Folk Ensemble was established in 1948 under the auspices of the University of Zagreb, within the Student Cultural and Artistic Association of the same name. As a part of the Association the Ensemble has always aspired to preserve the abundant cultural diversity of Croatian folk and urban tradition. Generations of Goran members or simply Goranovci, have gradually created their own identity in the vast field of Croatian culture by profoundly honouring the traditional music, dances and songs, as well as paying special attention to preservance of Croatian national garments.
Through the years the identity of the Ensemble had virtually grown into the identity of Zagreb, especially into one of Zagreb's Opatovina. In the past sixty years the Goran has played an inevitable part in many of the city's urban legends and nowadays one can hardly find a resident of Zagreb who is not familiar with it.
Devoted to traditional music, songs and dances, the Ensemble gradually created an integral collection of choreographed folk dances from all parts of Croatia, brought to realization by researchers of folk tradition from all around Croatia. Therefore, the Ensemble's programme consists of variety of folk songs and dances coming from Zagorje, Prigorje, Turopolje, Posavina, Moslavina, Međimurje, Slavonia, Baranja, Istra, Lika, Dalmatia (including dances from Split, island Korčula, and Dubrovnik), Dalmatinska Zagora, dances of Croats in Bačka (popularly called Bunjevci), Croats in Hungary and Burgenland in Austria. The Ensemble performed its repertoire on many Croatian folklore festivals but also presented itself to Croatians as well as foreigners throughout Europe, USA, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and Israel.
The great treasury of the Ensemble and one particularly valued, are the 480 individual pieces of traditional costumes from various parts of Croatia. Some of these costumes were reconstructed, but most of them are genuine pieces of traditional clothing with an estimated museum value. This wealthy fund is a result of fieldwork research undertaken by Croatian researchers who carefully selected and bought up pieces of costumes and left them to the future generations' care.
Today, the Ensemble is under the guidance of excellent folklore experts and has around 80 members who are dancers, singers and tamburitza players, mostly students coming from different parts of Croatia. ''Ivan Goran Kovačić'' is also one of the few ensembles which have a Veteran Section that gathers its old members.
The Ensemble continually confirms its artistic level through numerous national and international acknowledgements. The continuous effort to preserve its excellence won the ensemble a well-deserved recognition in Croatia as well as abroad. The one mentioned below was given only in 2008, the year which celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of ensemble's performance.
Some of the special awards are the Silver prize from Zagreb Choir Competition, and Special Rector's Award for the double compact disc. However, the greatest pleasure and appraisal to the Goran is perfoming the art of Croatian dancing and singing in front of the audience.
Being a part of non-profit cultural organization the folklore ansemble IGK realizes its projects, activities and guest performance by relying financialy on the sponsorships. Therefore, all appropriate means of support are appreciated and welcomed.
Folk ensemble leadership:
Dubravko Radić, Artistic director
Tomislav Habulin, Musical director
Mario Pleše, Director of the Orchestra
Danijel Vukobrat, Ensemble president
Tihana Dragozet and Domagoj Ljubić, in charge of costumes