Oral traditions and their expressions, including language as a vehicle of intangible cultural heritage
Social practices, rituals and festive events
Dancing tradition in Riga (2021)
The dancers are in the Community and beyond the term “traditional dances” used in the People's Republic. They take the form of a people's dance dancing at live music with the goal of socializing, celebrating festivals, or entertaining.
The tradition of dancing in Riga brings together people of a wide variety of ages and professions who have knowledge and/or interest in cultural heritage, folklore, People's music and dances, and the leisure of active time. The Community actors are both people who have been active in it for several decades and people who have been involved in it for a short period of time, but maintain contacts with Community actors and join Community activities as soon as they have such a chance. The Community members shall be combined with specific skills and knowledge as well as a sense of farming and belonging to the Community. The Community actors are proud and aware that their skills, knowledge and leisure form are special, linked to the preservation and maintenance of cultural heritage.
Overall, the Community is inclusive and friendly, but as all activities are voluntary, the level of activity of each participant depends on its own wishes, interests and opportunities. The Rîga Dance Community is not a formal organisation and therefore the accounting of its members is not carried out. The Community is composed of a part of the folklore members of Riga and Pieriga, as well as stakeholders and dance enthusiasts who do not work in any folklore together, but often participate in dance evenings, festivals and camps organised by the Community. The Rīga dancing in the Community is people who play and/or dance dancers, and they are mostly familiar with each other. However, not everyone knows everyone, the more active musicians and dancers are in part in some years. Those who have been active in youth and in the years of their studies, when they get married and become parents, often don't attend dancing events for a while, then, when they look at them, they try to visit them. Others from active dancers or musicians become more active organisers of events. In general, a number of thousands of people have been involved in Community activities, but they are considered by those who have acquired a circle of friends within the Community and have developed better skills to dance and play. During events, the number of participants varies from one musicist and some dancers to a whole musical orchestra (more than 10) and several hundred dancers. The most widely visited events are festivals and dancing nights, as well as camps and sometimes dance evenings. E-mail letters with information on dancing events regularly receive more than 200 Community participants, but many more information is collected on social networks and dancing websites. It is therefore possible to claim that the dance tradition in Riga combines several tens of assets and several hundred less active dancers, musicians, event organisers and supporters.
Importance in Community Life
The most active members of the Community are engaged in dancing and/or playing every day or almost every day. Less active follow up activities and engage in, for example, monthly, annual festivals, or when they have such a chance. Since the tradition of dancing brings together musicians, dancers and organisers of events (which are often musicians and/or dancers), skills and knowledge and activities (contacts with Community actors, meetings, events) require regular involvement both individually and with other Community actors. For Community actors, the tradition of dancing is an important part of their identity. One is a part or complement to their professional activities (folklore clusters, musicians, event organisers), others associated with leisure time. The most active part of the Rîga dance Community is a lifestyle, the Community is the circle of their closest friends and their membership of the Community and the maintenance of traditions is an integral part of their lives. Many dance traditions provide satisfaction with their contribution to the preservation of the Latvian cultural heritage, encourage the search and study of the People's music and dance increasingly deeper, share and implement explored life, thus bringing not only their own level of personal skills and knowledge, but also the overall level of the Community.
The tradition of dancing in Riga is the combination of traditional dances and their melodies, dancing and musicisation, and the tradition of transfer traditions. Dancers take the form of the dancing of people in the People's dance by the socialization of live music, festival celebrations or entertainment. The content of the element is composed of dances in Latvia (including local interpretations of the dances), whose horeography and musical accompaniment have occurred most often in the 19 th century and early 20 th century, and they are recorded in ethnographic or folklore collection expeditions in the 20 th century or seen dancers from neighbouring country musicians and dancers. Dancing music is performed by traditional musical instruments who know dance melodies. The most skilled dancers, when they connect to unprecedented dancers who watch and repeat the dance steps. The time of each dancing is slightly different, as it builds on the location of musicians and dancers. In essence, dancing is a tradition-based improvisation according to the participants and the situation. The tradition of dancing includes not only the conduct of dancing but also the preparation for it - search for and learning of new dances and melodies, planning, organisation of events, issuing of records, documenting and studying the tradition.
Beliefs, Rituals, Unwritten Rules
The right tone is to play every dance (or its variant) only once. Most of the dance boys are asking their daughters to dance with the next dance. The dancing is often commenced with the honorary step (the round moon, used in more solemn cases) or Mugurdanci (Alsunga Mugurdana Riga) and concluded with the long dancing – the Riga dancing club tradition, which has been introduced in many places. The long dancing musicians tend to play in the middle of a dancer circle or walk along a dance road with dancers.
Inheritance and Transmission
Dancing and musical music have been a public character since their start. It is not a family tradition but a social activity for socialisation. The tradition of dancing in Riga includes the acquisition of the musical instruments and dancing skills of the People's musical instruments, as well as the specific melodies and dance steps. It takes place on the spot at dancing evenings, joining and watching from more experienced Community actors, as well as attempts from the know-how and individual notes, music and dance video material.
Already an ancient dancing is one of the activities of society in socialisation, celebrating festivals or performing rituals. Historically, the traditions of dancers have been formed in a peasant environment by interacting with the influence of the city.
In Latvia, the first news of dancing, known as the lecture, is already in the 16 th century. In the 19 th century, the tradition has already been recorded many times, including special dance events and dancing in annual festivals and family honors, most often in wedding. Since the mid-19 th century there have been evidence of dancing of cadriils, valleys and different names of the People's dance. At the beginning of the 20 th century, the dancing of his joy was mainly in greenery and vecherinks, wedding, after talks. Mostly dancers were young people aged 16 and over when they married or had children. In the mid-20 th century, and in the second half of the second half, an increasing number of balls danced from the People's dance repertoire, however, following the activities of folklore movement in the 80 s and 90 s, dancing dancing in Riga and regular dancing evening traditions were born with new strength. Since then, many more dances and their melodies have been extracted from the expeditions.
The tradition of dancing in Riga, in a form such as it is now, started in 1988, when the International Festival Festival Baltica was first held in Latvia, in which several folklore sets included dancers in their predecessors, as well as organized dancing evenings for participants of the festival. After the festival's folklore friends' group, the savieši (the then-manager of the former leader) decided to spend a few weeks on the dancers, and this attempt to allow them to visit the wider audience. In this way, the tradition of dancing evenings took place every two weeks, which, in the mid-1990 s, was taken over by the dancing club under the direction of Putniņa, who remained, for more than 10 years, as the only opportunity for a regular dancing of dancers in a friendly atmosphere. These dancing evenings took place in Riga 1 st Gymnasium Hall, LU history and philosophy faculty, and later RTU in the small aul. As the leading dancing musician raised Maris Janson, the active dancers were also played by Christine Karele, Dace Pruce and Ansis Ataola Berzins. As time passed, the members of the folklore dance group Dandari were also increasingly active on the dance evenings, providing their contribution to the repertoire of dance and the dancing of the dancing skills in Latgale. Ernest Spitch was active in reconstructing dances after ancient descriptions.
In the 1990 s and the first half of the 2000 s, dancing club dance evenings were the only regular dance evenings available to the public in Latvia, the most active participants in folklore movement from other places in Latvia. Gradually, inspired by ideas and learning from Riga dancing club repertoire and experience, dancing clubs were formed and dance evenings in Cēsis, Ogre, as well as in Kekava, Rēzekne, Koknesse, Daugavpils and elsewhere. It is thus possible to claim that the tradition of dancing in Riga has been a source of inspiration for the whole dancing movement in Latvia. To a large extent, it is still.
By 1999, the informal name of the municipality of Riga was a dancing club because it was called dancing evenings. When the most active dancing club dancers formed a dance set and started to participate in folklore festivals, the Riga dancing club (RDK) became the name of a folklore set. This transition is the basis for the uncertainties arising from the folklore set (RDK), dancing or dance evening and the Community name. Since this transition, the Riga dancing Community, which is much wider than THE RDK, does not have a single name.
It is very important to emphasise that the defeated dance repertoire in a revised history has never been “purely Latvian”. The names of the dances recorded in the 19 th century often indicate the dance of French, Swedish, Russian and other peoples, and the records of the newspapers show that, as early as the mid-19 th century, dancers, cadrivers and other dances known foreigners are dancing (it is mentioned in their diaries by Anders Schönen during the expedition of the Liv bank, as well as Julius Durings during the visit of Dundaga Manor). The Dance History researcher Sandis Zučiks, studying the issues of dance origin, often came to the conclusion that the so-called Latvian dances have a true origin outside the borders of our country, and often, since the time of their emergence, these dances have started to dance and have acquired local variants in Latvia for just a few years. Similar conclusions have been drawn, for example, by the researchers of fairy-tales, as well as by the researchers of the clothing history, namely contact, interaction and continuous development, and the similarity between the various cultural and historical regions, and also with areas outside Latvia, is more than a difference. The assumption that there is a single source of origin in folklore, but in ethnography, significant differences between regions and peoples, emerged at the start of these research sectors and was promoted in the United Nations process in the 19 th century, but was later used for ideological purposes in strengthening the identity of national countries to World War II. These findings are currently being reviewed and corrected or even discarded in scientific research.
Nowadays from dancing in live-action situations, the dance tradition continues to maintain the skills and repertoire of its dance and musical instruments, reflecting the cultural and historical heritage of the Latvian National Dance Tradition. The tradition of dancing in Riga is manifested in situations and ways that are typical of the traditions, but adapt to time and the environment. Consequently, the fact that the ancient dances in live (mostly) music is dancing, dances can be ordered, boys ask their daughters, often not only dancers, but also musicians. The fact that the dances are also happening in attempts, from internet video clips, is also danced in large grasses, corporate events. Dancers are no longer just young people, but people of all ages. Despite all the innovations, the tradition of dancing in Riga maintains the boundaries between the dancing of the People's dance (the social context of tradition, the repertoire and aesthetics) and other forms of dancing in society, and thus constitutes a direct continuation of the People's dance tradition. It is important that a wide range of dance styles are available today and therefore dancing is a conscious choice that is often based on the Latvian cultural heritage. Often, especially among young people, dancing is a first step towards the traditions of the People's traditions and their enrichment, acquisition and further practice in the family and the circle of friends in festivals and daily.
In the 21 st century, the popularity of dancers has increased, which is evidenced by the inclusion of a small number of known dancers in the repertoire of many adult and particularly children's folklore communities throughout Latvia. The series of dancing musicians have been supplemented by a long Reizniece, Raitis Sondor, Anastasia Oļenkin, Ieva Murniece, Oscar Patianko, Mara Rage, Catherine diamond, and many other musicians and their associations. The tradition of dancing in Riga has been able to grow from one dancing evening every two weeks to the fact that the dancing evenings were not only under the auspices of THE RDK and the traditional cultural centre, but also under the direction of other organizers, such as the event cycle of the events of the dancing music group Trejnine, “annual dancers in four tourists” at the Riga cultural and recreational centre “Imanta”, dancing evenings in “Vijoļun” under the direction of Ansha Ataola Berzins, dancers in a free-nature recreational park “egle”, as well as weekly dancing evenings in Falclub “ala”. Not just a dancing evening offer, but a dance repertoire. If 20-30 Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian dances, known from the mid-19 th century, are usually included in the repertoire of musicians and dancers 20 years ago, then at LEAST 50 different dances are played regularly at RDK dance evenings, while the musicist and the most knowledgeable dancer repertoire have several hundred dances and their melodies not only from the Baltic but also by one of Belarus, Russia, Hungary, Germany, France and other countries. It is important to emphasise that the dance of other countries is repertoire if they are recorded in the dance tradition, as no salsa, hip hops, or other popular dances are danced in the evenings. Instead, there is an active replenishment of the repertoire, acquiring the dances given by the speakers, looking for melodies and dance records in the Latvian folklore storage archives and performing their reconstruction, as well as learning the dances of neighbouring nations at international dancing festivals and camps.
The tradition of dancing in Riga is a good example of how the tradition lives and develops. This is seen not only in the growing number of participants and in the repertoire of the most active participants, but also in the development of the repertoire, namely the enrichment and popular becoming the dances that musicians and dancers enjoy. There are many dances in the dancing camps and attempts, with special emphasis on dances signed in Latvia, but not all into circulation. There are also groups of Community participants or groups of friends in which some dances are more popular than others. However, it is never forgotten that not only the new, but also the existing, known and more widely known dancing repertoire must be taken into account. In addition, it is important to emphasise that the unifying factors of the Communities are not only dance repertoire, but also dance-style and dancing-evening traditions, dance accompaniment in live performance and the match of musicians and dancers according to the situation.
The tradition of dancing in Riga, which is based on traditional musical instruments and dancing, faces skills and knowledge in a number of other traditional cultural areas: the celebration of annual festivals and family honors, the making of musical instruments, the historical clothing and its imitation, such as self-produced pastilles used for dancing.
The Community is large and has many significant musicians, dancers, new Community participants, event organisers and researchers. Examples of bright examples include:
Ilga Reizniece – play and teach dancus, Raitis Sondors – play and dance, Anastasija Oļenkina – play and dance, Dace Circene – play and dance, organize events, Dina Liepa – play and train the young generation, organize events, Dace Prūse – play and teach traditional singing, Ieva Mūrniece – play and organize events, Jānis Zemgus Jātnieks – play and dance, Inga Holsta – dance and teach dancus, organize events, Jevgēnijs Mickevičs – dance and organize events, Sandis Zučiks – dance and does research on the history of the dance, works on folkdance.lv, Ieva Pīgozne – dance, organize events and does research on the dance tradition.
Institutions and Organizations
The Association of Traditional Cultural Centre, the association dancing storage, the cultural and the folklore community of the People's Art Centre, and the folklore clusters operating in its wings, particularly the Riga Dance Club, the Latvian university folklore dance set Dandari, the children's and youth centre's Riga School Palace folklore cluster cockle, the association Zyradi and the group of friends Zeidi.
Strengthening the Tradition
In the past 30 years, it is possible to say that many hundreds of events have been organised: many dancing clubs, dancing evenings, dancing nights, festivals, camps, dancing - both separately and as an essential part of other events. As of the end of nineties, dance music albums, dance descriptions and videos were recorded and issued.
Funding for dancing evenings, dancing nights, festivals, camps, dancing events, dancing description and video publication to date have been received from the State Culture Capital Foundation, Latvian Foundation and other, mostly local government project competitions. Similarly, the activities of the organisers of the events and the associated funding have been used. The co-financing of Community people is often used, as well as voluntary activities and projects.
As of the end of the eighties of the 20 th century, the dance tradition in Riga has experienced a huge increase in popularity. The dancing Community has become stronger in Riga. It brings together several generations of musicians and dancers. Not only did the number and skills of dancers and musicians, but also general public awareness of dancers. Dancers in Riga have become one of the most popular traditional cultural activities recognised by the broader community. Dance description and video publications and Internet resources provide an opportunity to learn or repeat them outside organised events or attempts.
The largest financing for the maintenance and development of the dance traditions in Riga to date and will continue to be obtained in the form of projects from the State Culture Capital Fund, as well as in the competitions of Riga City Council's cultural projects. The support of Riga City Council has so far also been received indirectly, namely through the provision of folklore sets and their activities (premises, transport), where the training of traditional musical instruments and dancers takes place. The Latvian Foundation has also supported the dance storage projects so far, it is planned to continue to participate in Latvian fund cultural projects. In addition to all the above-mentioned support, the Community actors with their enthusiasm, participation and volunteering are to be provided.
For the wider public to be informed and in support of the Community – to maintain the Folkdance website on dancing events and the dance storage of dances and their melodies; to organise publicity activities through the opportunities offered by modern technologies and social networks, to cooperate more closely with the media.
Similar to many folklore genres and traditional cultural phenomena, research has so far focused on exploring the object – the collection and research of dance choreographs and melodies. Today research focuses on subjects research, namely the study of traditions at the time of tradition, its context, social aspects. It will therefore continue to explore the tradition of dancing in Riga by gathering information on current dance practices and context, as well as fixing the traditions in modern times, focusing on what dances and plays when the dance of dances is happening, how the prestige of the dancers, the image and the role in society as well as other aspects are changing.
Responsible for the history of the history of the dancers and dancing, including the tradition of dancing in Riga: the association “dance storage”, and in particular Sandis Zuchiks, and the association “traditional cultural centre”, and in particular Ieva Pigozne and Valdis bird.
Organized dancing events: evening, nights, festivals. Organized dancing camps, masters, dance training video materials. The dance storage website is maintained and regularly supplemented with a database of publicly available dancers, their description, melodies, methodological materials, lectures and research results. Exchange of information with the calendar of events and the discussion platform for the coordination of opinions and addressing topical issues. The status of the National Intangible Cultural Heritage List of Latvia has been acquired.
The “traditional cultural centre” and “dancing storage” are the main ones that organise and continue to organize dancing evenings, festivals and camps, as well as training and the extradition of dancing music and video recordings, attracting or co-operation with folklore clusters or friends' associations “Riga dancing club”, “Dandari”, “cockle”, “banga”, “Zeidi”, “Brička”, “banga”, “Zeidi”, “Brička”, “said musicans”, “beans”, “Brička”, “said musicists”, “beans”, “Baltava”, long Representation, Daci Prusi, raiti Sondora, Sandra and Ilmars buds, etc. There are also other members of the dancing movement who tend to organize dancing evenings or dancing training, such as Lily and Edgars Lipori and Trejnine, the Jasukovich family association “radi”. Most of the Community actors mentioned here have implemented projects for the maintenance and promotion of dancing traditions and will continue to do so by participating in the national Cultural Capital Foundation, the Latvian Foundation, Riga City Council's cultural project and other competitions, as well as investing self-financing and volunteering.
The planned measures will be carried out in the event of a dancing tradition for the maintenance and development of Riga, for research and promotion, for strengthening the Community, for the regular provision of dancing and playing practices, for the training of dancing and musical training, including the addition of training materials. The inclusion of the dancing tradition in the National Intangible Cultural Heritage List of Latvia will help to achieve the above objectives and obtain more funding for ensuring them, as well as the tradition of dancing in the tradition of songs and receive more attention and support at national level.
Threats to the Tradition
Many dancers are mostly entertainment, lack of knowledgeable and skilled dance and especially musicians. The preparation of such “upper-class specialists” does not take place in any camp or courses, as they become separate, particularly interested and motivated people, learning from their own and other experiences over the years. In order to avoid stagnating the tradition, particular attention should be paid to its development not only in space but also in quality, and therefore support for the preparation of skilled dancing musicians and dancers should be needed.
The tradition of dancing cannot evolve in the context of meeting restrictions. The crisis in the country also echoes the habits of people's leisure. After more difficult times, the tradition always requires recovery by investing in the promotion and training of additional works.
Society “Traditional Cultural Centre”
Juris A. (1921) Latvian People's music materials. Book 5. Dance. Riga: Latv. Cultural Foundation.
Moss H. (1966) Latvian games and toys. Riga: science.
The origin and development of Silina E. (1982) Latvian People's dance. Riga: source.
Moss H. (1991) Latvian domestic choreography. Riga: science.
Brilliant E. (1999-2000) Martin's dance book 1-3. Riga: LU.
Half-price, willow I. (comb.) (2018) Green parties. [Aizpute]: interdisciplinary art group “serde”.
Dancing storage - The page contains and is supplemented with information about dancers: video, music, notes, interviews, publications. Search functions by card, dance names, number of dancers, etc.
Folkdance - information on the dancing measures, calendar. Information on the history of the Riga dancing club and the dancing movement.