Dances from the Nišava River Valley

Radost Folk Ensemble Choreography
Dances from the Nišava River Valley
East Serbia
Choreography Richard Crum
Music Traditional, arranged by Erik Butterworth
Costumes Denise Manookian, Kathy Sandstrom, Jill Ann Johnson
The dances and music of the Nišava River valley in eastern Serbia have much in common with those of neighboring western Bulgaria. These songs and dances from the village of Mokra near the town of Bela Palanka were observed by Richard Crum in the early 1950's. Even then, there were few people who remembered them, and most of these dances can no longer be found among the villagers. On a Sunday afternoon, young women gather in the village square singing Meseče Jasan Pojasan (Clear, bright moon). As they form a circle for the dance-song Što Mi Omilelo (What I long for), they are joined by an admiring group of young men. In opposing lines, the men and women dance Vrti Kolo, then all break into an exuberant čačak. In Ripna Maca (The cat leaps), groups of young men and women take turns demonstrating their virtuosity. Two groups of men begin the dance Šestorka, and all the others stop to watch. Finally, everyone joins in the lively freestyle dance Pešačka.
Click HERE for Song Words.
This choreography was funded in part by a grant from the King County Arts Commission.