Folk dance ensemble of Latvia “Zelta sietiņš”
In Latvian culture, dancing has always been a special way of life and even philosophy. The historical tradition of Song and Dance Festival is still alive in Latvia. In 2003 it was announced as UNESCO’s Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The largest youth folk dance ensemble of Latvia “Zelta sietiņš” was founded in 1958. With almost 50 years of dance and numerous generations, the joyful spirit of dance has always been kept alive.
300 girls and boys from 3 to 18 years of age are still attending dancing classes every other day. They are learning not only the traditional Latvian dance, but also the basics of classical and modern dance, dramatic art, singing and other artistic skills.
“Zelta sietiņš” has participated in numerous international folklore festivals making the Latvian dance famous and delightful to many dance fans all over the world.
With tremendous success, the ensemble has performed in Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Finland, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany, Japan, Austria, Canada, USA, Romania, Hungary, France, Brazil, Macedonia, Denmark, Great Britain, Morocco, Cyprus, Greece, China and other countries.
We are often asked to explain how we created the name „Zelta sietiņš”. What does it mean?
The answer can be found by looking in the sky: if we look really closely by Taurus constellation, we can see a group of open stars (M45) or the Pleiades, called „Sietiņš” in Latvian. The Pleiades star cluster is also known as the Seven Sisters, hence the poetic translation of “Zelta sietiņš” might be “Golden Seven Sisters”.
You can see the Seven Sisters in the sky in early spring before the sunrise or late winter evenings. With a human eye, the Seven Sisters look like seven bright stars but in reality there are much more — hundreds, thousands… Similar as to our dancers — “Zelta sietiņš” has had more than ten thousand dancers over the last 50 years.
In order to speak, you must know the language. Those who want to be heard must say it in a way to be understood. If somebody wants to express the feelings to others in dance, one must talk in the language of dance.