Victory in Azerbaijan!
The year 2023 is full of travels for the Folklore Group “Wielkopolanie”. Just a few weeks ago, the dancers of “Wielkopolanie” returned from Mongolia to embark on another adventure at the turn of June and July. This time they went to the charming city of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, where the International Folklore Festival “Khazar Folk 2023” was held.
The festival, which took place from June 24 to July 1 2023, is an extraordinary event promoting music and dance traditions of cultures around the world. For the residents of Baku and the surrounding areas, due to holidays and days off from work, it is also a nice time spent with family while meeting other nationalities. Apart from local activists, the members of „Wielkopolanie” had the opportunity to meet folk artists from different parts of the world, e.g. Tatarstan, Kyrgyzstan and Yakutia. The festival turned out to be not only a moment for presenting dance traditions, but also a place where cultural diversity met and intertwined. The participating groups learned each other’s dances and songs, along with traditional instruments such as Komuz from Kyrgyzstan.
The Folk Group “Wielkopolanie” had the opportunity to perform on the biggest stages in Baku, including Heydar Aliyev Palace – the largest concert hall in Azerbaijan. The repertoire prepared by the Polish group consisted of presentations of the regions of eastern and western Cracow residents. The performances of the dancers of „Wielkopolanie” turned out to be a huge success. The audience and the Jury were delighted with the presentations, and the proof of this recognition was awarding „Wielkopolanie” the highest place – the grand prix of the competition. These exceptional moments were not only a confirmation of the talent and commitment of „Wielkopolanie”, but also a great opportunity to promote Polish cultural heritage.
During the journey, the dancers of the group also had the opportunity to discover other aspects of Azerbaijani culture – they experienced the flavors of local cuisine every day and met with city activists. It was both a rest and a tourist adventure that allowed them to get to know the beauty of the city of Baku, with its traditional and modern architecture. Outside of the capital of Azerbaijan, the group also had the opportunity to admire the largest lake in the world – the Caspian Sea. A visit to the Gobustan National Park was another unforgettable experience, and climbing to the top of the rocks was rewarded with a magnificent view of the city of Şıxlar, the surrounding mountains and unique rock formations that are the hallmark of this area.
The International Folklore Festival “Khazar Folk 2023” is an event that will remain fondly remembered by the dancers of the Folk Group “Wielkopolanie”. Learning about various traditions, meeting with talented artists from around the world and close contact with local culture are just a few of the advantages that encourage further promotion of Polish folklore abroad.