Today's image is titled Orchestra Sloboda Gets 'Em Dancing was photographed by Nataraj Hauser.
A buoyant throng of revelers gathered in the Great Hall in the Memorial Union for Folk Ball 2009 on Saturday night. This winter tradition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison embarked upon its third decade last weekend in a three-day "celebration of dance and camaraderie" for folk traditions from all corners of the globe.
"It is a mid-winter treat for dancers and musicians, who turn out by the hundreds for the event," explains Hauser in the caption of this photo. "There is a light schedule Friday night and Sunday, but the meat of it is on Saturday. The day is filled with workshops on such things as folk dances from such places as Albania, Macedonia, Greece, or the Balkans, and music from those same regions and others too. Participants offer donations for the workshop, savor the experience, then gather again that night for the Folk Ball."
The line-up at the legendary dance party included Madison faves Reptile Palace Orchestra and the locally-based Balkan traditional group Veseliyka, along with the visiting ensembles Orkestar Bez Ime from Minneapolis and Orkestar Sloboda from Milwaukee. "There is something magical about witnessing 300 people performing a Transylvanian line dance," declares Hauser, "snaking and hopping their way through the jam-packed hall, blissed out or brow furrowed in concentration. What a treat!"
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