We all Felt Like Kings: The Tale of Kings: The 16th Lithuanian Dance Festival in Philadelphia

Laima Vincė. My first Lithuanian folk dance festival – as veterans of Lithuanian folk dance festivals like to say – took place in Cleveland in 1984. I danced with “Liepsna” from Elizabeth, New Jersey. We’d dance in the church hall, just like all over the United States and Canada, young …

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Susipūtimai: Bagpiper Blowouts

By Gvidas Kovėra. About 1968, more and more students became interested in the old heritage of our country and ethnographic expeditions were organized. Their purpose was to collect surviving traditions, examples, stories, songs and dances. People formed groups to play traditional folk music. During the period of Soviet occupation from …

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Vincas Kudirka, Herald of the Modern Lithuanian Nation

The home of Vincas Kudirka in Paežeriai. Photo from 1911

By Miltiades Varvounis. At the time when Lithuania was under Russian rule, national identity was shaped by the Lithuanian intelligentsia, the educated social elite in the country. One of the most prominent intellectuals and activists of the late 19th century was Vincas Kudirka, a publicist and publisher, author of Lithuania’s …

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It began in Vermont. Village Harmony goes Lithuanian

Village Harmony in Lithuania. Group leader, Will Thomas Rowan, is on the far left.

Village Harmony was founded by Larry Gordon in 1988. It began as a small ensemble of high school singers drawn from several central Vermont schools, rehearsing after school hours and touring the East Coast. In 1990 the first Village Harmony summer camp was held, establishing a model which has been …

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DAINAVA – 60 Years and Going Strong

Dainavos muzikiniai užsiėmimai.

Aldas Kriaučiūnas. Within five hours of arriving at Camp Dainava, in Manchester, Mich., to mark the camp’s 60th birthday bash this past Labor Day weekend, I feasted on cold beet soup, joined in singing Lithuanian freedom fighters songs, and waided through thorns and thistles to reach the natural springs feeding …

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Parade in Chicago during Thanksgiving

Lithuanian Folk Dance Group suktinis marched and danced in Chicago’s McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 26. They were joined by Lithuanian Grandpa and Grandma— giant puppets created by local artist ugnė Carm. Leading the group were flag bearers Lithuania’s General Consul in Chicago Marijus Gudynas and the Consulate’s Director …

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A Song Festival to Be Long-Remembered

by Rimas Cernius with photos by Jonas Kuprys and Arvydas Zabulionis Lithuanian song festivals in North America are special and rare events. The first one took place in Chicago’s Coliseum in 1956. This year the 10th Lithuanian Song Festival took place at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago on July 5th. …

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By VIDA KUPRYS. Lithuania’s guerilla resistance against the Soviet occupation was a decade-long secret war which lasted from 1944 to 1953. From its very inception it was a tragic confrontation. Hope-filled dreams of liberation by the West eventually turned to resignation. The wonted cavalry just never arrived. Images of mutilated corpses …

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Memories of a Lithuanian July

By DALIA SHILAS. “The day of the Dance festival was spectacular, but most of my best memories are from the three days of rehearsal,” stated Sambūris dancer, Eglė Šležas. “It was a great way to meet dancers from different countries and take note of their rehearsal process. This was my first …

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By VITALIJUS ZAIKAUSKAS. It is July 2014 and it has finally arrived –– the National Lithuanian Song Festival. It takes place in Vilnius in Vingis Park, a site which has become identified with the first massive gatherings demanding freedom some twenty years ago. But today we are here to celebrate. We …

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