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Baranja weddings at the end of the 19th century are actually composed of a series of customs that follow one another. In this choreography, only a few are presented: engagement and giving an apple, farewell from the mother, leaving the church, the bride entering the house and the mare. The oldest instrument in this area are bagpipes, and bagpipers showed their dominance and creativity at weddings. They created melodies played by only one bagpiper. Along with the standard Baranja melodies “Tanac” and “Kolo”, these rarely famous melodies also appear.
Choreography: prof. dr. sc. Enrih Merdić
Musical arrangement: prof. dr. sc. Enrih Merdić and Duško Topić

In the most fertile area in the north of Bačka around the town of Subotica, where the Bunjevci live, the favorite dance is “Momačko kolo”. In this dance, men compete inconspicuously in dance. They have rattles attached to their boots, a kind of flag, and the women have a player on their belt, a wide silk ribbon. Fifty years ago, Bunjevka women bought silk and velvet fabrics from Lyon silk factories in France for their costumes. This choreography presents two shorter paintings from Bunjevac weddings.
Choreography: dr. sc. Ivan Ivančan
Musical arrangement: Marijan Makar

Slavonian wedding custom from Đakovo region. At midnight, the godfather brings a branch decorated with shoots, babies and apples, and sells it at auction. All the money raised goes to the newlyweds. In Slavonia, only at weddings is a couple dance called Hungarian. There is also the imported dance “Kukunješće”, which got its version here with dance style and musical figures.
Choreography: prof. dr. sc. Enrih Merdić
Musical arrangement: Domagoj Pavić

On the feast of Pentecost, most Slavonian villages have a special appearance, then in Gorjani, Vrpolje, Gundinci, Otok and other villages, in addition to Christian duties, the custom of the queen is performed. Lilies, kings, kings, queens, queens are synonymous with the same custom. The name “ljelje” probably originated from the chorus “ljeljo”, which is added to the appropriate songs in the area, and are sung by girls touring the village in a procession in the role of kings and queens. There can be up to twenty girls in the company of queens, accompanied by beggars (young men who collect gifts) and musicians (bagpipers or singers or, more recently, tamburitza players). Very ceremoniously dressed and well-groomed girls visit the houses and address the household with special songs for each of them. Kings represent girls who have a special status in the village, and denote girls who are ready to marry and have already entered the village community. The queens are younger, these are the girls who have just arrived for marriage, which the kings are introducing to the village community. By entering certain homes, the kings find out the situation in the house and learn about the possibilities for entering into new marriages. With the very specific figures appearing, the song of these girls is very significant.
Choreography and music processing: prof. dr. sc. Enrih Merdić

The circle of kings with “samica”
“Mi idemo ljeljo”

In the choreography Kirbaj, the greatest emphasis is placed on education, wanting to faithfully show how kirbaj used to take place in the vicinity of Vinkovci, of course with a little refinement that the stage requires. The first performance of this choreography was performed in Đakovo on the 15th anniversary of the “Šokačka se grana vije”.
Choreography: Blanka Žakula,
Musical arrangement: Mihael Ferić and Duško Topić.

“Ajde Mata da ti vračam, da ti sriću kažem”

The time of the old Slavonian harvest is a time of hard work. That is why the end of the harvest is marked by special customs, because the best ear is left for the end, to be brought down by the best reaper. After the prayer, dance and joy.

“Tri jetve žito žele … onda legle ladovati”

In Slavonian Posavina, each village has its own walking circle on the slow and walking circle on the fast. In these walking carts, performed a’capella, various figures can be seen: a circle, a “piškota”, a snake, and certainly the most effective are the “kolo na kolo” and the “žrvanj”.

“Kolo na kolo” – a dancing figure of a walking circle from Davor

Songs and dances of Croats in Hungary. Croats in Hungary are divided into several groups. There are Šokci, Bosniaks, Bunjevci and Podravci. In this choreography we present the dances and songs of Podravina from the villages of Martince and Lukovišće near Barsc. We can say that this area is typically Pannonian due to the large number of carts and dances that dance. However, the influences of the shocking folklore of Baranja (especially in costumes) and Hungarian (temperamental dances of boys) are also visible.

Always a smile at the end of this temperamental choreography
“Grana javora”

Songs and dances from Posavina. In Posavina, it was customary that on the Sunday before Ivandan, young girls, lined up in rows, walked through the village singing “Tančec” in the ancient way (unison ending). Dances in Posavina are very temperamental and this is expressed in a strong vertical shift. “Drmeš”, “Repa”, “Dučec” and the seductive song “Ja sam mala” remained part of this choreography.

“Posavski drmeš” – virtuous rotation

In Bosnian Posavina, right after the New Year, even today people visit houses just to socialize. These gatherings are called sofas. On the sofas, people relax, drink some, sing and of course dance. The song in this area is very specific and is most often sung without musical accompaniment. With the musical accompaniment of tambourine (“šargija”) and violin, “Đačko kolo”, “Trojanac”, “Ciganija” and “Ravno kolo” are danced.

“Đačko kolo” – the most common dance in Bosnian Posavina

Weddings in Bosnian Posavina consist of a series of customs and accompanying songs. Certainly the most significant moment in the wedding is when the brides put on the headband and thus symbolically depict the moment when the girl becomes a woman. The choreography shows another custom, and that is the bride entering the house and her mother-in-law sitting on her lap. There is always a lot of dancing at weddings.

“Svekrvice jel to tebi milo, što ti snaja sad sjela u krilo”

Among the many customs in Baranja, this choreography presents the custom of engagement. The young man gives the girl an apple, which is a symbol of engagement. Old Baranja songs appear in the choreography. “Stiglo je proleće” and “okreni se lepa Janjo”, which are usually associated with engagements. Only in Torjanci, a village in the far west of Baranja, are the dances of “Kabanica”, “Tako tako Adame” and “Diridika”.

“Oću da se ženim, život da promenim, ej prosit ću te curo moja ja”

Until recently, in the villages around Zagreb, the old-fashioned dance “sukačko” was danced at weddings – the dance of wedding cooks. This is followed by polka and drmeš, which has its own variant of “drobničica”. Its feature is that the dancer standing in place shakes the body small, “drobno”.
Choreography: Zvonimir Ljevaković
Musical arrangement: Božo Potočnik

Međimurje is located in the north of Croatia. There is a strong influence of Hungarian “čardaš” in the dances. Many dances disappeared during the Hungarianization of this area, so folk choreographers based on old melodies made dances in accordance with the old melodies. Such are, for example, the dances “Faljila se Jagica divojka” and “Baroš oj Barica”. There are very attractive dances such as “Šopka tanec” (dance with hats) and “Kuritari”.

“Kuritari” – temperamental dance from Međimurje

Custom and dances from Pokuplje. In western Croatia, and especially in Pokuplje, even today in some places there is a procession of boys through the village to Jurjevo. The boys bring grass and twigs to the yard and thus mark the beginning of spring. In the evening, the girls gather in front of the church and the dance begins. “Đikalica”, “Šimićka”, “polka” and “drmeš” are being danced. The peculiarity of singing in this region is singing beyond the rhythm of dance.

“Grličica grkovala” – the girls join the boys

The dances in Lika are mostly unaccompanied, except for one of the oldest dances, Tanac, which is danced to the accompaniment of the tamburitza “dangubica”. Especially important is the role of the ringleader – the dance commander, who is the best dancer and the person responsible for the order of the dance.

“Rvatski tanac” – Lika dance in two opposite lines

The popcorn from southern Dalmatia is often called “Linđo”! “Linđo” is the most popular dance on the Dubrovnik coast, located northwest of the city of Dubrovnik. It is danced to the accompaniment of a lyre – an ancient string instrument from southern Dalmatia with three strings. Couples are arranged around the musicians, and dance orders in witty and loud shouts are shouted by the ringleader and he rules the circle

“O sebi” – a dance figure from the Dubrovnik popcorn

A characteristic city dance close to the court dances of the European aristocracy, with recognizable minimalist movements so irresistibly connected with the Split “fjaka”. It consists of three dances: “monfrina”, “četvorka” and “šaltin polka”. The features of the dances are the elegance of the movement, the refined posture and the softness of the steps, which reflect the influence of the western part of the Mediterranean.
Choreography: Branko Šegović

“Monfrina” – elegant dance from Split

Dances from Primorje (near Crikvenica and Novi Vinodolski) are pair dances that belong to the Adriatic dance zone. The most common dances are “Hrvatski” and “Potresuljka”, which are performed accompanied by “triještina” (accordion version). The choreography also includes the song “Zaspal Pajnave” in two voices of narrow intervals.

“Zaspal Pajnave” – a song in a scale of narrow intervals

On the island of Krk, people dance in pairs. Couples circle the space with changes in the direction of movement in front of the “sopci”. It is most often circled in a clockwise direction. The dance is most often performed by bouncing. The second basic step is a small picking with the feet, the so-called “prebir”. “Tanac” can be danced in two opposite rows, contradances. Krk dances are a specific expression of the island folk performed with the “sopile” (“sopele”), a traditional instrument with a specific sound that is played in pairs.

The “vrtet” figure

“Balun” or “balon”, is the most widespread and most performed folk dance in Istria. It is performed by several dance couples evenly distributed in a circle, with a dancer on the inside and a dancer on the outside of the circle. They move counterclockwise, while one pair, or several individual dancers, rotate around their axis, rotate clockwise. In the first place in the dance series is the main dancer with his partner, who shouts “opsasa” or kicks the floor to signal to other dancers to change the dance figure, which can be walking, waltzing, picking and spinning. Musical accompaniment “mih” or “roženice” (“sopele”).
Choreography and music processing: Ivan Goran Matoš

“Balun” – couples dancing along the “mih”, couples are on a circle

With a lot of ringing, noise and almost magical dances, a group of masked people with huge hats decorated with flowers (some with animal masks), clad in sheepskins, swinging axes and clubs, roamed the surrounding villages for days and left no one alone. It is a scene and a description of the procession of bell ringers from the Kastav region and their traditional celebration of the Carnival. In ancient times, part of this folklore display was used for ritual purposes in order to invoke the gods of fertility in the winter good, drive away evil spirits, but also protect cattle from spells.

The circle of “zvončari”

* Choreographies depicting the customs of Croats living outside the borders of the Republic of Croatia