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49th International Folklore Festival in Zagreb

folkPerformances by folklore ensembles and vocal groups from Croatia and from around the world will be the feature of the 49th International Folklore Festival which will be held in Zagreb from 15 – 19 July…

This year’s festival is dedicated to the folklore of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, which includes the southern Dalmatian islands, the peninsula of Pelješac and the city of Dubrovnik with its surroundings (Dubrovačko Primorje, Župa Dubrovačka, Konavle), as well as the area along the Neretva River bordering with Herzegovina. The folk dance and musical heritage is marked by relationships with the wider Mediterranean and Central European cultural circles, through which cultural events of different origin and age entered this area and, while changing over time, maintained their presence to this day.

The dance heritage primarily includes chain dances, that is, dances with swords (Korčulan dances kumpanija and moreška, White Masks from Pelješac, the Pokladari circle dance from Lastovo). Related dances will be displayed by the ensembles from Germany, Portugal, Malta and the United Kingdom.

Linđo, the most famous dance of the selected area, has preserved traces of Spanish influence, which will be evident from the performances of the ensemble from Spain. Versions of Linđo will be displayed by the folklore groups from Dubrovačko Primorje, Župa Dubrovačka and Konavle.

Urban culture is manifested through contra dances from Dubrovnik and its rural surroundings, as well as the newer dances of civil origin known throughout the area; these are typically folklorized in rural communities or adapted to rural style of dancing (folk ensembles from the Island of Mljet, Župa Dubrovačka, Dubrovačko Primorje (Orašac, Smokovljani – Visočani) and Metković. The further inland shows influences of the Dinaric (Herzegovinian) areas, its folk repertoire being similar to but stylistically different from the one in the mentioned territories.

The vocal interpretation emphasizes the tradition of singing koleda / kolenda, klapa singing is also popular, while ballads as a general Mediterranean tradition have been preserved in the form of solo female singing. Known and cherished is also the tradition of rhetoric, especially wedding toast, as well as the gusle tradition. Older customs of secular and religious traditions (Carnival, Passion) have also been preserved.

An instrument that stands out is lijerica, especially as an accompaniment to dance. It is also among the features that connect the selected area with other cultural areas, on the Mediterranean and further (Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Portugal). Along with musicians from these countries, the Festival will also include performances from participants of long-time organized lijerica courses in the Dubrovnik-Neretva county, both adults and children.

In addition to numerous folk ensembles, church choirs who cherish the traditional religious ways of singing and take pride in their distinctive repertoire are also active, especially those performing Marian songs. The concert of popular church music will introduce the church choir from the area of the Neretva river. The concert of klapa singing will demonstrate the diversity of the genre in the selected county, while the participants of the Croatian Musical Youth’s summer camp from Grožnjan will perform on the first day of the Festival at the concert “Ethno on the Road in Croatia”. Aside from stage performances, dance and music workshops with national and international coordinators will also take place.

This Festival will also feature folk ensembles from other Croatian regions and foreign countries. In cooperation with the Ethnographic Museum Zagreb, an exhibition and lectures on music and wedding heritage will be held. (Source: msf.hr)

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