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Ponitran as a folk ensemble originated 35 years ago. At the beginning of its existence it was an ensemble consisted only of girls. Later on also boys begin to attend it Frantisek Milo and Mr. and Mrs. Javor are considered as founders of Ponitran. They practiced dances of all the regions of Slovakia what helped Ponitran to get into folk life.

The great turn come when approximately 20 years ago choreograph Jan Blaho joined Ponitran as a former dancer of Lusnica, pedagogue of the Faculty of physical education and sports in Bratislava.

At the same time Ing. Marian Jarek (member of the, folk ensemble Zobor) came to Ponitran. They both changed the character of Ponitran in the way of its orientation on folklore especially from Ponitrie. Seeing and listening to this music that represented new tradition surprised the audience. Ponitran presented materials from area of Mala and Velka Lehota, Sladeckovce, Jarok, Drazovce, Janikovce etc.

Nowadays Ponitran as a folk group consisting, of 12 pairs and 15 musicians represents on its performances "dancing blocks" which take 15-20 minutes. The best known are Gajdossky block, Regrutsky block, Pracovny block and Tekovsko-Nitranske pomedzie, in which the original Hungarian Cardas on 2 steps is represented.

Very interesting and original is Zemiansky wedding. This part of Ponitran's program was restored of materials from 17th century where the songs from collection of Anna Syrme Kesser appeared. Songs are very archaic and old. Zemiansky wedding cropped a great success.

There was one thing that helped Ponitran to enlarge the number of its members. The University of Konstantin the Philosopher in Nitra created new cathedra of folklorism and regionalism that is why many new people could finally find their realization in Ponitran.

As far as costumes are concerned they are black and white for boys and red mixed with white for girls

Ponitran has represented its great work almost everywhere in Slovakia. We can see them each year at the Academic festival in Zvolen and in Nitra. Every 3rd year in Czech republic in Strakonice. They had performances also abroad as in Tunis, France, Spain, USA, Turkkey, etc.

Slovakia and especially Nitra can be proud of Ponitan.

Claudia Veghova
Komarno-Nova Straz


Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 6, No. 2, Summer 1998
Copyright Vladimir Linder 1998 
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without the express written permission of Vladimir Linder. All rights reserved.