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Wednesday, 18 July 2012 14:08

The countries of Folkmoot USA

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moot performersNew Zealand — Whitireia Performing Arts

Whitireia Performing Arts is affiliated with New Zealand College of Performing Arts. This school is an energetic setting that prides itself on high-quality performing art programs and performers.

The group focuses on four dance genres: Zealand Contemporary, Samoan, Cook Island and Maori. Students are able to acquire knowledge about stage and screen acting as well as native dance that allows them to keep their heritage alive. Dressed in earth toned beaded skirts, the dancers sing while they perform. Most female dances focus on hip movement and rhythmic swaying, while the males use large rough forceful movements to present dances that often depict scenarios of battle or struggle.

 

Belgium — Die Rooselaer

The Die Rooselaer dance troupe was founded in 1965 by Dirk Deblaere and a few other folklore lovers. Two of the original founders are still part of the group today. Die Rooselaer is a group known for its traditional Belgium dance as well as music and flag-waving. The program consists of craftwork dances, society dances, dances for weddings and others. This group’s goal is to keep Belgium culture alive though traditional dances as well as creating new dances to pass down to future generations. The group has hundreds of costumes that are authentic reproductions of historical garb. Die Rooselaer is known for using costumes from all over the region dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The group has organized 22 international festivals of its own.

 

France — La Poulido de Gemo

La Poulido de Gemo dancers hail from Provence, France. This folk group was created in February of 1982. Composed of over 100 members, the group carries on French tradition through dance, music and song. The meaning of Gemo in Provençal is "The pretty Gémenos." This group of performers shares a passion for Provencal culture. Performers of La Poulido De Gemo conduct research, go through training, conferences and workshops to recreate authentic Provencal traditions when they perform. The performances consist of precise footwork with very lively and upbeat music. Traditionally the women wear flowing skirts and tops that sway as they move, while the mean wear long top coats and dark trousers.

 

Indonesia — Kandarpa Gunita

Kandarpa Gunita is a dance group from Jakarta that formed in 2007. These musicians and dancers are students at the Trisakti University School of Medicine. The students travel around the globe conserving and introducing Indonesia’s culture to the world. It performs a wide range of dances, all telling stories. Kandarpa Gunita is known for distinct rhythms, flowing movements and creative music. The group’s repertoire includes fast-paced dances with colorful outfits and lots of movement. Indonesia is made up of a variety of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups, so the dances come from a variety of cultural influences. Indonesia’s national motto is “Unity is Diversity.” The name Kandarpa Gunita means “love culture,” which is what the group hopes to inspire.

 

Peru — Consandama Dance Company

The Consandama Dance Company from Lima, Peru, is led by Gisselle Eva Maguina Leon. The dresses worn by the performers represent their Peruvian culture. The women perform in hand-embroidered skirts with bright flowered backgrounds. The women’s blouses are embroidered and lined with colorful sequins. The men usually wear neutral colored trousers and a vest that has been hand-embroidered. Both genders are known for the hats that they will be wearing. The hats tie in with each dance to illustrate the expression of the spirit of the farmer and the Peruvian laborer. The musicians use many traditional instruments including traditional bongo drums, snares, cymbals, rain sticks and others. Each dance tells a story that holds true to Peruvian heritage. Consandama won a gold medal in the Tender World folklore competition in Dijon, France, as well as Medal of Honor from the Congress of the Republic of Peru.

 

Philippines — Signing Kumintang ng Batangas

Signing Kumintang ng Batangas was formally established in 1992 by Vicente P. Cordero. This group is made up of high school students and alumni of Bauan High School in Bauan, Batangas. The group originates from a republic of 7,000 islands where the culture explodes with influences. Their performances are an outburst of color, shapes, spins and surprises. They have toured Asia, Europe and the United States, showing off their fans, ribbons, feathers and umbrellas as they tell a story. It is the group’s goal to develop personality and self confidence among the group members. The pounding of drums and ringing of bells give insight into their Filipino culture. They also wish to preserve and share the Philippine heritage.

 

Puerto Rico — Ballet Folklorico Brumas del Torito

Ballet Folklorico Brumas del Torito is a group composed of over 40 dancers and musicians. The company was founded in 1976 in Corozal. The founding director and choreographer, Joaquin Nieves Caldero, created this dance group to work in partnership with an art institute to help young children and youth developed artistic skills that they can use in the future. Ballet Folklorico Brumas Del Torito has traveled to Central America, South America, Europe and the United States to share their Puerto Rican culture. The music and dance of Puerto Rico is said to be full of rhythm, spice and color. Emotions and personality are expressed through dance. Through research and creativity, the dancers try to leave a unique and authentic remembrance of the history of Puerto Rican folklore.

 

Serbia — Talija Folk Dance Troupe

Talija Folk Dance Troupe was established in Belgrade in 1998. This group consists of over 200 members that range from small children to the elderly. Talija members are dressed in traditional clothing and feature dances that originate from all parts of Serbia. As one of Serbia’s leading professional ensembles, Talija has traveled around the world performing their native dances. It performs a wide range of dances, from fast-paced, high-stepping numbers to slower pieces that include intricate footwork.

 

Hawaii, USA — Halau O Po’ohala

Halau O Po’ohala is located in Waimea where it is associated with the Beamer- Solomon’s Hula School. Their performances cultivate the Hawaiian dance legacy into the 21st century. Performances can include hula, music, dramatic visuals and family stories that go back though the five generations who have attended the Hula School. With 150 years of experience, Halau O Po’ohala keeps hula tradition alive by practicing these core values: aloha, love, lokahi and unity, believing this will prepare them in all aspect to perform. Halau O Po’ohala will not disappoint when it comes to appearance. This group keeps attention with their bightly colored costumes. Dancers dress in traditional grass skirts, but not always. Some performances are done in long flowing dresses for the women while men wear trousers and a colorful shirt. Flowers will almost always be incorporated into their attire as well.

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