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Kolo (dance)

The circle dance (kolo) is one of the basic forms of Croatian folk dance. The circle dance is regarded as the oldest form of dance, and can be seen as an expression of community, especially in village life. Kolo is a collective folk dance, danced by Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs, in groups of people (usually several dozen, at the very least three) holding each other's having their hands around each other's waists (ideally in a circle, hence the name). There is almost no movement above the waist. The basic steps are easy to learn, but experienced dancers dance kolo with great virtuosity due to different ornamental elements they add, such as syncopated steps. Each region has at least one unique kolo; it is difficult to master the dance and even most experienced dancers cannot master all of them.

DANCE FROM DUBROVNIK - RAGUSAN DANCE THE CIRCLE DANCE (KOLO) IS ONE OF THE BASIC FORMS OF CROATIAN FOLK DANCE. THE CIRCLE DANCE IS REGARDED AS THE OLDEST FORM OF DANCE, AND CAN BE SEEN AS AN EXPRESSION OF COMMUNITY, ESPECIALLY IN VILLAGE LIFE. THROUGHOUT A LARGE PART OF CROATIA RIGHT UP UNTIL WORLD WAR II, THE KOLO HAD BEEN THE CENTRE OF VILLAGE SOCIAL LIFE. THE KOLO AS A DANCE BECAME A TOOL FOR SOCIAL GATHERING, AND WAS OFTEN THE MAIN PLACE AT WHICH YOUNG WOMEN AND MEN COULD GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER. WITH MANY DANCES, THE SINGING OF JOCULAR VERSES DURING THE PERFORMANCE SERVED AS A WAY TO EXPRESS FEELINGS OR TELL A STORY. BY SINGING, MOVEMENT, AND GESTURES ONE COULD EXPRESS WHAT WAS PROSCRIBED IN ORDINARY SPEECH. MANY YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN USED THIS AS AN EXCUSE FOR COURTING AND TEASING ONE ANOTHER. OCCASIONS WHERE PEOPLE MAY HAVE PERFORMED A KOLO OUTDOORS ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS INCLUDE HARVESTS, WEDDINGS, AND RELIGIOUS CELEBRATIONS TO HONOR A SPECIAL SAINT. MORE RECENTLY, THE DANCES ARE PERFORMED AT WEDDINGS, CONCERTS, FESTIVALS OR ETHNIC CELEBRATIONS.  EUROPEAN DANCES BECAME POPULAR IN CERTAIN PARTS OF THE COUNTRY SUCH AS THE POLKA IN THE NORTH AND THE FURLANA IN ISTRIA, DUE TO GERMAN/AUSTRIAN AND ITALIAN INFLUENCES RESPECTIVELY.  DANCE FROM DUBROVNIK - RAGUSAN DANCE

Dance from Dubrovnik - Ragusan dance

The dance is accompanied by instrumental two-beat music (bearing the same name), performed most often with an accordion, frula (traditional kind of a recorder), tamburica, or sargija.

Many variations of Kolo are normally performed at weddings, social, cultural, and religious ceremonies. Kolo may be performed in a closed circle, a single chain or in two parallel lines. Both men and women dance together, however some dances require only men to dance and some dances are only for women. The music is generally fast paced and contains tricky steps. Kolo costumes vary from region to region. Men wear a cap, loose blouse tucked in to trousers that balloon around the thighs and then tightening from the knee down to the ankle. Women wear long white embroidered dresses with very heavy velvet aprons tied at the waist. Both the dress and apron are embroidered with bright flowers to enhance the females outfit. Generally, both men and women wear embroidered velvet vests. One of the most interesting components of the kolo costume are the shoes.
 

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