Folk songs from Eastern Europe were a strong inspiration for the great composers Leos Janacek and Bela Bartok. Both of them travelled through the countryside - Janacek in the Slovak-Moravian borderland, Bartok in Transylvania - and recorded village singers using wax cylinders - the only equipment available at the time. The material they collected is still much sought after.
A wide variety of stories jostle for attention on Monday's front pages. There is coverage of tragedies at home and abroad: a deadly fire at a disco in east Moravia that killed a seventeen year old girl and injured 61 young people, the train collision in Switzerland in which a young Czech woman lost her life and Sunday's rocket attacks on the al Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, in which at least one Czech national is reported injured.
A popular folklore tradition known as 'Hody' takes place around this time in October in many rural areas of the Czech Republic. It's a festival that marks the end of the harvest. People dawn traditional costumes while singing and dancing well into the early hours of the morning. As Martin Hrobsky reports, this festival is not only popular in the Czech Republic.
The town of Kyjov, Moravia, celebrates the traditions of the surrounding region of Moravian Slovakia every four years with a folk festival. Thousands of people flocked to the town from August 14 - 17 to watch traditional folk bands perform, dress in colourful embroidered costumes, and enjoy what is called the King's Ride. Dita Asiedu tells us more about the festival:
For the fifteenth time, the Tanec Praha festival is back in full swing in the Czech capital, featuring foreign dance companies from eight countries and numerous choreographies from local dancers. In the space of eleven days, Czechs will be able to see the best of the best in contemporary dance not just in Prague but also in the Moravian city of Brno and the Bohemian town of Most. And, for the first time in its history, the festival is accompanied by a projection of dance movies at the French Institute in Prague.
The Ponec theatre in Prague, concentrating mainly on contemporary dance, is one of few cultural institutions that was lucky enough to be spared by the devastating floods in August, despite being located in the Karlin district that suffered most damage. From November 18th to November 29th, it will present the Dance in Holland festival, introducing some of the best and most interesting Dutch dance companies to Czech audiences. Yvona Kreuzmannova is one of the festival's main organisers:
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