed into a 120-member ensemble. Since the beginning Prolisok has created over 100 choreographies, including ‘Polka with a Drum’, ‘Vesnanki’, ‘Krynichenka’, ‘St. John's Eve’, ‘Zaporozhets’, and ‘Hopak’. The ensemble has won prizes at various international festivals, it has performed in Czech Republic, Brazil, Morocco, and Japan.
 

 
SAMECH (Cracow, POLAND)
band leader: Anna Ostachowska

Samech group from Cracow describes itself as playing innovative, melodic world music combined with elements of jazz, classical, klezmer, folk, and latin music. The band performs their own pieces, as well as compositions from all over the world: Sephardic, Balkan, and Jewish melodies. The quartet’s instruments include viola, cello, double bass, and percussion instruments. The group has performed not only in Poland but also in Austria and France.
 

 
SARAKINA (Białystok, POLAND)
artistic manager: Jacek Grekow

The Polish-Bulgarian-Czech group Sarakina, which was founded in 1999, performs Balkan music, combining folk, jazz, and world music. The band consists of music schools graduates, playing instruments such as accordion, clarinet, double bass, kaval, bagpipes, tupan, and tamburica. Sarakina has already recorded four albums and has given concerts in Bulgaria, Austria, Luxembourg, and Italy among other countries.
 

 
SUNICHKA-SKAVYSH (Minsk, BELARUS)
director: Nina Ablicava
artistic manager: Anna Zacharina
manager, choreographer: Kateryna Tolockaya

The group Sunichka-Skavysh operates at the Education Centre ‘Contact’ in Minsk, Belarus. The ensemble consists of people aged 5-30. In its repertoire there are Belarusian songs as well as Belarusian, Polish, Russian, Jewish, Irish, Greek, Moldavian, Georgian, Chinese, and Italian dances. The group has performed in many countries, including Germany, Czech Republic, and Lithuania.
 

 
TARŠKUTIS (Alytus, LITHUANIA)
artistic director: Rima Moisejenkienė
music group manager: Leonidas Moisejenka
choreographer: Marijona Markevičienė

The Song and Dance Ensamble ‘Tarškutis’ was formed in 1987 at the Youth Cultural Centre in Alytus, Lithuania. It consists of five dance groups and one instrumental section. Its repertoire includes Lithuanian folk songs and dances, as well as their own compositions. Tarškutis has already recorded five albums. The group has performed all over Europe, including Denmark, Greece, Spain, and Serbia.
 

 
WOŁYŃSKIE SŁOWIKI (Lutsk, UKRAINE)
artistic manager, conductor manager: Antonina Antonova
music manager: Piotr Miłogrodzki
choreographer: Halina Sokolova

The Child and Youth Ensemble ‘Wołyńskie słowiki’ (Volhynia nightingales) was formed by the Polish Culture Society in Luck, Ukraine, in 1998. The group members are children from Polish families. Their repertoire consists of Polish religious, folk, and patriotic songs, as well as contemporary pieces. The ensemble has performed not only in Ukraine, but also in Poland and Bulgaria.
 

 
THE VILNIUS UNIVERSITY SONG AND DANCE ENSEMBLE (Vilnius, LITHUANIA)
artistic director, music group manager: Eugenijus Čiplys
choreographer, dance group manager: Birutė Mažrimienė
conductor: Dovilė Mačiukaitė

The Vilnius University Song and Dance Ensemble was formed in 1940 and is the oldest such group in Lithuania. It presents stylized and authentic Lithuanian folklore. In its repertoire, it has songs, dances, and music pieces performed on Lithuanian traditional instruments, such as birbyne, kankles, skrabalai, and skuduciai. The group has presented in Austria, Canada, the United States, and Turkey, among other countries.

 

 

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