Success of the UG Song and Dance Group "JANTAR"
The UG Song and Dance Group "JANTAR" has proved to be the best of its kind in the 17th Gathering of Northern Polish Folk Groups in Piaseczno near Gniew. Well Done!
The group took first place in two categories – song and dance (from amongst 6 entries) and in singing (from 11 groups).
The UG Song and Dance Group "JANTAR" has been in existence since 1970. It is made up of students and graduates of the University of Gdańsk and similar institutions in the Tri-City. The current group consists of a dance group, a vocal group and a band. The rich repertoire of "JANTAR" includes dances from the regions of Kashubia, Lublin, Cracow, Łowicz and Rzeszów.
The folk character of the dancing is underlined not only by the Slavic charm of the ladies but above all by the original costumes,which illustrate the folklore of various part of the country. Exquisite in their fabulous colours and sparkle, they are a testament to past times.
The group does not only perform regional dances. The repertoire also takes in the choreography of Polish national dances, such as the mazurka and polonaise, the dignity and grandeur of which is emphasised by the beautiful costumes from the Duchy of Warsaw era or the Old Polish split-sleeved robe .
"JANTAR" is as well-known abroad as it is at home – it has performed at festivals in Germany, Spain, France, Turkey, Denmark, England, Switzerland, Norway, Slovenia, Ireland, Bulgaria and Holland and has won acclaim andnumerous prizes. Among the most important of these are prizes from Cantonigros (Spain), Neuchatel (Switzerland), Gemenos (France), Middlesbrough (England), Istanbul (Turkey) and second place at the23rdLindenholzhausen International Festival of Choirs and Folklore in Germany.
Prizes and acclaim have also been won at home, for example three victories at the Dance Talent Festival and the North Polish Folk festival; first place and three second and third-place victories (in different categories) at the Elbląg International Festival of the Folklore of the Euro-Baltic Region; two second-place wins at the All-Polish Festival of Carols and Pastorales in Będzin. The most recent major achievement was winning first prize at the FAMA 2010 Regional Festival of Academic Youth .
In 2005 group leaders and members received the UG Medal of Merit from the University Rector for outstanding achievement in the development of student culture and in cultivating the traditions of folk dance. This is the highest award in university circles.
In 2006, after receiving a positive rating from the Artistic Commission, "JANTAR" entered the ranks of the Polish section of the CIOFF, the International Council of Organisations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts.
The group’s successes also include the recording of a cassette of Christmas carols in 1997 and three CDs in 2002 and 2010 with songs from various regions of Poland and in 2003 with carols and pastorales.
The group stresses that they are linked not only by a liking for Polish folk traditions, dance and song, but more than anything by the bonds of friendship formed during rehearsals, meetings and trips.
Translation: Magda Moran and Sean Moran