Dětský folklórní soubor Javorníček
The children folklore group Javornicek Brno was founded in 1958. Eight years prior to this, a group of enthusiasts started travelling around the Eastern Walachia region to gather all kinds of folklore material. Pity we all haven’t been there – those long and cosy evenings full of story-telling in traditional mountain cottages must have been amazing. And the singing and dancing that followed must forever have stayed in the hearts of all the young people who witnessed it. To maintain the heritage for future generations who couldn’t see the original traditional performances, an archive of dances, songs, games and pieces of music has been set up which was soon used for the repertoire of new-founded group “The Flag of Youth” (Vlajka Mladi). From the beginning there was a huge amount of material for children dances etc and therefore a team with Mr Josef Cap in the lead founded a sub-group for the younger ones called “The Little Flag” (Vlajecka) – later renamed to Javornicek. The group kept the already collected material and gathered even more riches from different parts of the country. The leaders began to pass on the knowledge to the children and since then this has been the successful way of sustaining the heritage.
Javornicek soon became one of the most important folklore groups in the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia), mainly thanks to the great organisational skills of the leadership, with the couple Josef and Marie Cap in the front. It was thanks to their efforts that the kids appeared on a number of stages around the country, various social events, in the recording studios and in front of the television cameras. Although busy, there was always time to relax and get some of the needed energy back.
Considering abroad performance the folklore group did manage to travel outside the iron curtain a couple of times, however, the boom of travelling arrived with the 90’s. Javornicek began attending some of the very significant festivals in Europe and invitations from different dance groups followed. Shortly, calls came from other continents, and the group visited the East Coast of USA, travelled around the islands of Japan in 2006 while other overseas journeys are in preparation. As the travelling becomes more affordable more people want to find out about the folklore traditions of European countries. And with the children as performers, it’s always more uplifting.
However, the peak of the active year is the summer camp in Zirovnice. After years of searching, the leaders have finally found the right meadow in South Bohemia which since then has been the place of fun and relaxation from the dancing practices, exams and also the luxury of living in the city. The tents were built up from scratch with help from the “Friends and Parents Society” as well as the “Organisations of the Pioneers”. The summer camp soon became a custom, has now over 30 years of tradition and since 2007 has all sparkling new tents. Also, during the school year, various events such as trips, spring holidays or even practice weekends, are organised in order to enrich the leisure time of the children.
The modern trends have started to show even in our traditional folklore organisation. We still perform on various festivals around the country and the world, however, non-folklore events are not rare either. The club holds four different dance groups divided by the age of the children and raging from as young as 4 years all the way to 18 years old children. The trainings usually take place in the afternoon on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Currently, the club has over 200 registered and active dancers while more new-comers are always welcomed, traditionally in the first half of September each year – no casting has ever been performed – all we require is enthusiasm and the willingness to learn. Also, thanks to the years-long co-operation with a music school, there are always new talents to join our team of musician (currently we have three groups varying according to their age).
To dance in a folklore group is not exactly in fashion nowadays, but the traditional values remain. We encourage friendship, patience with the young ones and respect for the elders. We also try to lead our children toward the love for the folklore art which reflects in some of our dancers moving on to various adult folklore groups.