Junii Sibiului is the oldest folk Romanian dance group, which has become a universal treasure. Set up in 1944 by the choreographer Ioan Macrea, the group evolved from a male group to a mixed ensemble and later on gained the status of Professional Folk Ensemble.
Ioan Macrea gathered some lads who shared his passion for dancing; thus, he set up the first Romanian folk dance group, a group that evolved to a mixed one. Macrea called the folk group Junii Sibiului, which is “The lads of Sibiu”, thus reminding people of the winter traditions from Gura Râului, his native village, but also of the Lad’s dances in Romania – part of UNESCO Intangible Heritage.
Junii Sibiului put on stage dances and customs from all over the country and the efforts of the dancers and the skills of the choreographer were cherished in local, county and national performances. Later on, the ensemble participated in contests and festivals abroad, in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.
In 1992, the ensemble merged with Cindrelul orchestra and, ever since, it functions as a professional group with musical and choreographic departments.
In 1999, the Ensemble became part of the County Centre of Folk Creation, led by Traian Rapiţă, then by Ioan Dinu and since 2005 by Silvia Macrea, the daughter of the choreographer Ioan Macrea.
The trademark Junii Sibiului represents now four generations of dancers: the children from “Ioan Macrea” Dance School, the teenagers from “Ceata Junilor” Ensemble, the adults from Junii Sibiului and the old generation, which is “The Veterans of Junii Sibiului”, who prove that the passion for traditional culture and dancing stays alive even at the age of 70. These four generations form Junii Sibiului family and perform every year at “Ioan Macrea” National Folklore Festival, in Sibiu. This festival is well-known as the place where traditions meet, the place where folk songs and dances from all Romanian regions can be seen. The cultural event was set up in the memory of Ioan Macrea, in 1999, and has evolved into a national cultural event gathering over 600 people: renowned professional choreographers, dancers and vocalists.