Slask Polish Ensemble Comes to Byham Theater, 3/19

Slask Polish Ensemble Comes to Byham Theater, 3/19

The song and dance group, Slask Polish Ensemble will be performing at the Byham Theater on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. As one of the largest Polish folk ensembles, they have performed over 6,000 shows all over the world. Their 60th Anniversary Tour will celebrate the vivid and dynamic folk music and dance of Poland with an 80-member ensemble and stunning, traditional costumes. For information and tickets ($23.00-48.00): visit www.Trustarts.org, call (412) 456-6666, or in person: Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue. To purchase 10 or more tickets at discounted rates, please call (412) 471-6930. The performance is a part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series presented by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Slask Polish Song and Dance Ensemble was formed in 1953 by renowned composer, educator and writer Stanis?aw Hadyna. Slask's debut performance in Warsaw in 1954 profoundly impacted the country, and as a touring show the ensemble still delights and amazes audiences all over the world. The group is currently based in Kosz?cin, Poland and tours worldwide.

Stanis?aw Hadyna was born in 1919 and studied music and psychology growing up. He served in the Department of Culture, as Director of the District Offices of the Trade Union, and as director of the People's Republic of Musicians Concert Office and the Provincial Delegation. In 1952, he organized a team of the People's National Song and Dance (Slask), and became the artistic director, conductor and director. He left the ensemble in 1968 but returned in 1990 to remain artistic director until his death.

Slask originally focused on the folk traditions of Upper Silesia, Cieszyn Silesia, and the Beskids, but it was later expanded to include all Polish regions. The group specializes in presenting Polish, secular folklore, whose characteristic rhythms, expressions, melodic phrases and texts culminate in a unique spectacular performance. There are over 100 performers in Slask, and the troupe consists of a choir, ballet and orchestra. One of the highlights of the show is the spectacular traditional costumes; there are over 1,000 in the performance, making it a one-of-kind-show. There is no other group which equals Slask in its ability to present the folklore of Polish highlanders. The traditional tunes convey a sense of the customs from the green pastures of the Beskids Mountains to the steep peaks of Tatras Mountains.

The troupe has produced 12 albums, four of which went gold and one platinum. They have also won several awards including the Music and Art Award of Silesia, an Honorary award from the President of the United States, an Honorary award from the ministry of culture of the Soviet Union, and an award from the Silesian Voivodeship. The Slask Ensemble has worked with such distinguished Polish composers as Wojciech Kilar, and performed for Pope John Paul II in 2000 who was a patron of the troupe on numerous occasions. Some of their most notable songs to look forward to are Sz?a dzieweczka (She Followed the Maid), Helokanie, Ondraszek, G??boka studzienka (The Deep Pit), and Karolinka.

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