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Jautrais pāris

The ensemble was founded May 13, 1950 in Indianapolis. Ten Latvian youths – in their teens and 20’s – decided to form a Latvian folk dance group not long after coming to the USA from displaced persons’ camps in Germany. When they came together for the first rehearsal, the first folk dance they learned was “Jautrais pāris” – “The Merry Couple.” The first dance instructor for the group was Olga Ieviņa, a teacher by profession.

The ensemble has participated in the following Latvian song and dance festivals in the USA and Canada:

1961 – Toronto; 1963 – Cleveland; 1965 – Toronto; 1968 – Cleveland; 1970 – Toronto; 1973 – Cleveland; 1976 – Toronto; 1978 – Boston; 1981 – Toronto; 1983 – Milwaukee;1986 – Toronto; 1988 – Indianapolis; 1989 – Los Angeles; 1991 – Toronto; 1997 – Cleveland; 2000 – Toronto; 2002 – Chicago; 2004 – Toronto; 2007 – Indianapolis; 2012 – Milwaukee

Latvian song celebration days in the USA and Germany:

1984 – Münster, Germany;1987 – Kursa (West Coast Latvian Center in Shelton, WA); 1995 – Latvian Center Garezers – Three Rivers, MI; 1999 – Latvian Center Garezers; 2005 – Latvian Center Garezers

In Latvia:

1990 – Song and Dance Festival in Rīga; 1993 – Song and Dance Festival in Rīga; 1998 – Song and Dance Festival in Rīga; 2001 – Global Meeting of DV organization in Valmiera; 2013 – Song and Dance Festival in Rīga

Photo of current dancers in the Ensemble taken in February 2012 for the Song Festival in Milwakee
Ensemble Directors:
1950                Olga Ieviņš
1950-1952       Anna Blomkalns
1952-1959       Konstantīns Sventeckis
1960-1970       Jānis Dabars
1962-1968       Jānis Liepnieks
1970-1985       Guna Asons (children’s/youth group)
1970-1988       Rasma Kārkliņš (children’s/youth group)
1971-1976       Māra Caune (young adult group)
1977-1978       Astra Melbārdis (young adult group)
1977-1978       Roberts Vītoliņš (young adult group)
from 1988        Guna Asons (children’s group)
from 1988        Rasma Kārkliņš (children’s group)
from 1988        Iveta Asons (youth/young adult/adult group)
Ensemble Assistants:
1967-1968       Līga Bolšteins
1967-1968       Guna Ozols
1967-1968       Silvija Dzelme
1968-1970       Māra Caune
1985-1987       Iveta Asons
1989-1991       Laura Liepnieks


Since its founding in 1950, approximately 400 dancers have participated in the folk dance ensemble.

For the past 25 years the ensemble has performed at the annual International Festival of Indianapolis. Over the past 10 years the ensemble has performed at various events or festivals, such as the Latvian Independence Day celebration in Indianapolis; Annual Spring Dance at the Latvian Community Center of Indianapolis; Indianapolis Welfare Association’s Lāčplēšu Remembrance; Estonian Independence Day celebration in Indianapolis; Nationalities Council of Indianapolis banquet; Indianapolis Artsgarden; Conner Prairie Indiana Festival; Latvian Center Garezers (MI) Summer Solstice Celebration and Song Celebration Days.

If you are interested in obtaining more information about the Ensemble, Please contact its Instructor, Iveta Asons at iasons@sbcglobal.net. Thank you.