Lithuania has been known as a land of songs since ancient times. The Lithuanian people's particular affinity with singing, and the beauty of their folk songs spanning the entire human experience, were first recorded in the earliest chronicles of the Baltic tribes. Nothing is better than song at reflecting the Lithuanian mentality, a national character inclined towards nostalgia, and the people's understanding of the mysterious secrets of beauty.
Generations of choirs have been inspired by... the Song Day song festival, first organised in 1924 in Kaunas, which today appears on the UNESCO cultural heritage list.
The festival programme is in several parts: the Folklore Day is devoted to traditional cultures, while folk singers and dancers perform colourful, theatrical productions on the Ensemble Evening. Dance performances created for the stage by professional choreographers are presented on Dance Day, and the Song Day sees thousands of singers coming together in a single choir to perform timeless pieces of Lithuanian choral music. The programme is further supplemented with, among other attractions, a folk art exhibition and colourful pageants by festival participants.
"I'm from here”, "This is the centre of my world”, "This is my home” - the 2014 Lithuanian Song Celebration inspired emotions in harmony with the programme titles. The exhibition, made up of photographs from the festival, also bears this name. Its message is that we should turn back to our homeland, our family and our nation, and discover our own heaven and earth. Has this message been heeded? Well, this festival has attracted more than 37,000 performers and artists, and even more visitors.
The text introducing the exhibition pays tribute to the legacy of the first Song and Dance Celebration in 1924. The exhibition presents archive photographs, posters, handwritten scores song lyrics, and other documents from the collection of the Lithuanian Central Archives.
Photography: Martynas Vidzbelis, Artūras Moisiejenko and Donatas Stankevičius.
Sponsored by: Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Hungary
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