Art from sister cities at the 30th jubilee Gizella Days


The 30th anniversary of the Gizella Days was special this year, not only because it coincided with the title year of the European Capital of Culture, but also because many twin cities of Veszprém contributed to the festival programme.

On the last weekend of the week-long celebrations, from 7 to 14 May, we were visited by a flute ensemble Quatro Voce of Tralaškola, private music school in Nitra (SK), Kunnan Pojat from Rovaniemi (FI), a trio playing genuine Schlager music, Michal Poreba and his performers from Tarnów (PL) introduced us to the unique world of street theatre, an ensemble from Tartu (EE), came to make us familiar with the folk traditions of their country, the Zurhausen Ballet Group of Bottrop (DE) showed us their stunning choreographies and finally on invitation of the Veszprém Passau Friendship Society, the German partner association from Passau marched together with the festive parade.

The first of the twin city performers was Quatro Voce, where 5 young flutists presented their talents to an enthusiastic audience within the walls of the Antal Csermák Music School. Tralaškola was founded in 2007 and gathers students of several generations. The repertoire of Quatro Voce is varied, but mainly specialized in early music.

In addition to the concert, the students had the opportunity to meet students and teachers from the Veszprémian music school. The played M. Praetorius: Ballet des Coqs, R. Bateman: The Carnation, W. Brade: The Nightingale, G. Farnaby: Allemande.Members of Quatro Voce: Alžbeta Svobodová - soprano flute, Agáta Kurucová - soprano flute, Boróka Ficzere - alto flute, Anna Otepková - tenor flute, Dorota Kurucová - bass flute, Teacher: Ildikó Kožik 

The Finnish music band Kunnan Pojat of Rovaniemi was a well-established trio of musicians on the Gizella Days stage. Their hour-long programme, entitled Around the World with Accordion, featured various styles of accordion music, from tango to zydeco, from folk to musette waltz and pop music as well. Their music was often linked to regions during the interludes, so we not only got to know the music of different regions of Finland, but also travelled through the music to North and South America, Sweden, Iceland and from there to Germany and back.

Their accordion virtuoso who had studied at Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover and worked with several cultural institute such as the National Theatre of Iceland and the Rovaniemi Theatre as a musician had a great inspiration on them setting up their programme for the show at the Gizella Days.

They claim to have a repertoire of over 400 songs, but they can only remember eight of them, which is difficult to believe. 

Performers: Tatu Kantomaa– accordion, Jari Karjalainen - vocals and acoustic guitar, Hannu Raudaskoski – vocals and double bass

Michał Poręba and his team of performers called Aprapla Theatre from Tarnów have brought us a unique artistic production in the form of a street theatre in which the participants create an unrepeatable picture with their dance on sheets of paper and colourful paints. The play of lights and smoke made the performance exceptionally special and mysterious. In addition, the choice of music and sounds and, where possible, live camera footage of the performance add an extra layer to the experience of their show.

As a gift the young performers and their mentor painted the logo of Veszprém-Balaton 2023 ECoC with their stunning dance and acrobatics theatre show. 

Performers: Michał Poręba, Anna Śliwińska-Kukla, Łukasz Kuschel, Jakub Pawłowski, Paulina Ślęczkowska, Zuzanna Kowalska, Antoni Kulczyk, Amelia Ćwik

Folklore club Maatasa first started out in 2013 and specializes in Southern Estonian folklore in many forms - songs, dances, folk tales, instrumental music, and collecting and waring traditional clothing. The group’s repertoire includes both older and newer dances, traditional runo songs, but also songs and tunes about love and everyday life from the 19th and 20th century. The folklore ensemble has over 30 members, all of whom sing, play instruments, and perform traditional dances.

Even the unusually bad weather at the end of the Gizella Days did not dampen the spirits of the enthusiastic Estonian guests, who performed with unparalleled enthusiasm. The group members used a wide range of folk instruments such as violin, jew's harp, bagpipes, guitar, and mandolin. 

Performers: Maarja Kask, Mart Kirotar, Kermo Kivioja, Kirke Liis Kuperjanov, Merit Lutsar, Oskar Nursi, Kristjan Pallav, Koit Helger Panksepp, Halliki Pihlap, Helin Pihlap, Tuule Pihlap, Hendrik Vija

The German partner association of the Veszprém-Passau Friendship Society also visited the City of Queens during these festive times and celebrated together. The 26-member group took part in the city's anniversary parade, in which the various Veszprém societies marched through the city centre.

The Bottrop Ballet Studio Adele Zurhausen was founded in 1977 and has trained countless students over the years. Recently the ballet school has been distinguished by the national and international success of individual students and by performances in the region.

The dance group gave us a breathtaking performance at the Nagy László Community Centre in Ajka, sharing the stage with the ballet groups of the Victoria Art&Sport Club, Veszprém and Ilcsi Dance TSE, Kolontár. 

The young ladies have brought us the ballet show "Empathy", choreographed by Ana Carolina Reis and directed by Ulla Schulte-Zurhausen. Performers on stage: Sandra Eberz, Evelyn Ekkert, Lisa Jandewerth, Lea Kaminski, Neele Osterhoff, Celina Weinreich, Marlene Jungmann, Pauline Kubla, Dana Schajor, Nina Schwarz, Hannah Stellmacher and Anna Wroblewski.

The Team of Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture would like to thank the participation of the twin city artists in the 30th jubilee of the Gizella Days and their support of the respective Municipalities of Nitra, Rovaniemi, Tarnów, Bottrop, Passau, and Tartu.


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