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Record number visit Detva folk festival

THE PRESIDENT greets the nation in Detva style.
photo: TASR

THE weekend after the recent festival in Východná, folk lovers moved to Detva. There, a record crowd of 7,000 watched the Saturday programme of the 40th Folk Festivities under Poľana, the TASR news agency reported.

Over four days, from July 7 to 10, the Detva festival offered a dozen stage programmes and an equal number of accompanying events. Over 1,400 performers entertained up to 25,000 visitors during the course of the festival, according to the organisers' estimations.

The rainy weather that Východná organisers believed had discouraged many from coming to their festival this year, did not affect Detva. Východná's jubilee celebration in 2004 had 50,000 visitors, or twice the number who attended this year.

"We used an educational-methodical approach when creating the festival's programme," explained programme adviser Igor Kovačovič, "which turned into a meeting of generations: older musicians with young ones, natives from abroad with local ensembles."

They also brought together musicians and singers from under Poľana with President Ivan Gašparovič, who greeted festivalgoers dressed in an updated version of the traditional Detva costume, which included a longer shirt. As TASR reported, the best experience was the performance by Slovakia's famous Lúčnica ensemble, led by its artistic director Štefan Nosáľ, of Hriňová near Detva.

Bratislava hotel serves folk traditions

UNIVERSITY ensemble Technik introduces Slovak traditions to Bratislava's foreign visitors each Wednesday at the Hotel Kyjev. The programme, moderated in English and German, presents Slovak folk dances and songs from east to west.

"The activity, however, is not really promoted. It's primarily for guests of the Hotel Kyjev, or those who have visited the Bratislava Culture and Information Centre, who know about the performances," Dana Kurillová, the project's manager told the SITA news agency.

"But when they come, they are entirely pleased." Later, she added, they plan to add another Bratislava ensemble to the project.

Arash opens Poprad's AquaCity

SWEDISH singer of Iranian origin, Arash, returns to Slovakia after recently christening Lucia Šoralová's new CD. On Friday, July 22, he will appear at the MTV Beach Party in Poprad's AquaCity.

Part of the event is also the opening of a newly built area of the aquapark that spreads below the picturesque Tatras.

Slovak and Croatian DJs, including popular DJ Lorenzo Al Dino from Ibiza, will mix music for an anticipated 3,000 visitors, the SITA news agency reported. The emcees of the MTV music channel will moderate the disco show.

Legendary Slovak writer dies

WRITER Jarunková.
photo: Courtesy of AOSS

WRITER Klára Jarunková died July 11 at the age of 83 after a serious illness. The Association of Writers' Organizations in Slovakia (AOSS) nominated her for the Nobel Prize for Literature two years ago.

Jarunková wrote 23 books for adults, youth and children, which still see new editions. Her works have been translated into 39 languages. The prolific author received many awards at international competitions. She was honoured by Italian and German national awards and received many Slovak prizes, among them the Fraňo Kráľ Award for significant contributions to Slovak literature for youth and children.

"Her books represented the serious school of emotionality and personal responsibility for generations of children and their parents," reads the report published by AOSS. The association nominated her for the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Astrid Lindgren Award when she was included on the International Honorary Document of Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Capital opens new tourist centres

THE BRATISLAVA Culture and Information Centre (BKIS) extends its services to two new venues - the Danube's harbour Osobný prístav and the airport, the SITA news agency reported.

According to BKIS director, Vladimír Grežo, Bratislava is receiving an increasing number of tourists, and the main information centre on Klobučnícka fails to satisfy their requests. The centre receives around 500 people daily; sometimes the number climbs to 1,000.

The harbour's branch opens on July 19; the airport's is in the preparation stage.

The centre on Klobučnícka will see reconstruction in time for the next tourist season.

Caproni replica moves to Piešťany

A REPLICA of a Caproni Ca-33, the plane in which General Milan Rastislav Štefánik crashed in 1919 and which was exhibited outside Bratislava castle, had to be removed due to ever-changing weather.

The Slovak National Museum and Military Historical Institute agreed on the step, as the unstable conditions could have led to the replica's damage. A two-metre-long model of the plane will replace the replica, which was transferred to a hangar at the Military Historical Museum in Piešťany.

Clinton brought his funk circus

FUNK President, George Clinton, and his 20 musicians delivered a great, energy-filled 3.5-hour-long concert in Bratislava, the Slovak dailies reported. Clinton brought "funk, groove and sex" to Bratislava's Babylon Club.

"Clinton gripped the attention of everybody immediately. The sticky atmosphere stuck funk to the people. Babylon club smelled of sex, brought by Clinton, the shaman, witch doctor," the daily Pravda wrote.

Roma taken through honest eyes

Michael Robinson-Chavez, a staff photographer at The Washington Post, displays pictures of Slovak Roma at Prešov's Regional Council under the title Gelem, gelem... (Going, going...) until December 10. In his collection, he offers an objective portrait of the widely stereotyped Roma minority.

The photographer spent a couple of weeks among eastern-Slovak Roma, and took pictures of their everyday life. He presents the culture the way he got the chance to know it.

"Compared to the majority of foreign journalists and photographers, Robinson-Chavez did not come to save the world by showing unpleasant and repelling things," said Kristína Magdolénová, executive director at the Roma Press Agency in Slovakia. "He came to capture their everyday life, their smiles, games, entertainment and the joy they take in spite of their social status. But he also saw the pain they hide well."

The agency prepared the exhibition in cooperation with the Prešov Regional Council. It premiered last December at the Slovak embassy in Washington.

Prepared by Spectator staff from press reports

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