Irvine Corporate Park, 2148 Michelson Drive, Irvine, CA 92612
As an essential element of Serbian culture, folk dancing has long prevailed as a form of folk art that has preserved the national identity and traditional values of Serbia throughout centuries. Serbian folk dance “kolo” is present in almost every social gathering, including religious and secular celebrations. Folk dances originated in villages as a form of improvisation among peasants and were passed down through generations. These dances consisted of a combination of group, solo, and partner dances. Serbian folk dances are particularly distinguished by their fast tempo and rhythmic variety. Most dances are accompanied by folk songs, which represent the vivid description of a peasant way of living during the time at which these dances were formed. Lyrics from folk songs are part of a rich oral tradition that tells stories about Serbian historical events and serves as a historical record passed on through generations.
The ethnic instruments that primarily accompanied Serbian folk songs were frule (native flute of Serbia), gajde (bagpipes), bubnjevi i udaraljke (drums and percussions), and tamburice (folk string instrument). After World War I, harmonica – accordion was introduced to Serbia and became the most popular instrument used in folk music. Over time, folk dances and songs became so widespread throughout Serbia, that they generated a formation of folk ensembles and became a form of theater art. The contemporary type of folk dancing that is performed on stage with chorographical motifs and variations is known as stylized folk dancing.
Each region in Serbia has its own unique folk dances that are conveyed through specific rhythms, melodies, steps, and folk costumes These varieties reveal richness of the Serbian culture. Although each region has its own charm, folk dances and costumes from Sumadija, which is the central part of Serbia were chosen as the national representation of Serbian folklore. Sumadija’s folk dances are characterized by their use of treptaj, which is a basic step that is prevalent in dances from this region. Some of the dances from Sumadija are: Moravac, Cacak, Zikino Kolo, Zavrzlama, Djurdjevka, etc. The type of shoe used for folk dancing is a traditional handmade leather shoe known as “opanak.”
Dunav Folklore Group was founded in 2014 in Irvine, California. First dancers were group of young children ages 5-13 years. Soon, other members of our church community have joined and they’ve started learning many different dances. Dunav has successfully performed at many festivities and always won loud ovations! The folkore dancers, the kids, always say that Friday Folklore is: “the highlight of the week!”
The authentic costumes, which this ensemble owns, was partly acquired from Serbia and some of them were handmade locally by our moms.
Members of Dunav Ensemble Juniors (first name alpha order):
Aca, Aleksandra, Ana, Ema, Jana, Jovan, Katarina, Maksim, Marko, Mia, Milena, Nikola, Raya, Simona, Tamara, Vuk, Yavor
Members of Dunav Ensemble Seniors (first name alpha order):
Aca, Biljana, Bole, Dule, Irina, Jelena, Kamenko, Katarina, Maja, Milica, Nata, Tanja, Tijana, Zoran and many others that come and join us!
Fridays: 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Junior Group: Fridays 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Senior Group: Fridays 8:00pm – 9:30pm
Director of Choreography and Instructor: Sandra Konstantinovic
President: Natasa Stojanovic
Secretary: Tanja Radojkovic
Treasurer: Zoran Novakovic
Member: Zvezdana Rakic
Member: Vesna Dodevski