XV Christian Culture Festival. Lodz, Poland. 6. 11. – 20. 11. 2011
Musical folklore occupies an important place in the life of the Georgians. In ancient times, song and dance were prevalent among the ancient Qartvelian tribes. Despite the fact that throughout the centuries Georgia suffered under foreign invaders, the Georgians preserved their language, script, religion, and distinctive dances and songs, the main feature of which is polyphony. This is especially noteworthy as Georgia is neighboured by the countries with monodic singing art.
‘Rustavi’ was created in 1968 in a small Georgian town of Rustavi. It soon became popular, taking part in most national cultural events.
The ensemble’s creative work is deeply rooted in the tradition of folk art. ‘Rustavi’ is genetically linked to the entrails, it is grown from them, and its power is in these entrails. ‘Rustavi’s singers traditionally come from different parts of the country; they enrich the ensemble with peculiar features of their native regions, with traditions and specific performance manner. ‘Rustavi’s dances are accompanied by folk songs and instruments from Georgia’s various provinces. Sulaberidze and Erkomaishvili create harmonious spectacle with dances, songs, and folk instruments thus further enhancing regional peculiarities, which makes ‘Rustavi’ distinguished from other ensembles.
From the very first days ‘Rustavi’ aims to revive and popularize lesser known Georgian folk songs and church hymns. ‘Rustavi’s repertoire includes songs of various genres, from different provinces of the country. Alongside vocal music, there are also magnificent folk instrumental pieces preserved in various parts of Georgia. The ensemble’s members play traditional instruments such as the panduri and chonguri (stringed lutes), salamuri (Georgian flute, known since the second century, BC), and changi (harp). This considerably widens the ensemble’s repertoire and enriches its performing palette. During its existence, ‘Rustavi’ has recorded over 700 rare versions of Georgian folk songs and church hymns. During the 40 years of its existence, ‘Rustavi’ has successfully held more than 4 000 concerts and toured about 70 countries of the world, performing in the world’s most prestigious concert halls, such as ‘Olympia’, ‘Player’ and ‘Mogador’ in Paris, London’s ‘Albert Hall’, Rome’s ‘Auditorium’, ‘Bekon’ of New York, the Great Theatre of Moscow.