The Albanian National Popular Ensemble celebrated 60th anniversary through festive gala concert held on 11- 12th November in Tirana. The most known artists, part of this Ensemble History who is still alive, were invited in the stage to perform and to bring their memories. It was a fantastic show with the best folk music and Albanian dance during the latest decades. This ensemble is very important for its role in preserving the heritage of culture and tradition passed from one generation to another.
The institution was created in autumn of 1957, with all artistic components it has now. But the origin of the Ensemble was earlier, in year 1950 with “Albanian Philharmonic orchestra” which gave the first shows with Folk Music and Dance in different open stages or squares of Albania. These performances included: “Albanian Wedding 1947, “The peoples brotherhood” (1950) “Peace flag” 1952 etc. The main artists playing in these first shows, where the core group who created the National Popular Ensemble.
This institution is 60 years, but it doesn’t mean that the songs and tradition of Albanians are so young. They are created in centuries, and are transmitted to our generation by our predecessors. Through songs and dance we also show the best traditions of local costumes in different parts of Albania. We continue to keep the same tradition, producing the original costumes models and presenting them not only in concerts in Albania but also overseas.
The main artists remembered in this 60th anniversary, who has contributed the most for preserving folk music and traditional dance are: the great compositor Cesk Zadeja, the first artistic director of this Ensemble in 1957 and the talented choreographer Gezim Gaceli, as the first director of dance Group. Other artists remembered in this anniversary were: Tish Daija, Milto Vako, Aleksandër Peçi, Panajot Kanaçi, Besim Zekthi, Agron Aliaj, Engjëll Tërshana, Ramazan Bogdani, Fehmi Shaqiri, Besim Jazexhiu and the best couple of dancers Rexhep Çeliku and Liljana Cingu. Part of this Ensemble were also the well-known names of Albanian repertoire such as: Vaçe Zela, Ibrahim Tukiçi, Luçie Miloti, Fitnete Rexha, Irini Qirjako, Merita Halili, Fatma Zyberi, Janaq Mici, Fiqerete Kapaj, Valdete Hoxha etc.
In the ending ceremony of this festive anniversary was present the President of Albania, the Minister of Culture and many other high personalities. One of the old dancers Besim Zekthi was honored with the highest tittle Nation's Honor by the President of Republic.