Today, July 3, an exhibition of portraits of honorary chief conductors and leaders of Latvia’s XXVII Nationwide Song and XVII Dance Festival (hereinafter Festival) was unveiled in Esplanade Park. The exhibition features portraits of more than 60 personalities who have devoted their lives to the celebration, creation of development of Latvian heritage. The exhibition was unveiled in the presence of Culture Minister Nauris Puntulis and Daina Markova, Executive Director of the XXVII Nationwide Song and XVII Dance Festival. The Festival’s leaders and chief conductors were also in attendance. The exhibition was created by the Spice shopping center in cooperation with the Latvian National Centre for Culture.
“Over the course of 150 years, since the first Song and Dance Festivals, the power and presence of prominent personalities has been key to making the Festival was it is today. At the Festival, we celebrate and remember these personalities - our dance leaders and chief conductors - but we do not always appreciate and understand their work on the creation of the Song and Dance Festival. Thanks to the Spice shopping center, an exhibition of portraits of the Festival's honorary chief conductors and leaders has been created, reminding ourselves and the whole of society about the contribution these personalities have made. Let us appreciate it and pay tribute to our chief conductors and dance leaders,” Culture Minister Nauris Puntulis said at the unveiling.
The Spice shopping center is a supporter of patriotic and nationally important values, therefore, thanks to Latvia’s prominent cultural figures, the exhibition of portraits of the chief conductors and dance leaders of the Song and Dance Festival was created. The exhibition features the portraits of 65 chief conductors, leaders and honorary leaders who have been celebrating the significance and values of Latvian cultural heritage over the years. Throughout the Festival week, the exhibition will not only present these outstanding personalities in a photographic form, but will also include a short description of each personality, highlighting their contribution to the creation of the Festival. On the other hand, photographer Gatis Gierts captured all chief conductors and chief leaders of the Festival.
Daina Markova, Executive Director of the XXVII Nationwide Song and XVII Dance Festival: "This exhibition is the result of a great collaboration. Together with participants of the Festival, all the conductors featured in the portrait exhibition are currently present at the venues of the Festival events in Daugava Stadium, Mežaparks and Arena Riga. It’s great that unconventional angles and unusual moments have also been captured, revealing a less serious and more down-to-earth side of their personalities in a more lively, honest and simple context."
In addition to the Festival’s portrait exhibition, another spectacular exhibit – a stylized 3D folk-skirt installation combining folk costumes from the four cultural regions of Latvia, is displayed in the territory of Esplanade Park. The skirt will start spinning in response to passersby movement. At the unveiling of the exhibition, the stylized 3D folk-skirt will make its first ceremonial spin as young dancers from “Mārupe” dance group set the patterns of the folk-skirts from all Latvia’s regions into motion. The impressive installation highlights the richness of Latvian heritage, inviting everyone to dance and make the Nationwide folk-skirt turn.
The exhibition of the Festival’s honorary chief conductors and leaders, created by the Spice shopping center, and the folk-skirt installation is a part of other cultural and entertainment activities taking part during the Festival week, providing visitors the opportunity to experience and admire the rich Latvian culture, its manifestations and heritage.