Knjazevac Kolo

First of all Happy New Year!! I thought a post about dancing was an appropriately festive topic for New Years day 2013.

December 28, I was excited to attend a an evening of Kolo Dancing in our town. It was awesome. The town kids worked hard to learn a bunch of different Kolo dances from all over Serbia. Some Greek and Turkish Dances were also included because that is also a part of the heritage of Serbia. The borders have moved around quite a bit over the last several hundred years. The history is rich and multicultural. It is fascinating learning about the dances and traditions. And here, the past doesn’t seem so far away. At times, I feel as if time has stood still.

Serbian girls from Knjazevac singing traditional Serbian songs

Serbian girls from Knjazevac singing traditional Serbian songs

The performance started off with singing. Not the kind most of us are used too. If I hadn’t taken an intercultural music class in college, I would have been super shocked and maybe even turned off. The discordant song was originally sung by shepherds who sang so that other herders miles away could sing along. At least that is what I learned in the class.

The music in this clip from the movie Savior is the kind of song the girls were singing.

Below is an example of Serbian music, but not a shepherds song. I love it. so beautiful.


Serbian Band

The band pictured played some really good music. I was impressed. When I hear these bands, normally I think circus music. The strong brassy umpas and fast choppy “flow” of the music is totally not my style, but these guys played a  pop song with Balkan flavor. and it made me appreciate the music so much more. Then they played a traditional song and it was back to the circus for me, but I do like the circus.

Fury White hats

Fury White hats

Some of the costumes were so cool, but I couldn’t help but think how hot these hats would make the dancers. Back in the day where there was little heat and the costumes and the Kolo would keep you warm, but now. SO HOT! Thank God it is just for performances.

I sat with a crowd of people from my husbands village. They found me waiting for the show, I was so pleased to have their company. I love how friendly people are here.

Friends from Vina

Friends from Vina



When I went to a practice, I asked the girls if it was difficult to get the boys to dance. The reply was  a unanimous “Yes”! They began with no boys, but managed to lure them into the group. Though I am not sure how they did it. I know my Serbian husband didn’t even want to attend the performance. Rakija is the only thing that may possible get him to dance. Without a doubt the Kolo would not even be a possibility for him coupled with Rakija.

Kolo in a White Dress

Kolo in a White Dress

ankle lock

This segment was pretty cool, the guys here locked ankles and hopped in a circle. There were some other pretty creative moves. Tricky tricky.

Little boy Blue and his girl in Green

Little boy Blue and his girl in Green

In spite of the fact, nothing on the lad above is blue, this outfit on the fellas screams “little boy blue come blow your horn”, I love it. If you are unfamiliar with the Mother Goose Nursery rhyme here is a picture of “Little Boy Blue”, click the link below.

Serbian Bagpiper

Serbian Bagpiper

This guy was kind of a shock. I know I have heard of these pipers before, but the Scotch bagpipes have so much influence on the world we rarely hear about these slavic drones. These pipes, though similar, had a distinctly different sound.

Yellow scarves ans red socks

The show ended with Turkish fashion of old. Satiny sultan attire sporting tambourines to add to the music. What a great finale. SONY DSC

When all the bows were taken and the auditorium was pouring its contents out the doors, the band on stage began to play again. Everyone on stage did their own Kolo and little children left their parents to go dance on stage. This was a wondrous end to a wonderful night. SONY DSC

I wish I could have videotaped the folklore dances last Friday night. They did such a great job!  But if you are itching to see  the Kolo, here is a link to a performance in Belgrade. These are adults doing the same dances I saw, on a more difficult level.

Happy New Year to all! Celebrate the new days we have been blessed with!


11 thoughts on “Knjazevac Kolo

  1. This is wonderful, T! I love learning about music in other cultures — this is fascinating! It sounds like Serbia is so much like Poland in a lot of ways … boundaries constantly changing and so many traditions being introduced and mixed. Poland has shepherd-singing too — Warsaw Village Band does a lot of pieces in that style. Here is one: — it can sound “grating” if you’re not expecting it, but I kind of like it. This is a good link too: Warsaw Village Band blends folk styles with modern rhythms so they’re not *entirely* folk, but you get the picture. Keep up the posts …. I love this!

    • Thanks for stopping by. The family picture looks pretty typical. I have seen a lot of those. and I read about the last name thing in your blog. Honestly, I am really glad I din’t grow up with one of those last names. When I got married, I thought all the jokes were funny. But as a kid that had to be a bit brutal.

    • I would love to. I clicked on your link. But I just got a blog I cannot read, and google translate didn’t work. I love Pacific Island and Asian Dancing. Surely, I would LOVE Balanise. I have always wanted to visit Bali and the whole of Indonesia. Please send me a link where I can see the dancing! Thanks for visiting. 🙂

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