International Folklorefestival Westerlo: 35 folklore dancers from Banja Luka visited Representation

The Republic of Srpska Representation in Brussels had a great pleasure to welcome on Wednesday 17th August the Folk Dance Ensemble "Veselin Masleša" from Banja Luka. It was one of the biggest groups ever welcomed at the Representation premises in Brussels. Thirty five young dancers from Banja Luka participated at the 2016 International Folklorefestival in Westerlo (Belgium) during five festival days.

The International Folklorefestival Westerlo was founded in 1956 and it is one of the oldest folk dance festivals in Belgium. In front of the late 19th century castle, the festival is organized every year mid of August. This year participant, Ensemble "Veselin Masleša" showed to the Belgian public envious mixes of folklore, dance and singing. This ensemble is one of the leading performance groups in the Republic of Srpska.


Ensemble "Veselin Masleša" was founded in 1948, within the ensemble, there is several sections: folklore section, music section, vocal soloists and, most recently, native vocal group. This ensemble has been for the last three decades among 5-10 leading amateur folklore ensembles in former Yugoslavia, and most recently absolutely the leading one in the Republic of Srpska and in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the Ensemble groups and sections, since the founding, they have had around 10 000 members, and annually number of members has varied from 100 in the first couple of years, to 700 in the period between 1970-1990, nowadays ensemble counts 300 active members.

Greatest achievement of this ensemble is winning of award “Ajason d’Or”(Golden dancer) at the International Festival of Children’s Folklore in 1980 in French city of Math organized by C.I.O.F.F. (World association of folklorists within UNESCO).

The Republic of Srpska Representation in Brussels looking forward to welcome other societies and groups from the Republic of Srpska who are willing to represent its work in various festivals and events in Belgium. More photos you can find in gallery:


PHOTO: Tea Jagodić


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