Kolo (dance)

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Bosnian peasants dancing kolo

In Southeastern Europe, the South Slavic people traditionally dance the circle dance, known as kolo (Serbian Cyrillic: коло), named after the circle formed by the dancers. It is known as horo (Bulgarian: хоро) and oro (Macedonian: оро) in Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro, respectively.

The circle dance is performed amongst groups of people (usually several dozen, at the very least three) holding each other's hands or having their hands around each other's waists (ideally in a circle, hence the name). There is almost no movement above the waist. The basic steps are easy to learn, but experienced dancers dance kolo with great virtuosity due to different ornamental elements they add, such as syncopated steps. Each region has at least one unique kolo; it is difficult to master the dance and even most experienced dancers cannot master all of them. Many variations of kolo are normally performed at weddings, social, cultural, and religious ceremonies.[1] Kolo may be performed in a closed circle, a single chain or in two parallel lines. Both men and women dance together, however some dances require only men to dance and some dances are only for women. The music is generally fast-paced and contains tricky steps.[1] Traditional dance costumes vary from region to region, but Bosnian and Serbian dance costumes typically are the most similar to each other. Men wear a cap, loose blouse tucked into trousers that balloon around the thighs and then tightening from the knee down to the ankle. Women wear long white embroidered dresses with very heavy velvet aprons tied at the waist. Both the dress and apron are embroidered with bright flowers to enhance the females outfit. Generally, both men and women wear embroidered velvet vests. The shoes are called opanci, made from cured skin molded to fit the dancers foot.[2]

The dance was used by Antonín Dvořák in his Slavonic Dances – the Serbian kolo is the seventh dance from opus 72.

National varieties[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "kolo" (2009). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 26, 2009.
  2. ^ "Costumes" Archived 2012-02-22 at the Wayback Machine (2009). In ASKA Kolo Ansambl. Retrieved March 26, 2009

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