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Mazowsze Folk Ensemble on strike

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 07.02.2012 09:34
Members of Poland’s leading folk song and dance ensemble, Mazowsze, have staged a picket in front of the Warsaw Town Hall in a pay and conditions protests.

photo - PAP/Pawel Supernak

The dancers and musicians played the recordings of their best-known hits, carried banners reading “Mr Minister of Culture, our beloved Mazowsze is dying” and distributed leaflets to passers-by with a resume of their financial situation.

The basic salary of a Mazowsze member with a twenty-years work experience is 2, 000 zlotys (an equivalent of 450 euro).

The Mazowsze entered into a collective pay dispute with the Mazovian Province council in July 2011, after a 15 per cent cut in subsidies. Last Thursday members of the ensemble began a strike action at its home base in Karolin near Warsaw.

The authorities say there can be no talk of any pay rise in the current financial situation.

The Mazowsze Folk and Song Ensemble made its debut in 1948.

In addition to songs and dances from all Polish regions, its repertoire includes popular folk songs from around the world. During its foreign tours, it has sung them in 36 languages, including Chinese and Arabic.

The founder and first director of Mazowsze was the composer and conductor Tadeusz Sygietyński (1896-1955). After his death, the post of Artistic Director was taken over by his widow, Mira Zimińska, a star of Warsaw’s pre-war cabarets.

She served in the post for over half-a-century, until her death in 1997, at the age of 96. (mk)

tags: folk music
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