The National Ensemble of Folk Songs and Dancing was established as a professional ensemble in 1957, having all the artistic and technical components of an artistic troupe. The Ensemble includes the solo singers, the dance troupe, the vocalists and the small orchestra. Its artistic goal is to elaborate, develop and propagate ancient and contemporary Albanian folk treasures, which include a great musical, instrumental and choreographic richness from various folk areas, generating a great harmony of motifs.
The Albanian folk is distinct from that of other countries for its originality, long existence, as well as for the variety of artistic genres. Albania has a lot ethnographical areas, each having its specialties in costumes, songs, dances, rites and costumes, which our people have inherited generation after generation. Because the Ensemble depends on this grassroots richness and because it has been on expeditions to all areas where that richness sprang, not only it has become the pride of the Albanian traditional culture but it has also stunned folk researchers from all over the world with its values.
Another important element that emphasizes the values of our Ensemble is the talent of its artists. Hundreds of the best artists of Albania have been part of it: dancers, musicians, choreographers, singers and costume-makers.
Costumes are perhaps, the Ensemble’s greatest richness, with both their originality and the variety of their colors, designs and ornaments. They have been estimated as rare values of traditional culture of a nation.
The Ensemble of Folk Songs and Dances has had 140 premiere shows in its artistic life, which have had repertories of choice. It has done 11.200 shows on all the Albanian stages for 59 years. In its long life the Ensemble has had over 130 new dances in its repertory, whose music and motifs are from all the folk areas, with distinct choreography, and which have gone into both the Ensemble’s and the Albanian culture golden fund.
The musical repertory has been one of the most powerful and most successful elements, be it the original version and the elaborate one.
Nowadays the Ensemble of Folk Songs and Dances even in its composition has a smaller number of artists, he has participated in various national and international activities in Austria, Germany, Italy, Croatia,Greece, Macedonia, France, Switzerland, Germany, U.S, Canada, Belgium, Egypt, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Turkey, Italy, Kuwajt, Croatia etc..
It has received dozens of awards and prizes in international festivals and conventions, among which:
- “The third Prize”- Festival of Mediterranean, Cairo 1964.
- “The Golden Medal” – in the Dijon Festival – France in 1970.
- “First Prize” – in the Bursa Festival – Turkey.1982
- “The Golden Disc” – in the Avian Festival – Italy.1985
- “The Golden Medal” – Italy.
- “First Prize” – in the International Festival – USA.
- “The most Favorite Ensemble” – in the Canada Festival – Canada
- “Second International Prize” – recent International Festival “Folk-Area 2000” – Albania, among participant from 18 countries.
- “Second Prize” – in the Limburg Festival “Harmonies Festival 2005” – Germany.
Artistic Director: Sokol Marsi
Dance Master: Genci Kastrati
Orchestrant – category 1
Ana Shkjezi, Adriatik Çelmeta, Alban Tahiri, Arbin Alimeri, Artan Shabani, Bledar Luzi, Leonard Cara, Neki Kastrati,Vladimir Cakaj
Orchestrant – category 2
Islam Hoxha, Fatmir Serudi, Flogent Shatraj
Dancer – category 1
Brikena Jaupaj, Emiljana Bajo, Helga Saraçi, Mirela Hotaj, Vjera Libohova, Gezim Halili, Leonard Mitrush
Dancer – category 2
Ajkana Topalli, Marjana Shkreta, Olta Ahmetaj, Elton Cefa, Leonard Delia
Singer – category 1
Gencjana Hamiti, Irini Nikolla, Manjola Lula, Mirela Aliaj, Aranit Hoxha, Bardhyl Xhafka, Gramos Burba, Jani Çekixhi, Leke Pecnikaj
Singer – category 2
Hyso Xhaferaj, Iris Brojaj