The National Ensemble of Songs and Dance “Shota” was established on 30th of September 1950, as National Ensemble, a decision from the Assembly of Autonomous Province of Kosovo, similar to other three ensembles from ex-Yugoslavia: “Llado” – Zagreb, “Kollo” – Belgrade and “Tanec” – Skopje. This decision made Ensemble “Shota” one of the first artistic and cultural institutions in Kosovo. The task of the Ensemble was to maintain and develop the domestic folklore (national folk songs and dances) also researching new forms of refined folk art. However, on 18th March 1954, with a stunning decision of the Executive Council of Kosovo’s Assembly, without any given reason, functionality of the Ensemble was switched off. All of this happened in a very difficult political period of time for Albanians in Kosovo, which were practically in a total curfew from Serbia and were denied by all the national rights. In this period many Albanian families were expulsed to Turkey. A huge number of activists were imprisoned and persecuted. In this period of time culminated the notorious action of weapons in 1956, led by ex-minister of the internal affairs of Yugoslavia, Serbian ultra- nationalist Alexandar Rankovic. Ex-members of the Ensemble, with no other choice left, joined other amateur Cultural-Artistic Groups that were operating in a small number in Kosovo just to keep going the cultural activity. Most of them joined the Cultural-Artistic Society “Gerçek” from Pristine.
After ten-year of pause, on March 1964, while nineteen-sixty policy in Kosovo was unmasked from the head leader of ex-Yugoslavia and also after its ideologist, A. Rankovic, was punished, there was a revitalization of conditions to re-establishment of the National Ensemble of Songs and Dance. In this period, with the decision of Assembly of Kosovo, once again, this ensemble was reactivated and named as National Ensemble “Shota” *. While the period 1950-1954 was used mainly to collect talented members and to establish the work, after 1964, the Ensemble “Shota” played an irreplaceable role on maintaining and developing folk songs and dances of all peoples who lived in Kosovo, but especially Albanian songs and dances, as 90% of Kosovo’s population were Albanians. This Ensemble affirmed the genuine cultural and national values of originality of costumes, authentic melodies and special exotic dances. With all of these, the Ensemble was represented in more than 50 different countries around the world, in all continents. According to evidence, during this 60 years’ period, the Ensemble “Shota” performed more than 7500 concerts in Kosovo, ex-Yugoslavia, Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Australia.
*Since 1994, the Ensemble is functioning with the new nomination, as: National Ensemble of Songs and Dance “Shota”.