Talaka / Belarus
Talaka (purification) is a popular custom among Belarusians (also widely known in Eastern Europe), meaning joint action within the community, in a group, for example, when the whole village together helps one person.
It’s also the name of a band consisting of students of ethnology and ethnography at Belarusian universities – young people fascinated by tradition and so defining their attitude to the modern world. People who believe that today’s reality can be only understood through deep ties with the past.
The band members acknowledge that such folk bands are becoming increasingly popular and bring colour to dull everyday life. The artists also add that their ambition is to break stereotypes proclaiming that only elderly people think about folklore and that it is a boring and old-fashioned occupation. And so, full of youthful spontaneity and dynamism they show that the ancient traditions are still relevant today.
The basis of the repertoire are ritual songs associated with the folk calendar, in addition to dances and entertainment. The members of the group go on ethnographic expeditions, collecting research material and inspiration throughout Belarus. The musical instruments the band play include bagpipes, fiddle, dulcimer, drums and ceramic percussion instruments.
Talaka are the winner of numerous international reviews and student and folk music competitions. The group received a special prize from the President of the Republic of Belarus granted in support of talented youth. The leader of the band is Viachaslau Kalatsei.
Viachaslau Kalatsei - bagpipe, flute, gusli, singer
Viachaslau Krasulin - bagpipe, flute, singer
Pavel Liashok - drums, singer
Aliaksandr Masibut - violin, singer
Maryna Sheleh - singer, dancer
Maryna Vesialukha - dancer
Evelina Shchadryna - singer, dancer
Tatiana Plodunova - singer, dancer
The concert took place in 2015.