About folk dance group “Nebeda”, Balvi, Latvia
Balvi is a town in the Latgalia, a region of eastern Latvia. It is the administrative center of the region of the same name since 1949; before the occupation of Latvia it was a part of the Abrene district. The name is derived from the small river Bolupīte and the adjacent lake.
The education and culture heritage in Balvi is kept and developed by schools and museums as well as by groups of local amateur artists – the dance group „NEBĒDA” among them.
It consists of more than 12 dancer couples, from 25 to 60 years of age. Dancing is our hobby, but in daily life we are teachers, public officials, workers of state institutions, sales assistants, farmers or housekeepers.
Since the group`s foundation we have researched the history of Latgalia and made the Latgalia (Latvia`s region) national costumes, as they were worn in the middle and the second half of the 19th century. Each woman has her own special dance costume – a striped or checked skirt, an embroidered linen shirt, finely knitted stockings, flowered and patterned silk kerchiefs, silver rings and brooches – ouches, bead necklaces. The men wear long-coats, bright vests and silk kerchief ties.
Our costumes won at the Latvian National Song and Dance Festivals (take part every five years) in 2013 for their variety and authenticity.
In our repertoire there are Latvian traditional folk dances, as well as dances created on basis of folklore music and choreographic materials. Our dances reveal national character, they are about Latvian work, social life and love.
Members of the dance group really love Latgalian fun and jolly dances, where they are able to dance their hearts out and that is what the word „Nebēda” means and stands for in this dance group. „Don’t worry!” is their moto which in Latvian is „Nebēdājies!”.
Many of us have been dancing since childhood, but the group “NEBĒDA” in its present membership came together in 1994. Since then we have taken part in numerous concerts and events in the Balvi region and other places in Latvia. The group has performed in Finland (2002), Great Britain (2008), Estonia (2009, 2026), Lithuania (2014), Greece (2015), Ireland (2013), Belarus (2013), South Korea (2017) .
In September 2015, our group participated in XV.International music & folk-dance festival – competition “Neos Marmaras Cup 2015.’’ (Greece), where we won the 1st place. In 2017 we took part, and we won the main prize in Andong Mask Festival in South Korea (the festival was hosted by IOV Korea). Our dancers really enjoyed the process and organization of this festival.