A picture-like story

A feast of folk costume colours always makes the audiences smile involuntarily. Many opportunities to smile and savour traditions and folklore from different parts of the world will be provided during the 20th anniversary edition of the Integrations World Folklore Review.

Photo of a woman and a man dressed in traditional folk costumes. Trees and colourful leaves as a background. - grafika artykułu
Photograph courtesy of the organiser

Back in 2016, I recall how impressed I was with the finale concert of Integrations held in the former locomotive shop at ul. Kolejowa. The dynamic stage presence of the artists and the industrial décor of the venue's interior allowed folklore from almost all continents of the globe reverberate powerfully. Artists from all over the world presented themselves on multiple stages alongside ensembles from Polish ethnographic regions, showing their otherness and highlighting the joy and passion for presenting one's own traditions, which all of them shared.

This edition of the festival will adopt the slogan "Picture-Like History" in a nod to both the cultural heritage presented by the artists on stage and to the history of Integration as this year marks the 20th anniversary of the festival after its postponement for two years.

Bands from as many as six countries have been invited to take part in this year's Integration. These include Ecuador (Markani Ecuador), Colombia (the Dance Company Danza Colombia), Mexico (the Folk Dance Group of the Autonomous University of Nuevo León), Serbia (the Folk Group Dijdo), Slovenia (the University Folk Dance Group "Študent") and Poland (the Folk Dance Group Poznań AWF: the festival's host, and the Song and Dance Ensemble AGH Krakus named after Wiesław Białowąs). The diversity of the traditions and cultures represented by these ensembles, the exoticism of Ecuadorian, Colombian and Mexican folklore and the Balkan energy of Serbia and Slovenia, is going to intertwine with native Polish folklore. Which of these cultures will strike a chord with the public and which will astonish it with its otherness?

The review will begin on 13 August with a concert in Grodzisk Wielkopolski. The artists will then move to the Nowy Tomyśl Cultural Centre. On 14 August, they will appear in two concerts in Luboń and Olszynki (Wronki). The following day will start with a holy mass in All Saints Church at ul. Mostowa, Poznań. The crowd will then move to Wilson Park to take part in a Folk Feast. In the following days, they will visit venues in Września, Pleszew and Chludowo. A colourful festival procession will set out on 18 August from the Stary Marych statue and proceed down ul. Półwiejska. Integrations will culminate with a finale concert on 18 August in the Swarzędz Clearing on ul. Strzelecka. Every year's finale takes place at a different venue. It is always less of a concert and more of a well-thought-out performance held simultaneously on multiple stages. The finale sums up the festival by highlighting the best from the participating bands. In addition to concerts, the Integrations will feature workshops for children, country nights and a Traditional Sports Tournament.

Katarzyna Nowicka-Rynkiewicz

translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski

  • World Folk Review Integration
  • 13-21 August 
  • Inaugural concert: 15 August, Wilson Park; finale concert: 21 August, Polana, Swarzędz
  • For more, see: festival.awf.poznan.pl

© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2022

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