New Hampshire Public Television (Manchester's Channel 11) lived up to its constant promise of “good quality programming” tonight. NHPTV featured The Music and Dance of Poland: Mazowsze tonight! Riverdance step aside.
Mazowsze featured traditional Polish dancing. Simply amazing. No Polka dancing here. (Polka dancing is a Polish-American phenomena.) I was already familiar with some of Mazowsze’s Koledy CDs, but to see them perform was a most edifying experience to say the least.
Mazowsze is a thrilling kaleidoscopic display of dazzling movement, vibrant color and stunning beauty. The incomparable Mazowsze performance troupe whirl and leap, stamp and glide in a glorious outpouring of sound and motion, rhythm and music that celebrates the cultural legacy of Poland. Polish-American entertainer Bobby Vinton narrates.
While the choreography and musical arrangements represent 39 distinctive ethnographic regions of Poland with traditional performance styles, the appeal of Mazowsze's dynamic stage show goes beyond audiences of Polish descent. An ensemble of 65 dancers and singers are arrayed in a seemingly never-ending series of handmade traditional costumes — more than 1,000 in total, one more dramatic and colorful than the next and some weighing as much as 30 lbs., making their energetic gravity-defying leaps, twirls and lifts even more impressive. A full 23-member orchestra performs music ranging from Chopin to simple folk melodies beloved by the Poles for centuries. Strategically mounted high definition cameras and microphones capture this stellar performance, recorded live at the Polish National Opera House in Warsaw, Poland.
The Wine gathering dance from Lubusz, among other outstanding performances, confirmed to me that I made a good choice to forego Game 1 of the NBA finals Cleveland v. San Antonio for The Music and Dance of Poland.
In the event that you unfortunately missed this outstanding broadcast, the DVD is available on-line. The 90 minute DVD also features additional dances not broadcast. Please feel free to enrich yourself and see what makes Polish culture great. Truly it was a reality show worth watching.