Introduction of groups
Teikas Muzikanti (Latvia)
Teikas Muzikanti is comprised of five young musicians who have been playing together as friends for nearly 15 years. The name of the group means “musicians from Teika” – Teika is a district of Riga where they have all lived at some point in their lives, within a couple of minutes walk from each other. The ancestry of most of them, however, hails back to Vidzeme County in Central Latvia. That is why the group performs wearing 18th-19th century ethnographic clothing from various regions and villages in Vidzeme.
The instruments with which they perform include the accordion, violin, mandolin, recorder and kokle, which belongs to the Baltic box zither family. They enjoy playing on various important days in the folk calendar, including midsummer and at important familial celebrations such as weddings. One of their new goals is to show the viability of traditional culture, so that traditions are not mistakenly interpreted as ancient history and boring. For Baltica, they have also chosen to highlight the celebration of one of the most popular Latvian holidays, the summer solstice. In cooperation with the Latvian folklore group Senleja, this provides an opportunity for visitors to get a better idea of the songs, dances and games which are part of celebrating Latvian midsummer or St. John’s Day (Jāņi).
The Folklore Group Senleja was founded in 1981, bringing together lovers of folk songs and folk dance in one of Latvia’s most beautiful cities – Sigulda. They present an authentic heritage tradition, passed down from generation to generation, or previously chronicled and preserved. To keep unique aspects of local tradition alive, some of their repertoire consists of songs, dances and games specifically from Sigulda and its surrounding parishes, but also from the Gauja River area at large.
The members of Senleja perform in folk costumes that were worn in Sigulda and the Gauja River area of Latvia in the second half of the 18th century and the 19th century. Although the group uses a variety of musical instruments (folk box zither, drum, etc.), their absolute favourite is the kokle. The members of the group are of very different backgrounds, being specialists in the fields of sauna traditions, medicinal plants and other heritage subjects. Thus, their performances are often peppered with interesting stories and teachings about herbal teas, tinctures, bread baking, the weaving of flower wreaths, and so on.
At Baltica, you will be able to enjoy Senleja’s summer solstice traditions – St John’s Day (Jāņi) rituals, including songs dedicated to the sun and those sung during particular summertime work.
Established in 1980, the folklore group Alka is based in Klaipeda and represents the tradition of the Lithuania Minor (aka Prussian Lithuania) region. Lithuania Minor is a historical ethnographic region of East Prussia, which became an autonomous part of Lithuania in 1923. Alka’s repertoire includes authentic local songs, dances, games and instrumental music. The group’s members, one third of whom are families, also wear the given area’s folk costumes. Alka has won many Lithuanian folk culture awards due to their outstanding repertoire and clothing.
More about Lithuania Minor: https://reisikirjad.gotravel.ee/ajakiri/leedus-maid-avastamas
The folklore group Dyvyna was established at the National University of Donetsk in 1998. The group’s repertoire includes a range of Ukrainian folk songs, most of which have been recorded during folklore expeditions in Ukraine, as well as from Ukrainians living abroad (e.g. from villages by the Black Sea in Kuban and Ukrainian villages in Western Siberia and Altai).
In 2014, the group was not active for some time, due to the war situation in eastern Ukraine. Members continued their activity soon after in Kyiv. In order to preserve their local traditions, as well as to introduce them, over the past few years Dyvyna has been studying and performing mainly folk songs from the Donetsk region.
Folk Blaster Society (India)
Founded in 2015, the Folk Blaster Society is dedicated to introducing the dances and songs of the Punjab region through performances, workshops and courses. The group aims to bring more young people to their ancestral dances and songs.
The most famous dances of Punjab are the bhangra and jhummar. According to its original tradition, the first of the two is danced during the Vaisakh celebrations, marking the harvest season. The bhangra is accompanied by energetic and vivacious music, and the brightly coloured clothes of the dancers also express the joy of the holiday. Each colour has a different meaning. Because of the expressive movements, garments worn while dancing bhangras must be made with a rather spacious cut. Men always wear a turban, which symbolizes the pride and honour of people from the Punjab area.
The jhummar, on the other hand, is much calmer and slower, expressing the joy of men. The jhummar is mainly danced at weddings and other celebrations, where dancers move in a circle around the drum player, while singing with whispering voices. At Baltica, you will also hear the Punjab dialect during the performance of the Folk Blaster Society.
María Cecilia Astorga Arredondo and Carlos Eulices Sotomayor González (Chile)
Chilean singers mainly perform paya, an oral legacy hailing from Central Chile. Paya is a poetic improvisation between two or more people. Although the genre has also reached professional stages during its developmental history, it has retained the traditional manner of singing and improvising, which reflects its local origin. María Cecilia Astorga Arredondo and Carlos Eulices Sotomayor González were raised in an environment where this tradition has thrived, and have acquired the necessary skills from their foreparents.
“Canto a lo poeta” por “Canto a lo humano y lo divino” is a 10-sentence poem, based on a specific rhyme. Words are often created for the song and melody on the spot, based on what inspires in the surroundings and environment. According to tradition, spectators and bystanders can also offer ideas and thoughts into the mix.
Everest Nepal Cultural Group (Nepal)
The Everest Nepal Cultural Group’s beginnings date to 1998, when it was founded by the local government to preserve Nepal’s cultural heritage. The group includes dancers, musicians and singers, but also, for example, mask and doll dancers. Even though Nepal is one of the ten poorest countries in the world, their dances exude a kind of unique merriment and joie de vivre that is difficult to grasp alongside the general surrounding poverty. The dances also reflect the genuine nature and friendliness of the Nepalese.
In addition to introducing Nepalese music and dances, the group also organizes a folklore festival themselves, as well as other cultural activities.
Lustpilli kandleduo Tamsalust : Aime Lukk ja Sirje Luik,
Keila kooli lasterühm,
Kuusalu rahvamuusikaansambel “6 alust”,
Leesikad 4. klassi rühm,
Pärnu Ingeri-Soome Folkloorirühm Kullero ja Lasterühm Orvokki,
Udmurdi ansambel ”Ošmes”,
Tartu Valgevene Selts Spadki,
Folkloorirühm “Vargamäe lapsed”,
Meite lapse pillituba,
Leesikad 6. klassi rühm,
Ammuker, Sörvemaa Sörmitsejad,
Vigala Folklooriselts Kiitsharakad,
Karksi-Nuia Kultuurikeskus TIISTELU,
MTÜ Hanila Laulu-ja Mängu Selts,
Pärnu Liblika Lasteaed ja huvialakool Jumbo,
Pärnu Spelmanslag, RTS Kaera-Jaan,
Seeniortantsu rühm Räämakad ja Metsatuka muusikud,
Anna Raudkatsi tantsuselts
Kapell Kannel, Kõivokõsõ,
Seto Laste Kool,
Seto Lauluselts Siidisõsarõ,
Seto Lauluselts Sorrõseto,
Seto Lauluselts Ilolang,
MTÜ Seto Folklooriansambel Kuldatsäuk,
Laste folkloorirühm Taaderandi tähesõel,