Rozsutec enthrall the city with its Slovakian traditions
ROZSUTEC, a traditional folklore ensemble from Slovakia, completes 55 years and is gearing up with a new production which will celebrate the vibrancy of this European republic. The city was a witness to the flair of the ensemble who performed at Kala Mandir. The director and choreographer of the 60-member group, Stephan Mucha spoke to Indulge about his role in Rozsutec, the dynamic tradition of Slovakia and why he would love to come back to India. Excerpts:
Is this the group’s first trip to India?
Yes, this is our first trip to India and it was an exciting opportunity to perform in a country which is also rich in history, tradition and culture. I have been a professional dancer before and used to work in theatre, and in due course I have seen Indian folk dance but it would be difficult to identify the form. It was very colourful.
Tell us about Rozsutec.
Rozsutec is a group that was formed in 1965 to preserve the tradition of the Slovaks by its founder who was from the Terchova Valley. The ensemble is named after the beautiful hill of Mala Fatra mountains in the Northwest of Central Slovakia. Slovakian tradition is diverse and we bring flavours of different regions like Terchova, Kysuce, Orava, Liptov, Horehronie, Myjava and Roma (gypsie) minority, etc. In terms of musical instruments, we use the classical violin, double bass and Heligonka, which is very native to Slovakia. Also, now the simbalom and accordion are used. The dance presentation that mainly deals with themes like love is high on energy and very technical in nature. It’s inundated with rigor- ous footwork and it requires a lot of discipline to learn the dance forms. We have a total of 60 members in our group but due to logistical constraints, we have 15 performers here. Our costumes weigh more than 45 kgs.
You been the director of Rozsutec for seven years now. What new elements have you added to its repertoire?
I am from the eastern part of Slovakia and the region is popular for its dance. So, I brought in eastern flavours to the group.
Tell us about the special production for the 55th anniversary of the group.
We have planned a production, which will showcase the heritage of Slovakia with four fairy tales, divided on the basis of regions. So, we will have flavours of Terchiva, Goral, Horehroine and one more from the East.