The general Latvian Song and Dance Festival has started

Song and Dance.

The Latvian Song and Dance Festival, known as “Dziesmu un Deju svētki” in Latvian, is a significant cultural event that takes place in Latvia. It is one of the largest amateur choral and folk dance events in the world, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the Latvian people.

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The festival has a long-standing tradition dating back to the 19th century when the first Latvian Song Festival was held in 1873 in Riga, the capital city of Latvia.

Since then, the festival has been organized regularly, with interruptions during times of political turmoil and occupation.
The festival plays a vital role in preserving and promoting Latvian cultural identity, especially during the years of Soviet occupation when Latvian traditions were suppressed.

The Song and Dance Festival typically occurs every five years, attracting thousands of participants from all over Latvia and even Latvian diaspora communities around the world.

The festival’s main events include large-scale choir performances and captivating folk dance performances, accompanied by traditional Latvian music.

During the festival, various venues in Riga, including the Mežaparks Open-Air Stage and the Daugava Stadium, host the performances.

The culmination of the festival is the grand closing concert, where thousands of singers and dancers come together to perform in unison. This final event is an awe-inspiring spectacle, with the participants dressed in traditional Latvian folk costumes, creating a visually stunning display.

Song and Dance

The Latvian Song and Dance Festival is not only a celebration of music and dance but also serves as a symbol of national pride and unity.

The festival provides an opportunity for Latvians to come together, reconnect with their cultural roots, and showcase their talents to a wide audience. It is a deeply cherished event in Latvian society and has played a crucial role in shaping and preserving the country’s national identity.

Song and Dance Festival in 2023.

The XXVII Nationwide Latvian Song and XVII Dance Festival, which marks the 150th year of the Song Festival tradition, will take place in Riga from the 30th June to the 9th July, 2023.

The Festival week is the culmination for which the organisers — the Latvian National Centre for Culture — and amateur groups have been preparing since the end of the previous XXVI Nationwide Latvian Song and XVI Dance Festival.

During the week of the Festival, 40,000 participants from 43 Latvian administrative regions, as well as other countries where Latvians maintain and develop the Song and Dance Festival tradition, will come to Riga.

Song and Dance, over ten days, they will take part in more than 60 events.

Choir, dance, wind band, kokle, folk music, vocal ensemble, folklore and other concerts Latvian folk costume exhibition; a folk craft art exhibition; and amateur theatre productions.

Half a million visitors will be able to see the events in person (in free and ticketed events) — Latvia has a population of 1.96 million.

Song and Dance, locations.

The Song and Dance Festival will take place throughout the territory of Riga. Special set designs will transform the event spaces, suitable stages will be built, big screens will be dotted throughout the city.

Sspaces will be landscaped to allow visitors to enjoy the Festival in full. The main choir and dance events will take place in their historic Festival locations.

Tthe Silver Grove stage at Mežaparks and Daugava Stadium. Both locations have been renovated for the audiences and participants of the 2023 Song and Dance Festival.

Song and Dance, main events.

The XXVII Nationwide Latvian Song and XVII Dance Festival will begin on the 30th June, 2023 with the traditional raising of the Song and Dance Festival flag, honouring the Chief Conductors and Chief Dance Leaders, and the Sacred. Music Concert at Riga Cathedral.

Song and Dance

The Festival Participants’ Parade through the streets of Riga will take place on the 2nd July. The several-hours-long parade of participants dressed in their bright folk costumes will end with a special Opening Event for the Song and Dance Festival participants.

The Wind Band Concert, titled Laiks iet pāri (Time Flows Over), which will take place this year in Andrejosta, will delight listeners not just with the passionate playing, but also the open-air party for all attendees.

Meanwhile, the Kokle Concert, titled Laika upe (The River of Time) will take place in the Ķīpsala International Exhibition Centre.

One of the most anticipated events in the Festival is the Dance Concert, which this year has the title Mūžīgais dzinējs (Perpetual Motion) and will sparkle in the colours of the regions of Latvia.

The concert is conceived as a dedication to curiosity and the eternal search for growth, and will reflect the experiences, feelings and conclusions of those who have travelled around Latvia in different eras.

The 150th anniversary of the Song Festival tradition brings back the opportunity for the massed choir to perform a separate a cappella concert at the Silver Grove stage, Mežaparks.

The foundational concept of this concert, titled Tīrums. Dziesmas ceļš (The Field. The Road of Song), is folk song arrangements and original pieces inspired by folk songs.

The culmination of the Festival week is the Grand Finale Concert, called Kopā Augšup (Upward Together). It will be dedicated to 150 years of Song Festival tradition and will serve as a bridge to future Festivals.

Mixed, women’s, men’s, senior, children’s and youth choirs, wind bands and kokle ensembles will resound at the Silver Grove stage, Mežaparks, under the leadership of experienced Chief Conductors and Honoured Chief Conductors, while dance groups will shimmer in the colours of Latvia’s regions.

Over three hours, the 15 favourite choir songs as selected by the choristers themselves will be performed as if in one breath, and gems of Latvian choral music from many periods of history — from the classics to modern day — will sparkle.

Song and Dance, tradition.

Tradition balances the enduring and the changing, the familiar and the different, and creates a sense of security, continuation and belonging.

Song and Dance

Tradition weaves the experience of the past into the present, and helps us see into the future. Preparing for and venerating the 150th birthday of the Song and Dance Festival is a good reason to express the values of our culture and nation from today’s standpoint, which are born from the dialogue of legacy and new creation.

Song and Dance, collaboration.

Collaboration involves the Festival audiences, calls the people to sing along to their television. Dancers are happy to teach some steps to passersby in the park.

Children follow along with the adults. Everyone who loves the Song and Dance Festival does what they can, helping their loved ones reach the Festival and everyday processes, supporting financially, materially, emotionally.

A network of collaboration weaves through Latvia between Festivals and during the Festival.

Song and Dance, continuation.

Continuation is a joy and an obligation, as the nation searches for its path in a complicated world. Having maintained the Song and Dance Festival together, we transition to the cycle of awaiting the next Festival, recharged and inspired by the wonders of the Festival.

When we return home, we are given a parting gift!  Good advice on how to bring song and dance into our lives. We congratulate those who will continue what we are doing in 5 or 100 years!

Song and Dance
Song and Dance
Song and Dance
Song and Dance

All The Best!

A bit of joke work, Latvia sings!



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