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Black Sea International Folk Festival – More Participant Countries, More Folklore and Diversity

Black Sea International Folk Festival organizers held press-conference at Black Sea Arena, on September 1. Director of Folklore State Center Giorgi Donadze, Director of ”Black Sea Arena Georgia” Ana Kavlelishvili, Guria State Governor Merab Chanukvadze and Spanish Folktorist Polo Vallejo shared concert details and future plans.

Festival has been held traditionally by the black sea for three days. Ajara joined Guria in hosting this year. International Folk Festival took a start in Batumi Summer Theater on August 31, followed Ureki Culture House on September 1, where admission was free for anyone. Final gala concert took place at Black Sea Arena.

”Folklore is very important in culture development, one must work with this genre very carefully, as it is a treasure descending from generation to generation. It makes me proud to be involved in such event, and we work to make this festival more massive and interesting. This year’s special guests are from Spain – La Moneta & Flamenco, presenting passionate Flamenco,-”said Ana Kavlelishvili, Director of Black Sea Arena.

On the list of participant countries are: Georgia, Spain, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, Armenia and Turkey. Embassies support official and contribute in implementing the project.

”We are actively involved in the process which makes region more famous and increases number of visitors. Ozurgeti became Folklore city, we opened a Folklore Center and house-museums, consequently we continue to implement numerous important projects in this field. ”- said Merab Chanukvadze, Guria State Governor.

According to him, organizers intend to hold more conferences, invite researches and involve some other fields of folklore for the next time. In order to increase directions and scale, other regions will join the festival when they are ready to host in terms of infrastructure.

Conference was also attended by an Ethno-musicologist, one of the outstanding researcher in the world, who researches Georgian polyphony since twenty years.

”I traveled to Africa to collect folklore works, then I came to Georgia which caught my interest with its culture, cuisine and most importantly folk music. I stayed in touch with Polyphonists twenty years ago and felt deep connection. The idea was born in front of me, they trusted my experience and I became an advisor,”-said Polo Vallejo.

This is the second year for the festival, number of participants has increased, although countries represented their culture as much as possible in constrained time. One could receive information of their culture, temperament or what they were passionate about.

The culmination of the concert was a joint performance of Georgian ensemble Rustavi and Spanish Flamenco, that showed a resemblance of two cultures temperament.

”We would like Africa to join folk festival next year, as this is one of the luminous example of folklore. We face some difficulties so far, but we are working hard to accomplish this idea,”- said Ana Kavlelishvili.

By Nina Gomarteli

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