11.11.2021 Events, Music

Mazowsze gala concert marks the year filled with Poland-Luxembourg relations centenary celebrations

World-famous folk dance group Mazowsze will perform at Luxembourg’s Conservatoire on Poland’s Independence Day, culminating a year filled with celebrations marking a relations centenary between the countries. The event is under the joint patronage of HRH Grand Duke and Poland’s President Andrzej Duda.

The group was founded in 1948 and is one of the world’s largest song and dance ensembles. It has given more than nine thousand concerts in over 50 countries for 27 million spectators.

“The repertoire aims at preserving the culture and traditions of Polish towns and villages,” said Krzysztof Kurlej, the group’s manager. Mazowsze’s recognition is such that it starred in the 2018 movie Cold War by Paweł Pawlikowski, nominated for three Oscars, including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Director.

 Thursday 11 November 2021

 19:00 @ Conservatoire du Luxembourg

(Rue Charles Martel 33, 2134 Luxembourg)

Information on the website of the Conservatoire du Luxembourg

Watch thefilm from this memorable evening!

About Mazowsze

The group’s repertoire includes dances from over 40 regions of Poland and over 500 songs, not only in Polish but also in the languages of each country the ensemble has visited.

“We have dignified polonaise, lively cracovienne, bustling mazurka, brisk polka, Goral dances. But people with hundreds and thousands of hours of hard work in the rehearsal hall under their belts can dance anything,” said Wioletta Milczuk, manager of Mazowsze ballet.

Dancers need to be passionate and have solid foundations in ballroom dancing. “They should also understand the value of folk dance, have the magnetic “light” emanating from their faces and show excellent physical fitness as injuries among group members are not uncommon,” she said.

The dancers carry costumes which some weigh more than 14 kilograms each. “There are also many acrobatic elements in the choreographic routines,” she said.

On top of the songs to which the group dances, the choir also performs Christmas carols, Easter, Marian, and patriotic songs, and classical compositions such as Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Chopin’s pieces, or Moniuszko’s Third Litany of the Gate of Dawn.

“Everyday rehearsals for the whole ensemble are combined with individual classes in singing, vocal resonance training, and diction exercises,” Krzysztof Kurlej said. “In addition, the choir members also take part in ballet classes which is why concert spectators perceive the singers and dancers as a whole,” he said.

Other centenary celebrations

Mazowsze’s concert is the grand finale in a year filled with celebrations to highlight 100 years since the two states formally established relations on 18 April 1921. The Polish Embassy kicked off in May with a video highlighting essential links the countries have developed. It also launched a website – polonais.lu – presenting prominent Poles active in the Grand Duchy. In September, an open-air photo exhibition was opened together with the City of Luxembourg and is still open to the public in Place de Strasburg until 5 November. On Twitter, the Embassy is running a campaign with a #celebrating100 hashtag.

“Mazowsze tours around the world – from Japan to the US. However, the group decided to perform in Luxembourg to mark the importance of our bilateral relations,” said Piotr Wojtczak, Poland’s Ambassador to Luxembourg. The concert coincides with Poland’s Independence Day, also celebrated on 11 November.

Mazowsze had already performed in Luxembourg on several occasions, with the last concert in the Grand Duchy in 1987 before Poland joined the European Union. Since then, the relations between the two nations have significantly accelerated.

The Polish minority is one of the ten most numerous in the Grand Duchy, with some 5,000 Polish nationals living here. Luxembourg is also the third-largest direct investor in Poland, with over €24 billion invested in 2019, while commercial exchange topped €750 million.

In addition, the countries share well-established relations in the financial sector, industrial production (e.g. ArcelorMittal, Guardian), the space sector, logistics, fintech and more.

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