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Kolo (Bosnian: Коло/Kolo; Croatian: Kolo; Serbian: Коло/Kolo; Belarusian: Кола, tr. Kola; Bulgarian: Хоро, tr. Horo; Macedonian: Оро, tr. Oro; Slovene: kolo) is a collective folk dance common in various South Slavic regions, named after the circle formed by the dancers.
The Kolo is danced primarily by people from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and White Carniola region of Slovenia. It 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.
The dance is accompanied by traditional instrumental music (bearing the same name), performed most often with an accordion, but also with other instruments: frula (traditional kind of a recorder), tamburica, or šargija.
Many variations of Kolo are normally performed at weddings, social, cultural, and religious ceremonies. 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. Kolo 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. One of the most interesting components of the kolo costume are the shoes. The shoes are called Opanci which are made from cured pig skin that is molded to fit the dancers foot.
A Macedonian dance ensemble
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