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  Veselin Maslesa

Group Info

Type of organization
Bosnia & Herzegovina
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Banja Luka was founded in 1948 by, at that time, City Youth Organization, as a volunteer organization. Aim was to engage young people to care traditional folk culture and folk art(music, dance, songs, folk costume and old tradition) then to develop other forms of cultural and artistic activities(drama, painting, literature etc.), and to prevent them from falling into forgetfulness by presenting them to the publicity. Ever since, Society has been performing activities without any disruptions, not even during the last war(1991-1995) when it was on service to the Serbian people, both civilians and Republika Srpska’s Army, as well as in hospitals, schools, humanitarian organizations.

        In the last 58 years of existence, our groups and ensembles have performed around 6 000 shows, both nationally and internationally (in almost all European countries and some Asian), in front of more than 6 000 000 spectators, TV-watchers not included.

        Only during the four year war (1991-1995) ensembles and groups of this Society performed 180 shows, mainly for soldiers and wounded soldiers of the Republika Srpska’s Army.
We had 46 of our active members as soldiers in RS Army, and many more old members of which 6 lost their lives, and many were wounded and got heavy disability.

        In 54 years of activity, Society has achieved great results in many fields.
  - Painting section of this society was the first form of organized painting activity in Banja Luka and the embryo of current Artists Society. Members of this section, as part of the section or individually, characterized art in Banja Luka in the last 50 years.
  - Young writers club, as section of our CKUDM “Veselin Maslesa” is also the embryo of local organization of writers, which is part of PEN Club of Bosnia and Herzegovina. All significant writers in Banja Luka in the last five decades, read their works on this section meetings and published them within our publishing.

  - Drama section of this society, later Theatre of Poetry, had moments of stardom, great achievements and distinguished individuals, some of which had great careers as actors and directors in theatres throughout Yugoslavia.
  - Though, folklore ensemble CKUDM “Veselin Maslesa”, that has most members, has achived the greatest results.

        Within the ensemble, there is several sections: folklore section, music section, vocal soloists and, most recently, native vocal group.
This ensemble has been for the last three decades among 5-10 leading amateur folklore ensembles in former Yugoslavia, and most recently absolutely the leading one in Republic Of Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

        Folklore ensemble has had on its repertoire for the past three decades between 20 and 25 shows(choreography), constantly performing them, which is extremely hard and it is almost unique example. Of special quality is part of our repertoire(10 shows) of Serbian folkdances from Republic of Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Keeping folklore tradition from our region in life this ensemble is having as a goal.

        In the groups and sections of our society, since the founding, we have had around 10 000 members, and annually number of members has varied from 100 in the first couple of years, to 700 in the period between 1970-1990, which depended on capacity of our facilities.

        For the past 10 years, society have had around 300 active members-children, teenagers and workers, who are divided in four sections and 8 groups in accordance with their age. All of them are putting a lot of effort to maintain high level of program performance, which makes society’s good reputation last for such a long period of time. We have high quality activities with our youngest. Children’s folklore ensemble has become famous in Banja Luka, as well as in other parts of former Yugoslavia and abroad, with their whole evening programs of ten choreography adjusted for children performers, all including matching folk costumes. Greatest achievement of this ensemble is winning of award “Ajason d’Or”(Golden dancer) at the International Festival of Children’s Folklore in 1980 in French city of Math organized by C.I.O.F.F.(World association of folklorists within UNESCO).
Renewal of membership(as well as acceptance of new members) has been done annually in September each year.