Imagine going from Cuba to Poland, from an energetic Caribbean feel to a more classical style, in just a few minutes. Experiences like that might be impossible in everyday life, but they are common at Folklorama events like the pavilions of Cuba and Poland.
At the Cuba pavilion, music was an integral part of the show, with energetic dancing enhancing the bright tunes and giving the impression of a happy, unrestrained culture. Some explanations of the songs might have helped to give listeners a better sense of Cuban culture, but the vibrancy of the show still drew people in.
The Cuban cultural display included some unexpected items: cars. As one of the volunteers explained, Cuba has served as a testing ground for many new car brands before manufacturers introduce the vehicles to North America and Europe.
Energy and technology were integral to the Cuba pavilion. While the Polish pavilion did not have the same kind of dynamism, it had its own qualities of a rich culture with a deep appreciation for both past and present.
Unlike the Cuban show, the Polish performance included narration to explain the origins of the various parts of the show. One of the dances, for example, had Gypsy influences, while others drew on different aspects of European culture.
Besides giving the audience a chance to learn more about the cultural influences on this Eastern European country, the emcee was able to draw people in with interesting items of trivia. For example, prize-wining scientist Marie Curie’s Polish origins might have been a surprise to some people, but facts like this helped to make the pavilion unique.
Music at the Poland pavilion tended more towards the classical than the folk style, and the pieces were much quieter and than the songs at the Cuban site. For people who enjoy that style, however, it was a good contrast to many of the louder performances.
Food at both of the pavilions was delicious, with a good variety served hot throughout the show. Depending on people’s interests and preferences, the Poland or Cuba pavilions are both good choices for Folklorama enthusiasts.