We are very pleased to welcome the following groups to the castle from July 22 – 30, 2023:

Finland (Joensuu):
Folklore Group „Motora“

Joy of Karelian Folk Dance

The finnish folk dance ensemble “Motora” (founded in 1968 by Rauni and Sakari Riikonen) is a youth association famous for its lively and exciting performances. Based in Joensuu – a city of almost 75 000 inhabitants in the province of North Karelia, Eastern Finland – the association consists of several dance groups ranging from young children to adults. There are a total of about 150 active dancers, musicians and teachers who participate in various types of dance-related activities on a daily or weekly basis. The group specialises in Karelian folk dance, which is characterised mainly by its rhythm and strong emotional expressions. Karelia is a border region partly in Finland and partly in Russia, so Motora’s presentations are influenced by both western and eastern cultures; they also have both traditional and modern choreography in their repertoire. The ensemble is known for delivering fresh and original performances where they optimise and change conventional dances while maintaining tradition. Music is also an integral part of Karelian dance. Motora’s performances are accompanied by the band Rälläkka, fronted by the renowned accordionist Marko Kotilainen.

Currently, the youth association is led by chairperson Mari Lehikoinen, with the main teachers being Mitja Pilke, Eveliina Pilke and Eevi Miettinen. In 2008 Motora was awarded the title of „Folk Dance Ensemble of the Year“, which is the highest ranking award in the finnish folk dance scene. The youth association received an award from the finnish state, recognising its work in promoting, developing and maintaining culture.  Motora successfully participates in national competitions and regularly performs at festivals in Finland and abroad.

We are very happy to welcome them to the castle this year!

Poland (Krakau):
Song and Dance Ensemble of the Jagiellonian University „SLOWIANKI“

“SŁOWIANKI” are at the Ludwigstein Castle for the 5th time (1972, 1973, 1974 and 1996)

Since 1974 the ZPiT “SŁOWIANKI” has been an organizational unit of the Jagiellonian University.

On January 1, 2014, Marta WOLFF-ZDZIENICKA took over the team. In 1975, the management and artistic staff of the ZPiT UJ “SŁOWIANKI” jointly organized an inter-school song and dance ensemble, which was founded in the Youth Palace in Kraków (now the Youth Center).

The song and dance ensemble of the Jagiellonian University “SŁOWIANKI” inspires with Polish national dances, as well as folk dances and songs. “SŁOWIANKI” remain true to the original idea and popularize songs, dances and melodies of other slavic nations, which they like to present.

The team members are mainly students and graduates of Jagiellonian University and other Kraków universities, including foreign students of Polish origin. In the SŁOWIANKI ensemble they have the opportunity to develop their artistic skills and passions.

We are very happy to welcome you again this year.

North Macedonia (Ohrid):
Folklore Ensemble „OTEKS FOLK“

OTEKS FOLK from Ohrid, North Macedonia: The association was founded in 1983 as a cultural association among employees of a local textile factory. Due to their affiliation with the the factory, the dance group received financial support from the Macedonian state in the 1980s. With increasing popularity, the group was able to expand its repertoire and present the audience with original instruments, costumes and suites of specific regional dances. Thus, to this day, they contribute to the revival of Macedonian customs and traditions.

In the last the group has become independent and has even founded a professional folklore school. There, professional choreographers and musicians teach more than 200 students the traditional folklore of the region of Macedonia.

Historically Macedonian folk dances are divided into five categories according to their  geographical location. The Oteks derive their particular dances from the southwest their performances are characterized by difficult choreographic elements and complex rhythmic structures. The individual performances of the dances are characterized by elegant movements, interesting rhythms, and a sensibility that springs from the soul of a nation. OTEKS FOLK represents in a fascinating way the folk traditions from the whole region of Macedonia.

OTEKS FOLK is already for the sixth time on the Ludwigstein and will entertain the audience again with their great performance.

France (l’Union):

In 1973 the folklore ensemble „Le Quadrille Occitan“ was founded by friends of occitan folklore in Toulouse.

During their visit at the International Festival Marburg-Biedenkopf they were able to establish international contacts early on.

Through intense work and dedication, they have continuously improved their choreographies and traditional costumes. Many journeys have taken them from the Black Sea to Canada.

Their costumes represent everyday clothing worn by rural people in the late 19th century. Since 1978 the Quadrille have visited Burg Ludwigstein twelve times and are among the most frequent guests.

Facebook: https://ww.facebook.com/quadrilleoccitan/

„Die Ludwigsteiner“

The Ludwigsteiner are the dance and music group of the hosts. The dancers come from different regions of Germany and the Netherlands, which is why they can only meet for rehearsals on a few weekends. For the 60th anniversary of the Euro Week, the dance group has put together a program with highlights from the past 25 years. The dancers are accompanied by a five-piece music group.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/viva.europa/