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FOLKLORE ENSEMBLE SNAPS TO ITAT THE BEGINNING OF ITS 55TH YEAR

Top Pick: Lúčnica springs forward on tour

NATURE has just begun waking up from its winter sleep and the 50 dancers of folklore ensemble Lúčnica are finishing up their three-month rehearsal period. At the start of April, they will get on a bus, and for almost two months they will cruise the country with their new show Dance and Game.
"The title of the programme suggests that the show will have an easy, playful spirit," says Július Jackuliak, Lúčnica's manager.
However, the tour will be very demanding for Lúčnica's dancers because they are not professionals, instead either they are students or employed elsewhere. They will have to do almost 30 performances while travelling across the whole country - and that number might increase.


THERE will be 30 shows across Slovakia.
photo: Peter Brenkus

NATURE has just begun waking up from its winter sleep and the 50 dancers of folklore ensemble Lúčnica are finishing up their three-month rehearsal period. At the start of April, they will get on a bus, and for almost two months they will cruise the country with their new show Dance and Game.

"The title of the programme suggests that the show will have an easy, playful spirit," says Július Jackuliak, Lúčnica's manager.

However, the tour will be very demanding for Lúčnica's dancers because they are not professionals, instead either they are students or employed elsewhere. They will have to do almost 30 performances while travelling across the whole country - and that number might increase.

Dance and Game follows the ensemble's other large shows conceptually, drawing inspiration from the rich traditions of Slovak people from various regions. Each programme depicts a certain topic.

The first of them, Song and Work, featured choreography that captured working activities, such as yarn spinning, hemp moistening, and wheat threshing. Dance and Game will focus more on the playful, light-hearted times at work - the games. The structure of the programme will again present traditional dances from various Slovak regions, including Bratislava.

The two-hour programme consists of 15 dance performances. One illustrates a girl's game from the Gemer region that used to be played during the planting of poppy seeds. In another dance, young men with hand-threshing tools share jokes while simulating threshing wheat. There are also three musical interludes, including a dulcimer solo and a tune on the traditional wind instrument fujara.

"This is another of Lúčnica's large, classical programmes, meaning all members of the troupe will be on the stage," says Jackuliak.

Apart from the ensemble's 50 dancers, there are three female singers and a 12-piece orchestra, whose core consists of the six-piece folk band Devil's Violin.

A caravan made up of a truck carrying the ensemble's technical equipment, a minibus carrying the musicians, and a bus full of dancers towing a trailer with 300 costumes will criss-cross the country starting April 5 in Spišská Nová Ves.

"It will look like a big rock band set for a tour," said Jackuliak.

During April, Lúčnica will stage the new show Dance and Game in the following towns: Poprad (April 6), Trenčinske Teplice (April 10), Trenčín (April 13), Piešťany (April 24), Žilina (April 25) and Vrútky (April 27). For more information on Lúčnica's tour visit www.lucnica.sk.

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