Europeade 2011 Opening Ceremonies (blog post, part II)

The 48th Europeade Festival Opening Ceremonies was an elaborate celebration (and well choreographed production) of dancers from across Europe.  Over 3,000 participants are said to be in attendance this year, a lower number than years past due to the not-so-bright economy, however the amount of dancing and singing has not been affected by this whatsoever.  Over 100 groups participated in the official opening of the festival, and I can only imagine what the closing ceremony will look like! Once the Europeade flag was brought by last year's hosts from Bolzano, Italy and raised, the dancing began.  An outpour of dancers in all different costumes began to stream into the arena from all sides in a beautiful flow.  You can see some of the children had trouble holding hands as the dancers quickly moved from one end of the arena to the other!

Fancy footwork from Portugal's Grupo Cultural e Recreativo da Casa do Povo Nordeste Transmontano seemed to put in an extra shuffle step between every move.  I definitely want to dance with them - on my list as one of the next places to visit!

And of course, more cute kids!!  I couldn't help it - these groups are dancers from all over Latvia, and they choreographed a piece for over 12 groups to do together.  Lots of great energy, and the kids are adorable!

Then there were the familiar castanet players from Spain (one of my favorites!), interesting head pieces worn by the women from Holland's Wieringer Dangers Noord Holland, majestical flag throwers from Flanders where it almost seemed like the performers began to float away, and of course, the mayor of Tartu, Mr. Urmas Kruuse and President of Europeade, Bruno Peeters with two lovely Irish step dancers.

A wonderful end to a wonderful day!  And of course, when I left the arena and had supper, I went out for a walk in the town square only to find it full of more music & dancing.  And it was still light dusk at 10:30pm...I know I will never get used to that.  Amazing!