Folk Festival 2015
and folk dance seminar
8th—18th of May 2015
The Gjirokastër folklore festival
The Gjirokastër folklore festival is the major folklore event held once in 4 or 5 years, with some exceptions. During 6 days amateur groups perform at night. The groups consist of several people from the region they represent. Each group has to perform songs, instrumental pieces, a ritual and dances in the costumes of their region and will be judged on authenticity , originality and performance. It is a competition, but in a friendly atmosphere. The festival ground is on top of the castle of Gjirokastër in the old town.
Gjirokastër itself is a museum city, protected by Unesco and the old part of town has traditional houses in a typical style for Gjirokastër.
Three of these houses can be visited inside, which we will visit. One of them is the Ethnographical museum.
There will be groups from every region in Albania and Albanian groups from Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro and usually groups from the Albanian diaspora (USA, Switzerland, Italy etc).
In case of bad weather, the festival will be held indoors in Gjirokastër.
Program Festival Trip
Arrival date 8th of May 2015, Leaving date 18th of May 2015
Day 1: arrival at Tirana. Checking in at hotel Theranda in the centre of Tirana and welcome dinner with traditional food
Day 2: first morning class at the Opera, afternoon leaving for Gjirokastër, checking in at the hotel, dinner party
Day 3: Opening of the festival all day, first night of performances
Day 4: Dance classes, lunch, visiting the museum, performances
Day 5: Dance classes, excursion with lunch, performances
Day 6: Dance classes, free time afternoon, performances
Day 7: Dance classes, excursion with lunch, performances
Day 8: Dance classes , free time, final night of the festival
Day 9: Leaving Gjirokastër for Berat, museum visit, dinner party
Day 10: Visit the Berat citadel, lunch, leaving for Tirana, dinner party
Day 11: Leaving Tirana for travelling back home..
Program is subject to changes, depending on opportunities to meet the groups during the days.
On the final day in Gjirokastër we will take group pictures and video recordings of the dances learned.
Genc Kastrati finished his study at the Academy of Fine arts in historical dancing, which is the Albanian equivalent of folklore dancing. By that time he already was a solo dancer at the National Ensemble but now also became choreographer for the ensemble and presented his first complete concert in 2008. Apart from this job, Genc is also teacher at the Art Academy, the Academy of Sports and member of the scientific council of the National Centre for Immaterial Culture, and occasionally involved in teaching at amateur groups. From 2010 onwards Genc has been teaching at workshops in Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.
Click the following link for the brochure in PDF format, feel free to distribute it: