Europeade 2011 - Closing Ceremonies

The 48th Europeade Festival has come to a close, and with the grand finale of this four-day celebration, President of Europeade, Mr. Bruno Peeters said it best:  "Friendship breaks down walls.  Culture is what educates us, what strengthens us, what opens our minds.  Culture is what makes us accept one another for who we are.  Europe is a diamond with many facets that continuously shines brighter with the more friendships and countries that join this bond in unity."  And at a time when acceptance of all cultures is needed most.  The Ostfold group from Norway dedicated its performance to the citizens of its country and to the victims of the terrible tragedies that happened last week in Oslo and Utoya Island.  It was a very emotional performance, and all of the people present were truly moved by the strength of the dancers.  You could also feel the bond of friendship and camaraderie that is the mission Europeade Festival, and this was a time when it was most relevant.  Thank you, Norway, for your courage to carry forward. The most impressive performance of all the countries represented at the closing ceremonies was definitely by Bodhran, the Irish Culture Group Co. Wicklow.  I am hooked, and I definitely need to make a trip to Ireland to learn from these dancers as soon as possible (by the way, you can hear my enthusiasm at the end of the video).  Amazing dancers!

Another tragedy was the loss of two members from a dance group in Cyprus, apparently done by an accident back in Cyprus from an explosion.  No full details were given, but of course they were remembered at the festival.  A second Cyprus group represented their island, and the dance shows a strong group connection of celebration and unity.  Very interesting music as well.

And last but not least, the beautiful flamenco dancers from the Coros y Danzas Almeria Andalucia group from Spain.  Unfortunately, there were some technical difficulties with the sound system during their performance, but still very beautiful and very enchanting.  Gracias, Andalucia!

Aitah, Tartu, for an amazing experience in your beautiful city in this beautiful country of Estonia.  I look forward to seeing everyone in Padua, Italy next year at the 49th Europeade - alla prossima!