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The Twilight of Folk Dances

přidáno: 19. 6. 2011 11:17, autor: Marta Ehmigová   [ aktualizováno 19. 6. 2011 11:50 ]

I was talking with Jana Polzerová, a dance teacher at Elementary Art School in Lomnice nad Popelkou, about folk dances, their role in our society and folk dances in our region and at this school.

Are folk dances taught at this school?

Folk dances are part of basic dance education and they are still taught as one of the subjects, together with contemporary dance and ballet. Moreover, Lomnice has its own folklore group called “Špalíček” which specifies on folk dances and songs of our region. Every year we prepare various performances and try to surprise the audiences with some new songs and rhymes. Dancers and musicians, aged 7-15, learn not only to dance and sing but also dramatize and improve speech skills. The folklore band also takes part in a few festivals, like in Lázně Bělohrad. The Giant Mountain region used to be connected with weavers who were the bearers of folk dance tradition. The influence of these dances in Lomnice was, however, smaller and today the tradition has almost completely disappeared.

Are folk dances popular with students?

Unfortunately, the popularity of folk dances has gradually decreased. And the reasons? In these days pupils prefer modern dances, Zumba classes or majorettes. When we are at some competitions there are just a few groups in the category of folk dances. In this region folk dances are not part of everyday culture and society and media do not pay attention to them. They might be more popular I think, if we had more boy dancers at our school!

So do the folk dances have their purpose or aim?

Definitely! However, I am not sure about their future. The maintenance has sense and I hope that people will endure. Anyway, the maintenance will take great efforts.  We will need strong personalities who will make these dances more attractive to young generation.

How is it possible that in Moravia the tradition of folk dances has been preserved?

Folk dances are very much linked to regions. Moravia has always been richer in traditions and dances. In my opinion, it is the matter of family and relationships. People in this part of the Czech Republic have a strong sense of togetherness. They show that they love each other and like singing together. They thoroughly enjoy such moments. Here, in our region, I lack this togetherness.
Thank you for the interview.
Marta Mařasová
Here are some photos of the folklore group "Špalíček":