top of page

We danced in Belgium

On Wednesday, December 29, our dance team of the dance fairy tale Think of us! went to Brussels for as many as two visits. We planned and agreed for a long time, because the organization was demanding both on the technical and financial side, and with us everything has to have its own "tail and head". That's why we were all the more happy that the hosting moment really came and the dance team: Iva Šantek, Sara Bračun Duhovnik and Sara Brčvak, under the leadership of the creator of the show Katja Vidmar and the technical leader of the expedition Albert Podrekar, set off on their journey. Unfortunately, our dancer Špela Dolinar, who was bedridden by illness, stayed at home. Our loyal companion this time was the van we rented from the company Nomad2000 from Ljubljana, and we felt very comfortable driving it on our 2,500 km journey.

Departure at 3 o'clock in the morning, and the journey through snowy Austria and long Germany, via small Luxembourg to Belgium, where we arrived after eighteen hours of driving. Accommodation in an apartment in the Forest district of Brussels and a well-deserved rest.

The next day, we were met at the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, where we parked our car and went to meet with representatives of the office of the European Member of Parliament, Irena Joveva, who also personally supported our trip to Belgium, for which we are extremely grateful. Unfortunately, Mrs. Joveva was already on an urgent business trip, but we managed to thank her through her colleagues.

At 11 o'clock, Mr. Robert Velikonja, an experienced man, met us in front of the European Parliament.

a diplomat, a great expert on the functioning and structure of the European Parliament and head of the office of MEP Ljudmila Novak. We are really glad that we met and that we had a unique guided visit to the Parliament with all the little stories and interesting facts about the greatness of this place of European power and decisions. One of the most impressive parts of the visit was certainly the moment when we were able to enter the meeting hall of the European Parliament in the middle of the plenary session and see and hear the operation of this "machine" with our own eyes. This was followed by a meeting with Mrs. Ljudmila Novak, who gave us a warm and smiling reception.

We talked a lot and exchanged a lot of experience, as well as looking for opportunities for cooperation, for which we are extremely grateful. We are united by our love for art and the Slovenian language, as both Mrs. Novak and our Katja Vidmar are Slovene scholars with a lot of experience. We were very honored to receive this kind invitation and were able to visit Mrs. Novak in her office, and later we went to lunch, where we talked about work in European institutions, and we presented our past activities and our plans for the future .

The cordial meeting passed too quickly and we slowly had to go back to the Slovenian embassy, where the highlight of the day awaited us - the performance of the children's dance fairy tale Think of us and a visit to Santa Claus. The "good fairies" Eva Žumer, Helena Kurnik and Lea Iskra awaited us at the embassy. The team with whom we planned this meeting for so long with the aim of conjuring up this evening for Slovenian children as a special event that they will always remember... As many as 150 guests from all over Belgium gathered, they came from all over, it was said, yes even from Luxembourg. So our dancers had a very special energy in the beautifully decorated meeting hall of the embassy, where there was not even a New Year's tree missing.

The Slovenian ambassador, Ms. Barbara Sušnik, also addressed the audience and pointed out the importance of socializing and facilitating the Slovenian language and customs to all Slovenians abroad, and she herself drew attention to the educational message of the play and invited the audience to make voluntary contributions to buy food for the abandoned animals of the Ljubljana Shelter.

This already fifth dance fairy tale by Katja Vidmar put a smile on the faces of children and parents, and some viewers really got into the role of small animals who were frightened by the explosion of firecrackers and rockets and ran into the forest, where they got lost. But since no problem is unsolvable, the small animals sorted out the situation, and gave the children a message to just poke their parents on the sleeve and warn them about the plight of small animals when using pyrotechnics.

After the performance, the children quickly snuggled up to their dancing heroes and a joint photo shoot followed.

Then the bell rang. Santa Claus came with a big bag of gifts. The evening passed in joy so far from Slovenia, and we were extremely happy to be part of this great heartwarming event.

So we slowly said goodbye to our "good fairies", to whom we sincerely thank once again and we are proud that together for the first time, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Belgium, the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Slovenia to the European Union, Katja Dance Company and the SloBel association, we organized this kind of event.

The next morning, Mr. Primož Jan, who took over the organization of the event at EEB1 Uccle, was already waiting for us at the door of the European School in Brussels at 7 o'clock, where 85 Slovenian students of this school were waiting for us.

The performance of the fairy tale took place in the large dining room of the European school, which is attended by over 4,000 students, 600 employees and comprises 30 buildings and is actually a real school campus. As an interesting fact, the current President of the European Commission Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson attended this school during their childhood, and Katja Vidmar, the founder of the Katja Dance Company, also taught there for a year. So, in addition to the children, we were also greeted with big hugs by the Slovenian teachers of this school.

The Slovenian headmistress, Mrs. Simona Cajhen, addressed the gathering and greeted everyone present. And our show began.

A big round of applause after the performance and a photo shoot for memory. The children were happy to be part of an event that was organized just for them, and in the Slovenian language. They also showed their enthusiasm by hugging the animals.

This was followed by a tour of the campus and then a free afternoon in the capital of Belgium, so that we could exchange impressions, knowledge, feelings, performances of fairy tales, all the adventures and messages of the last two days. A joint dinner, a visit to the Christmas fair and a tour of the center of Brussels, including the magnificent light show on the Grand Place, connected us even more strongly in our common love - dance creation and performance.

In the following days, we will take the food we buy with the proceeds of the shows to the shelter, so that even the little kitties and puppies will have something from our expedition. There was already a short report of the evening on Radio Slovenija, where the president of the Slovenian Society in Belgium, Mrs. Lea Iskra, described the event (click here and skip to minute 33:44).

In conclusion, we would like to thank the Office of the Government for Slovenians Abroad and the World, because without your participation our hosting and related events simply would not have happened!

Thank you also to everyone who sent us your messages in the past few days and we are glad to have such warm-hearted fellow human beings with us.

We invite you to visit one of our performances, perhaps join our dance group or take part in one of our studio's dance practices, and we will also be happy with your possible donation, with which you will support our voluntary and charitable work, through which we realize the fundamental pillars of our operation:

  • that with the art of dance we draw attention to everyday points in life that significantly affect our lives and the environment;

  • that we provide dance infrastructure for artists who want to live their dance art on stage, while at the same time giving the stage and the audience quality content;

  • to allocate funds from dance performances for humanitarian purposes.

Thank you to all the children from Brussels for welcoming us so nicely.

1 view0 comments


bottom of page