Kolo (dance)

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Bosnian peasants dancing kolo
Kolo dance in 2017.

In Southeastern Europe, the South Slavic people traditionally dance the circle dance, known as kolo (Cyrillic: коло), named after the circle formed by the dancers.

It is known as horo (Bulgarian: хоро) in Bulgaria and oro (Macedonian: оро) in North Macedonia and Montenegro.[1]


The circle dance is usually performed amongst groups of at least three people and up to several dozen people. Dancers hold each other's hands or each other's waists. They form a circle, a single chain or multiple parallel lines.[2]

Kolo requires almost no movement above the waist. The basic steps are easy to learn. Experienced dancers demonstrate virtuosity by adding different ornamental elements, such as syncopated steps. Each region has at least one unique kolo.[2] It is difficult to master the dance and even most experienced dancers cannot master all of them.

Kolo is performed at weddings, social, cultural, and religious ceremonies.[1] Some dances require both men and women to dance together, others require only the men or only the women.


The music is generally fast-paced.[1] The dance was used by Antonín Dvořák in his Slavonic Dances – the Serbian kolo is the seventh dance from opus 72.[3]

Traditional dance costume[edit]

Traditional dance costumes vary from region to region. Bordering regions are mostly more similar to each other.[4]

Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia[edit]

Various kolos are performed at social ceremonies. Often traditional clothing, which is unique to a region, is worn. The most common kolo is the narodno kolo or drmeš; a standard step followed by accordion music.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "kolo" (2009). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 26, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "UNESCO - Kolo, traditional folk dance". ich.unesco.org. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
  3. ^ "Slavonic Dance, Op. 72, No. 7 (Antonín Dvořák)". LA Phil. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
  4. ^ "Ethnic Heritage - National Cotumes". www.serbia.com. Retrieved 2020-10-03.

External links[edit]