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XVI Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival

Philadelphia 2020

Program Scenario

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The Kings’ Tale

The theme chosen for the XVI Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival is derived from the Lithuanian composer and artist M. K. Čiurlionis painting’s title, “ The Tale of Kings.” In the painting two kings hold in their hands a shining country village.  The cloak of night hides nature’s vitality, the infinite cosmic potential of humanity, the co-existence of the past and present, the epic folklore significance of the kings’ castle, and the exaltation of folk culture.

The Dance Festival’s scenario is based on and inspired by Lithuanian folk stories that are rooted in the titles and motifs of the M.K. Čiurlionis painting. In his work, there are often elements of the supernatural, mythology, and fiction. To bring these themes to life, the proverbs, fairy tales, and stories are intricately woven together.

The narrative of Lithuanian folklore joins the worldview of the Lithuanian nation, the basics of the folk tales and many spiritual customs. Traditionally, elders impart on younger generations the stories of significant events, whether it be about changes in the rule of governance, conflicts, or other historical incidents.

With the folk tales, proverbs, and painting titles, the Dance Festival will symbolize the Lithuanian people’s journey through time. The folklore, proverbs, and artist’s vision with the influence of metaphors, will show the wisdom of our ancestors, which a grandmother will impart on her grandchildren. 

The program consists of 4 parts, a prologue and finale.

PROLOGUE - FLAME OF GOOD FORTUNE
This scene depicts centuries of arduous pursuit of liberty, climbing the steep mountain in search of good fortune.

PART I - REVELATIONS OF THE PUNTUKAS STONE
The folklore elements of the Puntukas Stone, includes woodland fairies, goddesses, and devils.

PART II - THE SUN AND THE MOON
The folk story “The Sun and the Moon” symbolizes harmony and balance in the universe.

PART III - TELEVELIS, THE BLACKSMITH
This is the tale of how the blacksmith Televelis freed the Sun. Malevolent forces were envious of humanity’s happiness and the sun. One day they captured the sun, bound it with iron chains and hid it deep beneath the earth’s surface under a stone tower. When Televelis awoke he saw the deep darkness, which engulfed the world. He set out to free the sun. With his iron blacksmith’s hammer he knocked down the tower and freed the Sun. Since then, the Sun has again shown for all people.

Part IV - VAIVA’S SASH
Taken from the Lithuanian proverb: “Where there is peace, light and the fruits of labor, alongside walks love.”

Finale - THE QUEST FOR GOOD FORTUNE
Lithuanian mythology frequently refers to “laimės paukštė”, which is quest for good fortune or destiny. Lithuanians, as well as other cultures, have embraced these quests in themes of eternal light, infinite goodness, freedom, truth, beauty, music, wisdom and end of life concepts.