Culture shorts

Slovakia to host photo conference

ABOUT 500 delegates are expected to take part in the 29th World Conference of the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP) scheduled to take place in Ružomberok between August 21 and 28, 2008, FIAP chairman Emile Wanderscheid informed the press on September 15.

Slovakia was chosen from a list of possible host countries that included Lithuania, Austria, Uzbekistan and Singapore. The last one was in China.

Ľubomír Schmida, the chairman of the Association of Slovak Photographers, views the congress as an excellent opportunity to promote Slovakia. According to preliminary estimates, organizing it will cost Sk50 million, which will be financed from various sources including the state budget.

Lúčnica touring Asia and Australia

Festivities at Zemplín is one of the pieces Lúčnica will perform while on tour.
photo: Courtesy of Feeiing

PROMINENT Slovak folk dance and music ensemble Lúčnica set out for a tour of Asia and Australia on September 18. Katarína Nagyová from the Feeling company informed The Slovak Spectator that this is one of the biggest tours in the ensemble's 60-year history.

Over the course of the next four weeks, 45 dancers and musicians will perform 16 shows in four countries across the globe. Highlights include pieces from the troupe's repertoire that represent Slovak folklore, such as weddings, plays, and the welcoming of spring.

The enormous success Lúčnica experienced at the Macao Arts Center in China last year, where the troupe headlined one of Asia's most respected festivals, piqued the interest of nearby Hong Kong, where this year's tour will begin.

Most Hong Kong theatres seat an audience of 2,000-3,000, which is an ideal size for the ensemble's spectacular shows.

Lúčnica is also planning a series of shows in Taiwan, each one in a different theatre, which will be challenging from the transport and logistics perspective.

Afterwards, the 'ambassadors' of Slovak culture will perform in one of the largest and most modern cities in the world - Shanghai. Advertisements for the event can already been seen throughout the city.

The tour of Australia will be Lúčnica's second since 1999. The troupe will perform at the country's most important venues, including Melbourne's Hammer Hall, which is probably the country's largest theatre hall. In Sydney, part of the troupe has been invited to participate in the live broadcast of the famous Mornings with Kerri Anne talk show.

It will wrap up its tour with a performance at the Sydney State Theatre before returning to Slovakia on October 15.

Art attracts visitors to Slanický Island

The Slanica has been taking visitors to Slanický Island since 2006.
photo: TASR

NEARLY 32,000 tourists visited the Slanický Island of Arts on the Orava Dam close to Námestovo during its four-month season this year.

"This is about 2,500 more than came during the previous year," Eva Ľuptáková, the director of the Orava Gallery in Dolný Kubín, told the SITA newswire.

Ľuptáková ascribed the increased interest to good weather, but also the acquisition of a new vessel, the Slanica, last year. It cost Sk10 million and holds 80 passengers. The gallery closed the season on Slanický Island in mid-September.

"The season went smoothly and we reported a bigger number of visitors from the Czech Republic," Ľuptáková said. The other countries with a large number of visitors were Poland and Slovakia.

Another ship, from the North Slovakia Camion shipping company in Dolný Kubín, also transports tourists to the island.

The island is the remnant of one of five villages that were flooded during the construction of the dam. The Orava Gallery now uses the church as an exhibition space and a venue for classical music concerts in the summer. The new season on the island starts on May 15, 2008.

Prepared by Jana Liptáková

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