Black Sea International Folk Festival starts August 31
The International Black Sea Folklore Festival is an annual event traditionally held on Georgia’s Black Sea Coast. This year the festival will be held in two separate venues – on August 31 at the Summer Theatre in Batumi (Adjara region) and September 1-2 at the Black Sea Arena in Shekvetili (Guria region). The event is being sponsored and supported by both the Ministry of Culture of Georgia and Check-in Georgia. This year’s festival will also receive additional support from the embassies of Italy, Turkey, Poland and Ukraine.
This year the three-day festival will feature folk performances by artists from seven different countries. Folk ensembles from Spain, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, Armenia, Turkey and Georgia will take the stage during the festival, all the while sharing their unique folk traditions, singing and dances.
Giorgi Donadze, Director of Georgia’s State Folklore Center, notes that when they put together this year’s line-up, it was important to focus on diversity during the selection process. He also emphasized that the International Black Sea Folklore Festival has become a yearly tradition. As far as choosing the venue to host the event, he says that with its high-tech lights, massive video screens and professional sound system, Black Sea Arena was the perfect venue.
According to the organizers of the festival, this year’s festival will feature several special guests. La Moneta & Flamenco, one of Spain’s most popular Flamenco ensembles, is scheduled to give a thirty-five-minute performance at this year’s Gala Concert on September 2.
Also from Spain, Fouzenta, also known as ‘La Coin’, is a Spanish artist who danced Flamenco from his childhood will also perform at the festival. The artist, who has worked in the Sambra and Tabasa Dance Theatre, has received numerous folk awards in Spain and has been recognized as one of Spain’s leading dancers. La Coin’s performance can be described modern but at the same time the dances are really thoughtful and possess expressive flamenco movements behind them.
The above artists will be joined by the best folk ensembles from Poland, Ukraine, Armenia, Turkey and Italy. Naturally, no folk festival would be complete without a Georgian element, and this year’s festival is no exception, as it will feature Georgian performers demonstrating their polyphonic singing and fiery folk dances.
Video: Georgian polyphonic singing ensemble Bassiani
Highlighting the Georgian folk music segment will be polyphonic singing ensemble Bassiani, a group of singers established in 2000 with the blessing of His Holiness and Beatitude Catholicos Patriarch of all of Georgia Ilia II. The ensemble is an integral part of the Patriarchate of Tbilisi’s Trinity Cathedral and part of the patriarch’s everyday worship. As Georgia’s premier folk music ensemble, Bassiani has performed numerous times in Georgia and around the world. Over the years, the group has added over 300 songs and chants to its musical repertoire.