Dear Visitors to the Strážnice Festival,
One year has passed quickly again and the 74th Strážnice International Folklore Festival and the 37th Strážnice Children´s Folklore Festival open up for us. You must have asked yourselves why you are going to Strážnice again when you have visited it so many times. You could see the chateau park, the open-air museum and the city centre, you applauded the domestic and foreign ensembles, you admired creative approaches of choreographers and authors of performances, and you sang a plethora of songs. Yet you are coming again because you are feeling well here. You are expecting the Festival signature tune, you are welcoming guests from abroad, you are remembering important persons of this Festival at the bust of Slávek Volavý, and you are looking forward to performances which are very various and rich in this year. As I deal mainly with children´s folklore, I would like to focus my invitation on performances for children.
The first independent children´s performance appeared at the Festival already in 1951. Between 1957 and 1979, the Children´s Strážnice was, even though an irregular, part of the Festival, and it was mostly organized one week before the “adults´” Festival. Children´s performances were a regular part of the programme at the Strážnice International Folklore Festival. In 2000, the Children´s Strážnice was renewed as an independent festival running at the turn of May and June as part of the Children´s Day celebrations. Since 2009, both festivals have been held together, which is very good.
Educational programmes focussed on passing the folk traditions down to coming generations take place under the auspices of the International Institute of Folk Culture. These generations present their performances here, at the Festival in Strážnice. The project Here we are at Home – Regional folklore to schools is celebrating its 10th anniversary in this year. The project´s goal is to include regional traditions of folk culture in school lessons, and to extend the children´s cultural perception. The project Little Music Bands stand for an international music workshop for children´s and young folk music bands. You can listen to the best little singers in the Czech Republic at Saturday performance Little Singers; the interactive programme Children´s Court will take place in the open-air museum, and children´s ensembles will perform at the programme How Can We Get to the Garden? In cooperation with the Strážnice Centre for Children and Youth, entertainments for children have been prepared on the Island Stage and at the Plane-Tree Alley.
The Strážnice Festival mirrors the relationship that the community has to its tradition, and the way in which it preserves and develops them. The co-participation of children in the interpretation of folk culture´s elements is a precaution that we will be able to visit the Strážnice Festival again and again to enjoy it, to be full of hope, to remember and get to know new people and new things, and to meet friends and folk culture.
Be cordially welcome!
Mgr. Jana Polášková
Chairwoman of the Senate of the Strážnice International Folklore Festival Programme Council