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Dancing through Slovak tradition, all day long

HUNDREDS of dancers from home and abroad will perform traditional dances from their ancestors at Bratislava's Istropolis on April 16 at the fourth annual Revived Dances festival. The multi-genre, mega-dance event will comprise contemporary choreographies inspired by traditions.

THE 4TH Revived Dances fesival runs through April 16.
photo: Peter Brenkus

HUNDREDS of dancers from home and abroad will perform traditional dances from their ancestors at Bratislava's Istropolis on April 16 at the fourth annual Revived Dances festival. The multi-genre, mega-dance event will comprise contemporary choreographies inspired by traditions.

Its wide scope gives room for various dance genres, which help show the richness of Slovakia's cultural heritage.

"In order to better understand and preserve our own national identity we need to know our past," says Pavol Pitoňák, the festival's chief programme manager. "So far, a festival that non-violently revives such feelings among people has been missing. We are trying to fill this gap and also challenge all artists to take more inspiration from our traditions."

The 4th year of Revived Dances festival is composed of World of Dance, Dance is Life, and Music of the World performances. The first two, starting at 17:00 and 19:30 respectively, combine dance, music and vocal elements performed by several well-known local and foreign modern and folk groups.

The World of Dance is an "original dance concert" directed by Rastislav Letenaj and performed by ballet dancers from the Slovak National Theatre, the Tap Dance Quartet and the Dance All Stars. Prague's Dance Conservatory, a guest at the event, will perform a Bolero show.

The Dance is Life, a "folk-dance sci-fi show" performed by more than 400 dancers and using the most modern lighting and visual techniques, will try to create the illusion of Slovak "traditions" in 4005.

As well as several Slovak folk-dance and music ensembles, the organizers have invited the Hungarian Bihari and the Romanian Romafest Maros dance groups. Japanese producer Tetsuo Masunaga gathered young people from around the Romanian town of Tirgumures to found the latter group.

"This year's festival has more foreign guests compared to previous years. Visitors should not miss the excellent performance by the Romafest Maros, which has just returned from a two-month tour of Japan," Pitoňák says.

The Revived Dances festival opens at 10:00 on April 16 with an exhibition of engravings on early music instruments and their players, followed by demonstrations and a sale of traditional crafts from 12:00 to 22:30.

Children can peer into a classroom of their grandfathers and adults can learn traditional dances at 15:00.

At 19:00 guests will be able to gain inspiration for wedding dresses made from natural materials. During the whole event visitors can sample wines from the Small-Carpathian region.

Tickets are on sale via www.ticketportal.sk or at Istroplis Culture House. For more information visit www.festival.3art.sk, or call 02/4341-3145, 0904/806-772.

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