‘A tour to the West could bring a lot of trouble…’—The Mazowsze State Folk Song and Dance Ensemble during the First Period of the Cold War
During the Cold War, the folklore genre became famous thanks to various touring ensembles from socialist Eastern Europe. One of the most popular was the Mazowsze State Folk Song and Dance Ensemble established in 1948 by decree of the Polish Ministry of Culture and Art. This essay focuses on the touring activity of Mazowsze in the 1950s from the perspective of secret state documents kept by the Ministry of Culture and Art. It will show that in the first period of the Cold War this ensemble—although it considered itself much more as an ambassador of Polish folklore art than as an ambassador of communism—served as a twofold metonymic representation of both the overarching Soviet idea and the ‘new’ Poland.