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Many years ago I have seen the folk ensemble Zeleziar perform at Vychodna festival for the first time. Later in 1989, while participating in choreography course through Matica Slovenska I met and was train by Zeleziar's choreographer Vladimir Urban in Kezmarok and in 1990 Hybe.

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Vladimir is a very hard worker, one of the few remaining choreographers that really put in 150 % at all times. His work and dedication to the folklore reflected by Zeleziar's performances at the festivals. They always show us something new and very innovative. 

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The ensemble excels with its special dramaturgy successful experimental choreographic creation and utilization of wide scale of musical instruments. In its visual expression the ensemble exploits from variety and vast difference of Eastem Slovakia's regions. In their program they have songs and dances from Zemplin, Spis and Abov regions of Eastem Slovakia.

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In 1994, Zeleziar celebrated its 30th anniversary with new gala program in November. The folk ensemble used to be under the umbrella of the giant iron foundry-Eastem Slovakia Iron Works in Kosice. Recently they lost their support. 

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So, Vladimir Urban a man always with positive vision formed a Folklore Studio in Kosice at the beginning of 1993, and Zeleziar is their most expressive representative. There are 40 dancers, 20 singers and 10 musicians.

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They also have children ensemble of 130 children called "Zeleziarik," (small Iron men) split into three age categories. In their now 32 years of existence they represented Slovak culture 54 times in nineteen states of Europe, Asia and Africa. Last November I have seen their new program from Abov region: "Ked nas scece tu nas mace, If you want us, here we are," presented in the National Theatre in Kosice.

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If you like to get more information about Zeleziar please write to them, their address is:

Kosicke Folklorne Studio-FS Zeleziar
Masarykova 2
040 01 Kosice

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Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 1, No.4, Winter 1993
Copyright Vladimir Linder 1993 
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.