Brave Festival

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Brave Festival
Logo of the Brave Festival.jpg
Genre World music, Rituals, Theatre, Prayers
Dates first half of July
Location(s) Wroclaw, Poland
Years active 2005 – present
Founded by Grzegorz Bral

Brave Festival – Against Cultural Exile is a Polish festival organized since 2005 by Song of the Goat Theatre Association. It takes place in Wroclaw, as well as in other cities in Lower Silesia. For over 10 years artists from all over the world are invited to present their traditions. The festival is intended as an opportunity for attendees to speak about where they come from, their values, their tradition and their spirituality. It aims to save and protect forgotten, abandoned and forlorn cultures. Brave Festival also has a project called Brave Kids, which aims is to introduce, integrate and start a collaboration of artistic groups of children from different continents. Grzegorz Bral is a director of Brave Festival.[1]

In 2011 Brave Festival was included in the official list of The Cultural Programme of the Polish EU Presidency 2011 in a category “Cylic cultural events and festivals organized by local and non-governmental institutions”. Its high-raking character confirms a fact that festival is yearly granted by following patronages: President of the City of Wroclaw - Rafal Dutkiewicz, UNESCO, Marshal of the dolnośląskie voivodeship - Rafał Jurkowlaniec and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Idea of Brave Festival[edit]

Since now there were ten editions of festival: The Magic of Voice (2005), Voices of Asia (2006), Drowned Songs (2007), The Ritual starts it Africa (2008), Prayers of the world (2009), Enchanters (2010), The Mask (2011), Women Initiating (2012), Lost Rhythm (2013), Sacred Body (2014), Griot (2015) and Outcasts (2016). Each edition presents concerts, theatre, performances, rituals, prayers and art of the people, tribes, groups or individuals from all over the world.

During the festival people, who don’t agree on exile from their own traditions and sensitivity, share with their culture. They are brave enough to oppose a lost of real traditions, songs and spiritual heritage of our cultures in the world of temporary, massive goods. Brave Festival tries to support them by concerts, exhibitions, workshops (dance, musical and handicraft ones) and film program. All those events allow a public to see and experience what maybe couldn’t be known in other way.

Festival places were among others: theatres in Wroclaw (Teatr Polski, Wrocławski Teatr Współczesny, Teatr Pieśń Kozła), cinemas (Dolnośląskie Centrum Filmowe), galleries (Galeria BWA Design, ArtBrut) and other cultural places (The White Stork Synagogue, the Impart Art Center, Opera Wroclawska, Wytwórnia Filmów Fabulranych). There were also outdoor events.

Brave Festival hosted artists and groups from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, Australia, Egypt, Georgia, Bulgaria, India, Mali, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Chile, USA, Ukraine, Uganda, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Niger, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Poland, Corse, Rumania, Israel, Sardinia, Macedonia, Marocco, Grance and other countries.

Revenue from festival ticket sales are designated to support humanitarian activities in Tibet led by the international charity organization, ROKPA.

Festival Main Program[edit]


Poster of the Brave Festival 2016 "Outcasts - Wykluczeni"

12th edition of the festival took place between 1st and 16 July 2016 and was organized under the title "Outcasts - Wykluczeni". It was a significant and symbolic edition, because in 2016 more than any in other year so far it dealt specifically with "exile". Organizers decided to discuss people who have always been different in their own communities or in foreign ones, for which they have been stigmatized. "Outcasts - Wykluczeni" was host to a number of events from across the world showing people whose everyday lives are, for a variety of reasons, very difficult and complicated. Brave Festival showed people who used art to change or even utilize their exclusion.[2]

Artists Country Description
Bakri Ki Mashak India Gypsies from The States of Rajasthan
Aeham Ahmad Palestine Pianist and refugee from Syria
Deafbeat Malaysia Deaf drummers from Malaysia
21 Theatre Poland Theatre of actors with Down syndrome
Blind Ballet Company Fernanda Bianchini Brasil Ballet of blind dancers
Candoco Dance Company Great Britain Dance and theatrical group of artists with disabilities
Nalaga'at Theater Israel Theatre of blind and deaf actors
Musicians without Borders Palestine Musicians and social workers
Ivan Perez i Korzo Producties Netherlands Contemporary dance
Song of the Goat Theatre Poland Performance titled Songs of Lear
Song of the Goat Theatre Poland Performance titled Crazy God
Song of the Goat Theatre Poland Performance titled Portraits of The Cherry Orchard


Poster of Brave Festival 2015 "Griot"

11th edition of the festival titled "Griot" took place between 10th and 17 July 2015. In the cultures of West Africa, griots are guardians of tradition, bards, poets, singers, storytellers and musicians, who for ages have had a great significance for the culture mainly from the area of today’s Gambia, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Liberia and Mauretania. Their stories are tightly connected with sounds and rhythm. For centuries, the function of a griot has been reserved exclusively for men born in one of a few clans, where this honourable role was passed on from generation to generation, from a father to a son. The undeniable role, which they play in creating the African culture, especially today, in the times of sudden civilisation changes, when keeping and protection of own heritage are becoming more and more difficult – makes griots ideally align with the mission of Brave Festival. Among invited artists there were: Kassé Mady Diabaté (Mali), Abou Diarra (Mali), Zanzibar Taarab/Kidumbak Ensemble (Zanzibar) czy Coumbane Ely Mint Warakane (Mauritania).

Artists Country Description
Balla Kouyaté Mali Master of balaphon from Mali
Sona Jobarteh Gambia First female kora virtuoso
Abou Diarra Mali N'goni virtuoso
Ndima Congo Polyphonic sings of pygmies AKA from Congo
Zanzibar Taarab/Kidumbak Ensemble Zanzibar Guardians of the Zanzibari traditions of taarab and kidumbak
Coumbane Ely Mint Warakane Mauritania Mauritanian griot
Kassé Mady Diabaté Mali Descendant of one of the most renowned griot families
Vieux Farka Touré Mali Desert blues of Mali
Song of the Goat Theatre Poland Performance titled Songs of Lear


Poster of Brave Festival "Sacred Body" 2014

10th edition of Brave Festival titled „Sacred Body” took place between 4th and 17 July 2014. The festival's program focused on the theatre, dance and ritual – all of them come from artistic traditions in which the body, the leitmotif, is shown either in a literal or in a symbolic way. Among others we invited Rama Vaidyanathan – mistress of classical Indian dance Bharata Natjam, Melanie Lomoff – French dancer with ballet education and Koffi Kôkô – voodoo priest and a representative of contemporary African dance. This year's Brave Festival main program was also accompanied by Film Program divided into three theme sections: Brave People Doc, Brave Contexts and Brave Focus, devoted to India. The Festival’s opening film was ‘The Light of Asia’ by Franz Osten from 1925 featuring live music – an original score composed and performed by the Divana Ensemble from Rajasthan.

Artists Country Description
Balega Indonesia Music of the body in the randai tradition of Western Sumatra
Koffi Kôkô Benin Choreographies of African voodoo
Melanie Lomoff France Modern dance inspired by human figures from triptychs by Francis Bacon
Mudijettu India Ritual theatre from the temples of Kerala
Rama Vaidyanathan India Indian dance of body and soul Bharata Natjam
Rupinder India Ritual songs of India
Sarpam Thullal India Ritual devoted to the Serpent Gods from Kerala
Teatr 21 Poland Performance The Love Boat
Song of the Goat Theatre Poland Performance titled Songs of Lear


Poster of Brave Festival "Lost Rhythm" 2013

Brave Festival – Against Cultural Exile, 9th edition titled „Lost Rhythm” took place between 7th and 12 July 2013 in Wroclaw. The program of the 9th edition of Brave Festival, as each year, consisted of performances, concerts, film screenings, exhibitions, workshops and open forum meetings. During six days we hosted many extraordinary artists from all over the world who presented a number of authentic and little known rituals, ceremonies, sacred songs and other artistic traditions from Asia, Africa, South Africa and Europe. Among others we invited those representatives of various distant cultures (dancers, singers and actors) whose artistic activity circles around rhythm and its meaning. Our audience then had a chance to take part in the “One” – performance of Korean group “Cheong-bae” which presented the Yeon-hee style: a combination of ritual, shamanistic music, dance and acrobatics. Among others we also hosted Addal, group of a women from Berber people performing the addal dance, a unique form of ahouach and Rotal Drummers of Burundi. This year’s Brave Festival main program was accompanied also by a series of meetings under a banner of Brave Meetings . During this year's Brave Festival, the audience had the opportunity to get to know members of the guest performers in Wroclaw. In addition to the above, we screened 19 film images as part of Brave Festival film program and each of them referred to our this-year theme – the rhythm – in more or less obvious way. Also, the fourth edition of Brave Kids took place 25.06-13.07.2013 in Wroclaw, Puszczykowo, Warsaw, Lodz and Krosnice. We gathered 114 kids and leaders from following countries: India, Uganda, Zimbabwe, China, Georgia, Israel, Czech Republic, Laos, Iran, Kyrgyzstan and Poland.[3]

Artists Country Description
Addal Morocco Moroccan dance of women of the Ameln Valley
Bachu Khan Pakistan Moroccan dance of women of the Ameln Valley
Cheong-Bae South Korea Korean rituals and ceremonies with a dance Gim Cheonbukchum
Houria Aïchi & L’Hijâz’Car Algeria Korean rituals and ceremonies with a dance Gim Cheonbukchum
Mohini Devi Rajasthan Snake dance of the Kalbelias of Rajasthan
Ngqoko Group Republic of South Africa Women's choir of the Xhosa people from South Africa
Rupinder India Music of the proud sons of the Indian Punjab
Sona Jobareth Gambia Music of royal kora in feminine interpretation
Song of the Goat Theatre Poland Performance titled Songs of Lear
The Drummers of Burundi Burundi Royal percussionists


Poster of Brave Festival "Women Initiating" 2012

Between 2nd and 7 July 2012 the 8th edition of Brave Festival – festival against cultural exile – one of the most unusual initiatives in Europe, held again in Wroclaw (Poland). 2012 year’s edition was entitled „Women Initiating”. The program included projects presented by women from around the world. Brave Festival is a unique event, as apart from revealing to the audience the secrets of vanishing cultures, it also provides help to others. 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales are donated each year to ROKPA International, an organization that supports children in Nepal, Tibet and African countries. During 2012 year’s edition we saw among others the prenuptial tradition of unyago, presented by Bi Kidude – a one hundred-years’ old drummer from Zanzibar; we also heard the voices of the elderly ladies from the Meninas de Sinhá group from Brazil, who shown us how one can face the adversities of life with the help of singing and playing music; while the descendants of the Tuareg people, whom the members of Tartit group from Mali are drawn from, proved to us that the blues derives from Africa.

Artists Country Description
Ambuya Nyati Zimbabwe Mbira music from the tradition of the Shona people
Bi Kidude Zanzibar Unyago tradition – initiation ritual of Zanzibar
Casletila Georgia Female choir of the Svaneti people
Debaa Majotte Female group singing in Sufi tradition
Jukurrpa Australia Ceremony of Warlpiri women
Maduma Women’s Drumming Group Tanzania Music and dance mapelembo tradition
Meninas de Sinhá Brasil Vocal group of elder women
Song of the Goat Theatre Poland Performance titled Songs of Lear
Tartit Mali Hypnotic music of Tuaregs – Saharan ethnic group
Terah Tali Pakistan Performance of sound and music by women from Rajasthan


Poster of Brave Festival "The Mask" 2011

7th edition took place from 2nd till 8 July 2011 under the title "Mask". The title mask, instead of covering and hiding, brings closer the rich culture of various parts of the world, among others Bali, Sri Lanka, Furkina Faso or Sardinia. In 2011 the audience had a chance to meet the authentic culture, forgotten traditions, mysterious rituals and the art of the most remote regions of our globe. The indigenous artists and representatives of dying cultures have arrived to the capital city of Lower Silesia; cultures which can be searched for, in vain, during other festivals and on the omniscient Internet. The festival audience had the unique chance to see the representative of the Sardinian carnival – Mamuthones, dancers from Bali, the traditional Hindu drama – Kathakali, or Blind Note – a show by musicians performing, in complete darkness, on traditional, local instruments. Furthermore, the main events were accompanied by a series of documentaries, the Brave Kids project, exhibitions, meetings with the artists and workshops.

Artists Country Description
Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal Senegal Virtuosos of Kora and Cello
Bwa Tribe Burkina Faso Masks of the Moon – fiery ritual
Be-being South Korea Multimedia project devoted to the mask
Blind Note multicultural group World Music played in darkness
Kathakli India Indian theatre tradition combining drama and dance
Mamuthones Sardinia Mask ritual from Middle Ages
Marcin Jarnuszkiewicz Poland Suite for an Actor and a Puppet
Reza Mazandarani Iran Improvised music
Saharyia India Swang Dance
Song of the Goat Theatre Poland Performance titled Songs of Lear
Topeng Pejgan – I Made Djimat India Mask performance of ten personifications
Tovil Dancers Sri Lanka Exorcisms of the Sinhala People


Poster of BraveFestival "Echanters" 2010

The 6th edition of Brave Festival was called “Enchanters” and aimed to focus on the presentation a wide range of traditions in which word has a significant meaning, not being only a sound or an information carrier, traditions that recognize the energy of word and pay a great attention to its poetic, power of expression, melody and rhythm. Invited by organizers to Wroclaw came the solo artists and groups from all over the world, among others: Korean mistress of ancient art pansori – Ahn Sook-Sun, Bi Kidude – 100 years old diva of taraab music from Zanzibar, Bulgarian group Bistritsa performing Balkan polyphonies and Sekouba Traoré, Malian master of donso n'goni.

Artists Country Description
Ahn Sook-sun South Korea Old Korean opera tradition – pansori
Bi Kidude Zanzibar Queen of African music tradition taarab
Bistritsa Bulgaria Balkan polyphonic songs of healing
Lorenzo Aillapan Chile The Bird-Man – onomatopoeic vocal shows of the Mapuche Indians
Mawawil Egypt Improvised ballads of the Egyptian wilderness
Mazaher Egypt Forbidden tradition of Zar: a pre-Islamic ritual
Nuna Burkina Faso Mask dances
Royal Drummers of Burundi Burundi Rhythms from the heart of Africa
Sekouba Traoré Mali Virtuoso donso n’goni player
Song of the Goat Theatre Poland Macbeth – avant-garde performance


Poster of Brave Festival "Prayers of the World" 2009

The fifth edition of Brave Festival was entitled “Prayers of the World”. The festival took place not only in Wroclaw, but also in other cities of Lower Silesia, namely Olesnica, Wolow, Swidnica and Klodzko. During the event artists and genuine representatives of traditional cultures performed original songs, rituals and ceremonies connected with prayers and observances still practiced in many religions of different cultural regions of the world, from, among others, Asia, Africa and Europe. The audience had the chance to take part in the rituals performed by a Korean shaman, Tibetan monks or Theyyam dancers.

Artists Country Description
A Filetta Corse Corsican liturgical songs
Divina Serbia Orthodox Liturgies
El Cuadro Flamenco Spain Flamenco concert
Gogo Milungu Group Tanzania Taming ritual
Monks from the Sherab Ling Monastery India Cham dances. Rituals of Tantric Buddhism
Theyyam India Dance of incarnated god – ritual from Kerala state
Zikr Ceremony Georgia Sufi ritual of the Kist women from the Pankisi Gorge


Poster of Brave Festival "The Ritual Starts in Africa" 2008

The fourth edition of Brave Festival was entitled “The Ritual Starts in Africa”. The work of both African artists and others which was presented during this edition enabled spectators to witness new, unknown qualities of the continent and allowed them to discover the core of African culture – the ritual. The festival gave spectators the chance to learn about unique practices, to meet people from culturally distant regions and to learn about various artistic forms of "the dying world". The schedule of the festival consisted of, among other events, performances of dancers and musicians of the Fula tribe from Niger, performances by the women of the Tanzanian Wagogo tribe and many concerts, film showings, workshops, meetings and discussions with invited guests.

Artists Country Description
A Filetta Corse Corsican liturgical songs
Akhtar Sharif Arup Vale Pakistan Concert of Sufi musical tradition Qawwali
Fulbe Niger Dance of man beauty
Romafest Rumunia Bohemian music
Wagogo Muheme Group Tanzania Initiation ritual
Who I Am - Kyendi Breakdance Uganda Breakdance


Poster of Brave Festival 2007 "Drowned Songs"

The third edition of the festival was entitled “Drowned Songs”. The organizers presented not only songs, performances and films, but also the context and sources from which they came. The artists from faraway corners of the world presented, here in Wroclaw, the Berber trans songs of Morocco, the Ukrainian "songs of the marshes", the refined, ancient polyphonies of Caucasus, the polyphonic dialogs of Belgorod, the mystical songs of Sardinia and "shoulder dances" of black Jews from Ethiopia.

Artists Country Description
Alim Quasimov Azerbeijan Master of mugham – modal singing
Beta Dance Troupe Israel Dance of Ethiopian Jewry
Bistri Vodi Macedonia Traditional music from Macedonia
Bunun Tribe Taiwan Pasibutbut – prayer for a bountiful harvest
Descendance Australia Songs and dances inspired by Native Australians
Narodnyj Prazdnik Russia Traditional Russian-Ukrainian songs
Nomadic Theatre Sakhna Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyz epics shown by theatre, music and sculpture
Roudaniates Morocco Roundaniat dance and songs
Song of the Goat Theatre Poland Lacrimosa – experimental theatre
Stari Koni Ukraine Archaic melodies fromWestern Polesie
Theatre of Eight Day Poland Legends of Polish student theater from 1970s and 1980s
Teatro Actores Alidos Sardinia Songs of Sardinian women
Vakhtanguri Georgia Traditional songs from the region of Guria


Posters of Brave Festival "Voices of Asia" 2006

Voices of Asia” was the theme of the second edition of the festival. During this edition the traditions of Laos, Japan, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Siberia were presented. In total 13 bands and 99 artists participated. There were performances, concerts and workshops of traditional dancing and singing. We also presented a series of Asian films which were accompanied by film workshops devoted to creating intercontinental documentary films and to the way films are shot. The audience were also able to attend lectures and meetings with festival guests.

Artists Country Description
Dulsori South Korea Dance and musical ritual based on percussion instruments
Gamelan Asmaradana Singapore Performance based on folk songs from eastern Asia
Irkuck Ensemble Authentic Music Russia Concert of musicians from Irkuck
Joji Hirota and the Taiko Drummers Japan Japanese drummers
Majowe Byki Poland Concert of music inspired by Africa
Masala Soundsystem Poland Musical concert
Noirin Ni Riain and A.M.E.N. Ireland Irish songs Sean-Nos
Peter Surasena Dance and Drum Ensemble Sri Lanka Dance performance Kandyan
Phalak Phalam Vientiane Laos Traditional dance theatre from Laos
Stage Punkgkyung South Korea Performance titled Pokojówki
Song of the Goat Theatre Poland Spektakl titled Chronicles – A lamentation
Song of the Goat Theatre Poland Lacrimosa – experimental theatre
Taipei Dance Circle Taiwan Dance performance
Tiat Moo South Korea Ritual performance
Uch-Sume-R Russia Traditional folk songs from native people from Khakassia
Yasukatsu Oshima Songs of My Island Japan Traditional Japanese music based on sanshin
Yerba Mater Poland Concert of Polish band inspired by cultures of the Old World


Poster of Brave Festival 2005 "The Magic of Voice"

The first edition of Brave Festival was entitled "The Magic of Voice". It explored the subject of voice – broadly understood – through performances built around songs and through concerts and workshops devoted to various vocal techniques, and to learning how to play traditional instruments mostly from the former Soviet Republics. During the festival, which lasted four days, there were presented, among others, the Siberian ugadan kurduk, singing from Tuva, the music of Svans, Khakassian singing with quarter-tones and semitones, the music of the Sufi tradition, the liturgical songs of monks from Atos, traditional Ukrainian songs, the music of Ancient Greece and African stories.

Artists Country Description
Alash Tuva Concert of traditional instruments from Tuva and chomiej – guttural singing
Abdon Fortune Koumbha Kaf Congo Traditional Congo stories
Amelia Cuni and Werner Durand Italy/German Traditional music from West and East combined with modern sounds
Ayarhaan Yakutia Guttural singing in the dyjeretyi style
Barber Llorenc Spain Concert for voices and bells
Charkow Sergiej, Charkow Julia Russia Khai and overtone singing
CHOREA Theatre Poland Concert and dance performance titled Unknown sources of music and dance from Europe – Ancient Greece
Czejniesz Bajtuszkina, Georgij Bieleckij Russia Altaic singing
DahaBraha Ukraine Etno-chaos – Ukrainian folk music
Fatima Miranda Spain Performance combined with concert
Haig Yazdijan Oriental Project Armenia/Greece/Iran Concert inspired by culture of Orient
Irkutsk Ensemble Authentic Music Russia Concert of musicians from Irkuck
Oktoich Choir Poland Male choir from Wroclaw
Song of the Goat Theatre Poland Lacrimosa – experimental theatre
ZAR Theatre Poland Performance titled Gospels of Childhood
Żar Russia Traditional folk songs

Brave Kids[edit]

A part of Brave Festival is a project called Brave Kids, which consists of 3-weeks workshops for artistic groups of kids. Those kids come from regions deeply affected by natural disasters, political conflicts, homlessness or poverty. An educative programof Brave Kids has a clear priority in the center of which is a good and care of young person.

The pilot edition of Brave Kids took place in Wroclaw in 2009. Organizers have invited children from Nepal and Uganda to participate in a two-week long artistic workshops, which culminated in a final performance prepared together with children from one of Wroclaw’s day-shelters. The workshop were implemented by Grzegorz Bral, Abraham Tekya and Leya Wyler.

First official edition of Brave Kids happened between 25 June 2010 and 09th of July 2010. Artistic groups of kids from 6 different regions of the world, influenced by tragic experiences of historical, social and natural disasters came to Wroclaw to create a performance together. Kids from Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Nepal, Sweden Chechnya, Ingushetia and Poland during 2 weeks of workshops were exchanging artistic skills and show their talents. Apart of learning how to deal with cultural and language barrier young artists found out the new ways to build a mutual understanding among each other. 55 participants including children, youth, artistic leaders were working towards international dialogue and got most out of this cultural exchange.

To profound a multicultural dialogue kids were accommodated with 22 host families from Wroclaw. The culmination of the project was a common performance of 55 participants within the final concert of Brave Kids in the Impart Art Center.


  1. ^ Berent, Jolanta Maria (1 June 2011). "Teatr i zupa dla bezdomnych". Zwierciadło. 
  2. ^ Piekarska, Magda. "Nadchodzi Brave Festival". 
  3. ^ Matuszewska, Małgorzata. "Brave Festival dla Tybetańczyków". Gazeta Wrocławska. 

External links[edit]