Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dancing Through the Alphabet: Letter K

Blessed are they who go around in circles for they shall be known as wheels.
source unknown 

Today's post features two kolos from Croatia that begin with the letter K, and a mystery kolo from Balkan Music Night 2011.

A kolo is a dance usually performed in a circle and sometimes in a line. In Croatia, they're done in a circle, using a hand hold, front basket hold, or back basket hold. The Croatian kolo is usually accompanied by tamburitza music, singing, and sometimes both.

Croatia was once a part of the multi-ethnic multi-cultural nation of Yugoslavia, which, surprisingly, stayed together for nearly fifty years. Yugoslavia broke up after the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989 and became like Humpty Dumpty. Once it fell apart, it never got back together. Croatia declared independence in 1991; it has been its own entity ever since.

The first video is of the Dunav group from Jerusalem in Israel performing Krici, Krici, Ticek (Chirp, Chirp Little Bird).  The lyrics are provided so you can sing along :) It's moderately fast, and the dancers use a back basket hold. If you watch them closely, they resemble a wheel, going round.

The next video took place at a New Year's Eve party at a restaurant in Australia in 2009 The dance is Kukunjesce Kolo. The music, played by a tamburitza orchestra, is loud enough to way the dead! The crawling baby (at 4:56) wants to get into the act, too.

This video goes back four years, to Balkan Music Night 2011. It was quite late and by that time everyone was high on endorphins from all that dancing.  The group Padjashi was finishing up a medley of Croatian folk songs and so far no one was kolo-ed out.

Notice the way the line flows around the room and then ends in a circle. Does anyone know the name of this dance or the music that goes with it? If you do, please post it in the "comments" section.

This weeks bonus video is a lesson on How to be a Croatian.. It focuses on important skills like cooking from scratch, preparing the house for guests and loading them up on leftovers when they leave. Oh. and don't leave the windows open in the bedroom, even in summer.  The drafts can kill you!

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

The River of Many Names Part Six: The Danube in Croatian Folk Songs (if you like tamburitza music, you will love this post.)

Crazy Croatian Dance Songs

The Tambura in Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Croatian Folk Music

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