Friday, April 23, 2010

DAY 50 EUROPE TRIP - LITHUANIA – Vilnius – Song Festival – Dance Day „Laiko Brydėm

5 July 2009

LITHUANIA – Vilnius – Song Festival – Dance Day „Laiko Brydėm

We woke to a beautiful dawn and another exciting day.

We met with brother-in-laws family for lunch. Time for getting to know new people and catching up with those we knew. It should have been lovely to sit outside but the cold winter put paid to that.

After a good lunch we meandered around the town and again groups singing / busking contributed to the fabulous atmosphere.

We met our friends from Canberra and went to Stiklai – an upmarket place for a snack and a drink before the big dance festival. At Stiklai the group Sutaras that we had got to know in Australia was performing. So we relaxed and enjoyed the music.

We were also entertained by the antics of the security police on patrol in the area as they were expecting some European royalty to arrive soon for their stay at Stiklai for the 1,000 years of lithuanian nationhood celebrations.

The Dance Day concert „Laiko Brydėm was to start at 9.00pm but we decided to go somewhat earlier as we wanted to avoid the last minute rush as they were expected a huge crowd. I can’t remember the exact size of the crowd but it was in excess of 30,000 and about 7,000 performers if not more. We had great seats in the centre but we could have been higher as then we would have had a better view of the dance formations.

It was a great night. We were totally immersed in the celebration of dance and the accompanying richness of costumes. From young to old, from every region groups who had passed the auditions participated as well as groups from all over the world including Australia.

All styles of dancing were covered from modern ballet, choreographed folk dances and stylised ancient dance forms. It was just fabulous. The performance was exceptionally well choreographed and put together with absolutely no breaks in transitions as one cohort of dancers exited ad another entered. It was a seamless production. The dancers looked as if they were having a great time. The only way to present it is in the photographs at the end of this blog. The grand finale included fireworks and was very impressive.

After the formal end of the concert the performers continued to dance into the morning.

But what a small world – as we were leaving the couple walking out in front of me was my nephew and his girlfriend. I knew they were there but who would thought we could run into each other like that.

Again another fabulous event.

It was lovely walking back along the streets in the lovely lit city.

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