Dance, where is your origin? Where were you born? What shaped you, our dance? Dance has sprung from the Latvian people’s soul. I has taken root on the banks of the Daugava and the Gauja, the Lielupe and the Venta Rivers, by Lake Razna and Lake Burtnieku, on the shores of the Amber Sea. On the banks of the shores of the Amber Sea there is a small country - Latvia where people live, fish, cultivate their land and extremely love their folk songs and dances.
On the banks of one of the five biggest rivers - the Lielupe - there is a city - Jelgava, Latvian cradle of culture. ’’LIELUPE’’ (meaning the big river) - is also the title of the folk dance company in which dance loving people from all the districts of Jelgava has flowed like rivers running to the sea.
The group was founded in 1859. Since that it has achieved a high level of artistic performance and in 1989 by the leadership of ELITA SIMSONE ‘’LIELUPE’’ was awarded a honorary title - The People’s Dance Ensemble. The group has regularly taken part in all the biggest Dance Festivals in Latvia. In 1990 the group represented Latvia the Latvian culture days in Norway. The dance group has also participated in International Folk Festivals in Iraq, Egypt, Norway, Canada, Italy, Taiwan, Turkey, Greece, Estonia, Mexico. A peculiar feature of the dance ensemble ‘’LIELUPE’’ is that it is formed of families. Each participant has a long dancing experience taking part in different folk dance groups before, and now in their wives and husbands. Starting from previous year the young generation of Lielupe has begun to give concerts very actively. Both casts regularly win awards and prizes in different competitions and dancing shows. Staffs give performances both together or teamwise and separately therefore the artistry of maturity and rompish vitality are linked up. Dancers are age 17 up to 45 years.
Each performance contains ethnographical, stage folk dances and dances with a plot, accompanied by the group of folk musicians or authentical records. The performance contains also ritual dances reflecting
The folk dance group «L?GO» was founded in spring of 1945 and is one of the oldest dance groups in Latvia. The title of the group «L?GO» is borrowed from the traditional Latvian midsummer celebration L?go – the most joyful holiday that is very much cherished by every single Latvian. We are from Riga City that is the capital of Latvia.
During 61 year since the establishment of the dance group it has always taken part in the biggest and most magnificent cultural festivals in Latvia – the Song and Dance Festivals. «L?GO» has achieved great success in the reviews of the Republic folk dance groups and is among the five best folk dance groups in Latvia. The group has in all times taken part in cultural life of Latvia. «L?GO» has given concerts in many countries, participated in various festivals introducing other nations with Latvian culture. Currently there are about 125 people of different age dancing in the group. Since 1995 the leader and choreographer of folk dance group «L?GO» is J?nis Purvi?š.
«LIGO» gives about 50 concerts in the home country every year. During the year approximately 10 elaborate and stylized dances are set up in the dance group, most of them get rewards in the dance competitions of the state significance. Until now 4 of those dances have received the 1st reward, 4 of them have received the 3rd reward and 6 – the special prizes. «L?GO» prepared concert programme in Italy, Finland, Norway, France, Russia, England, Poland, Germany, Turkey, Taiwan, Spain, Mexico, Greece, Malta, Estonia and Brazil. In 2001 «L?GO» received the prize of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia for its contribution in the development of the folk art in Latvia. In the August of 2001 the group participated in Festival International de Musica de Cantonigros, Spain and in a competition of 14 dance groups from different countries received the 3rd reward. In the April of 2004 «L?GO» participated in International Folklore Festival AMITEX (Valletta / Malta) and ranked the 1st in dances, 1st in music and 3rd in national costumes. When «L?GO» celebrated its 60th anniversary and had concert that took place in Dzintari concert hall in June 18, 2005, 35 dances were performed and 86 dancers were participated. Please find attached information about «L?GO» in the poster and DVD.
The folk dance group “L?GO” is working on a new concert program and is looking forward to participating in the festival.