This isn’t how we imagined All Mazurkas of the World festival this year. It was supposed to be a great celebration of the 10th anniversary, looking back at our accomplishments, meeting old friends from Poland and abroad. There was going to be a Belorussian music concert and lots and lots of dancing.
The pandemic has made us change our plans. Under the new sanitary regime we are lucky to be able to have traditional workshops and concerts live and actual dancing, though in limited numbers. We miss normal human interaction with music, dance and shared experiences. In the context of the global lockdown the term traditional music gains additional, deeply humanistic dimension. Being together in music and dance is a great thing.
Nevertheless, as we need to observe the mandatory sanitary regime we also try to preserve all elements of the festival to a degree.
Starting with the youngest, the Little Mazurkas will focus this year on braiding, plaiting and weaving with the help of hands and voices. We thank the Children’s Museum and the Ethnographic Museum for their cooperation.
We are very proud of the Old Tradition competition. For the tenth time young bands who learn from masters will have the opportunity to share their accomplishments with wider public and get to know each other. Throughout the 10 years almost 120 bands and soloists from various regions have appeared on stage of the festival. Most of them still play, sing and create quality traditional music locally. This year’s competition winners will play not only during the dedicated concert but also throughout the whole festival in festival clubs, at the Instrument Fair and Dance Night.
The concerts remain an important part of the festival. The first one is entitled Roztocze: Near East. It has got everything we want from traditional music: masters in students, archaic songs, varied instrumental music, powerful brass bands and full spectrum of repertoire, from old-fashioned pre-war hit songs.
The second concert on Thursday is a continuation of an experiment from three years ago when we got together historical dance reenactors and created conditions for a music and dance discourse. The Polish dance dialogues was a peaceful confrontation of the village inn and the manor salon. The concert may help to better understand the duality of our society today.
The Friday concert will tell the story of two musical discoveries between Poland and France, and specifically the regions of Sieradz and Occitania. The similarity of triple time being the fundament of the two musical cultures is food for thought and points to common impulses somewhere deep in human nature. There will be even more striking similarities when we listen to Trancexpress later that evening.
Dance workshops are going to take place outside, in Jazdów, for everyone to feel safe. The singing and instrumental workshops will be scattered across the capital so as to conform with the sanitary constraints. We thank the Center For The Promotion Of Culture in Praga Południe, Numinosum Foundation, Traditional Music Embassy of the House of Dance Society and Solatorium for their cooperation.
Due to limitations on the number of participants of each event we will be also streaming them online. In this way we hope to get through to a wider public who longs for traditional music live performance. We thank the Bemowo Culture Center for their cooperation.
Saturday is the final day of the festival. For obvious reasons this year there will be fewer Instrument Fair participants than usual. But we hope everyone will be able to find the instrument they need, and that other Festival events such as mini-concerts, presentations and Little Mazurkas will prove joyful colourful and intensive as much as in previous years. The Dance Night likewise, despite limitations on the stage and on the dance floor, will be great fun, well deserved and greatly missed for a long time.
Participants needs to sign up in advance to all events, we are also required to collect Covid-19 checklists before letting you in. All areas will be regularly sanitized and all requirements of the sanitary regime observed. Because of the limited allowed number of participants we are going to introduce rotation tickets.
Our strategic partner is the National Institute Of Polish Rural Culture And Heritage, for which we are very grateful and hope to continue collaborating in the future.
I thank with all my heart to volunteers and everyone who supports the idea of All Mazurkas Of The World.