Watch: Ritualistic Latvian folk dance

The Zalktis (Grass snake) folk dance collective have published one of the first folk dance videos in the history of Latvian culture to date. The dance, titled Es nemiršu šai zemē (This is not the land where I'll die) was authored by the collective's founder Arta Melnalksne who passed away recently.

"It's not standard folk dance that we've used to seeing on stage. It's more like a ritual," Jānis Romanovskis, a dancer in the collective told LTV Tuesday.

"It's a ritual of self-awareness in which you can lower yourself to the most primitive, lowest levels of yourself and rise up again and connect with the godhead," said dancer Kristīne Zdanovska.

"It was the idea of [collective founder Arta Melnalksne] to create not only classical folk dance, but such dance that's rooted in very old traditions kept by Latvians since the Middle Ages," said Zdanovska.

Melnalksne's dances feature symbols and life views which the choreographer kept following throughout her years.

"We enter this world and learn to be happy. And, the deeper we move into our world of technology, the further we are from nature and the more we have to learn to be happy.

We're looking for our place in the world through these symbols and dances, we're looking for our own path to ourselves as happiness is right here and we often forget about it," Melnalksne told LTV in 2003.

The video was shot by the Zalktis collective on the night of the summer solstice.

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