During the 14th Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival on 1 July, almost fifty Lithuanian folk dance groups from around the world shook up Boston. Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is one of the sponsors of the festival, which brought together about 1.8 thousand dancers, including Ambassador of Lithuania to the U.S. Žygimantas Pavilionis and other diplomats from the Lithuanian Embassy, urm.lt reports.
According to Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis, this Lithuanian folk dance festival not only reached a high artistic level, but also had “profound civic and political implications, promoting a tradition of solidarity and rekindling the spirit of patriotism”.
“I wish for every world Lithuanian to hear the echo of the 14th Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival, because this event represents our feelings of community togetherness and emotions that connect and unite us,” Ažubalis wrote in his greetings letter.
On this occasion, the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden also sent his greeting to everyone gathered in the festival. He emphasized that the commitment of folk dance teachers, musicians, and dancers of second, third, and fourth generation Lithuanian-Americans had helped strengthen the bonds of community between Lithuania and the United States, and preserve the rich cultural heritage of those who struggled so long to see their native land free and independent once more.
“Lithuania is a close friend of the United States and a stalwart NATO ally, as President Obama reaffirmed when he spoke to President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė during the NATO Summit in Chicago last month,” Biden wrote in his letter to the Ambassador of Lithuania.
The folk dance festivals have taken place every four years since 1957. This year, for the first time ever, the festival was organized in Boston, Agganis Arena at Boston University. About 5.000 dancers and spectators from around the world took part in this festival.