Monday, November 22, 2010

Dance, Dance, Dance!

Today's big event was to go to a traditional folk dance and singing concert put on by the World famous Lado folk ensemble.  It was held at the Vatroslava Lisinskog building.

They have these amazing looking lights hanging on the upper floor where we went to wait for them to open the house doors for seating.  It turns out that they are plastic rods cut at an angle on one end and then there are florescent lights inserted in between them, so that the rods bend and diffuse the light in a really pretty way.

This evening particularly featured dances from the eastern continental part of Croatia, where Marina's mom is from.  Wow, it was really cool!  The way they had the mics setup on stage I think we could have heard a pin drop.  The singing was really interesting and the way they had a chorus setup as part of the background representing the village watching the young people on the stage was an interesting take.  They did sing as part of the opening and closing numbers, though.

The first dance number sort of played out workers in the field cutting and harvesting wheat, then a celebration, then leaving with the harvest ast the end of the day, always accompanied by song.  I liked that one a lot.

Almost every new number had a different costume, I think to represent a different region of the East.  There was even one that Marina told me was a very traditional dress for a wedding.  This was the shortest and fullest skirt the women wore.

There was almost always a couple or several couples representing the elders or leaders of the villiage off to the side seaming to look on though occasionally participating in the dance.  The dancers both men and women almost aways had something metal on them that would make a cinking sound when they hopped or moved.  There was even a dance where women danced wih what looked like sabers with ong pretty ribbons in the red, white and blue stripes representing Croatia.

In between numbers the string "band" accompanying the dancers would come to center stage to perform on their own.  We heard two types of whistles that sounded either double-reeded or double piped.  Croatia even has a wind instrument very similar to a bagpipe, except that the bottom pipe is bell shaped like the pipe you smoke.

I had a really good time.  Out in the lobby they had honey apple sok (juice) and apple čips )chips) for sale.  Marina had never had apple chips before and asked if we could sample some.  They were the best ones I had ever had, much more flavorful than the ones I've had at home.  I think they have especially good apples here.

Well, due to the continuous applause and the encore that was done of the last dance, we got out at 2215.  It was an incredible opportunity to be able to take advantage of the fact that it just happened to be playing the week that I was staying here.  I am so lucky!

~ Fraise

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