Shtetl #2: Shtetl Tango

61Shtetl final 2020

The second edition of our festival “Shtetl Saint-Gilles/ Sint-Gillis: Shtetl Tango” will happen in the heart of the beautiful Saint-Gilles district in Brussels, Belgium, from 29 April to 3 May 2020. “Shtetl” means “village” or “small town” in Yiddish, the language that was spoken in Jewish communities in central and Eastern Europe. And it is this idea of a village that inspires us to (re)create a community and space to discover and share Yiddish culture through music, singing and dance.

Building on the theme of migration and cultures that travel through time and space, this year’s festival will have a particular focus on the traditions of Yiddish tango, with a special evening programme ‘Tangele’, and also an introductory workshop to Argentinian tango. At the same time, our team of experienced teachers from all over Europe will be running workshops in Yiddish song, Yiddish dance, and instrumental klezmer music for people of all ages and from all backgrounds to take part. The evening programme comprises concerts, a “nigunim party”, a ball, and jam sessions… The festival offers an opportunity for both newcomers and those who already know the culture to come together and create  a community to have fun and also participate in this vibrant culture. For the first time this year, we will also organise a “philosophers’ café”: a space to discuss themes of migration, intercultural and social exchange. In addition, we could hardly miss a chance to celebrate 1 May together with a themed afternoon around songs and texts from the workers’ movements, in Yiddish and other languages.

In short, this return to the Shtetl has something for everyone, no matter your age or background!

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