Easter Monday marks the start of the All the World's Mazurkas music festival. The "spring carnival" programme presents the most vibrant works of Polish tradition music and dance for all ages

Formal concerts are accompanied by improvised performances of all varieties of Mazurkas at the festival club. Highlights also include a conference on "Rescued Music", devoted to archival recordings of traditional Polish music, an exhibition of historic instruments in the Market Square and an all-night dance party.

Chopin wasn't the first to discover the charm of traditional Polish dances. They were quite fashionable even in the seventeenth century in Germany and Scandinavia. In fact, one of the most popular dances in Sweden, Denmark and Norway are local versions of the Polonaise. In France the Mazurka takes first place through the Polish legionnaires, who conquered the heart of his dance score Parisian salons of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. From France the Mazurkas spread further - reaching Italy, Austria, reaching as far as the western ends of Europe: Spain and Portugal - on onto the colonies in the Azores, Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, and even Brazil and Mexico. Many were adopted into local cultures. In Poland, the rhythms of these dances were one of the most important elements of musical imagination of all classes of musicians, music lovers and dancers.

This music's tradition has grown into a colourful puzzle of classical and folk. This festival aims to bring all the varieties together on one stage, with bands from all over Poland and the world joining together to celebrate the influence of Polish rhythms on world music.

On Wednesday, April 27 traditional Ukraine's Bożiczi from Kiev perform, followed by the next day by a performance by Kwadrofonik which pursues the definition of the "Polish Style", with an emphasis on the work of Karol Szymanowski.

On Friday, April 29 Polish Radio's Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio at Polish Radio hosts a concert of Kurpian songs performed "in crudo" and the Polish Radio Choir, conducted by Stanislaw Krawczyński and performing Kurpian songs by Karol Szymanowski and Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki. The final performance of the evening comes from Monody - a male ensemble led by The third performer of the concert will Monody - men's team led by Adam ensembles Struga. The festival wraps with an dusk-till-dawn dance party in the Main Square on April 30.

The "Music Rescued" conference on April 26 welcomes archivists and researchers and practitioners dealing with traditional music and dance presentation at a conference on Polish archival collections in the field. The planned meeting will serve to create a map of the archives of music and dance, exchange of information on available resources, reflect on the possibilities of digitization and the creation of a nationwide network - online database of music and dance collections.

This Easter, Mazurkas abound in all forms - even on a jazzy note. Parents and children are all encouraged to enjoy the concert programme and participate in workshops on musical traditions.

For a full programme, see: www.festivalmazurki.pl

Source: press information